What Are Nofollow Links and Why You Need Them for SEO

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What are nofollow links and are they important to your SEO?

All you have to do to create a new link is insert your URL and anchor text — and you’re done.

Thus, learning more about SEO linking is trivial, right?

Wrong.

Links are super crucial to SEO. Google considers backlinks one of the strongest ranking factors today.

If you’re a business owner with an online presence, you have to deal with them every day. 

So:

You must at least know what nofollow links are and why they exist. And that’s what we’ll share with you in this guide.

Ready?

What is a Nofollow Link?

Nofollow (rel=”nofollow”) is the HTML hyperlink attribute that tells Google spiders not to follow certain links.

Here’s the HTML code for nofollow links:

<a href=”http://theloremipsumco.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Orange County SEO Agency</a>

Nofollow links do count as backlinks, yet, they don’t improve the rankings of the site they link to. They don’t pass link authority or link juice from one site to another.

Which means:

Only humans will be able to follow them and move to the next website.

Dofollow links are the opposite. They pass link authority between websites and can influence SEO rankings significantly.

And here’s the HTML code for dofollow links:

<a href=”http://theloremipsumco.com/”>Orange County SEO Agency</a>

When Should You use Nofollow Links?

Google created the nofollow tag to limit spam and the number of low-quality content in the SERPs. 

And you must use it.

Why?

The content you link to on your website gives search engines an estimate of how much they can trust you. 

If you’re always linking to low-quality, spammy sites, you’ll lose your credibility. Google will no longer trust your website.

You should use nofollow links in these cases:

  • Ads and sponsored links
  • Links in blog comments
  • Paid links (affiliate links, reviews, directory submissions)
  • Press release links
  • Spammy and untrusted sources
  • Irrelevant content

If you never used the nofollow tag before, you can still update your links now.

Do Nofollow Links Have Value?

As we mentioned earlier, many SEO experts believe that nofollow links don’t pass any link juice. 

So, they won’t help your SEO rankings in any way.

In fact, Google has confirmed that many times in the past.

That’s why:

If you’re going to build backlinks for your website, it’s better to go after dofollow links. Also, you should always include the nofollow tag when needed.

But here’s where it gets interesting:

Many case studies have shown that nofollow links do actually have value.

Aside from the direct traffic, many SEOs say that nofollow links will help your SEO. You’ll improve rank better — especially with nofollow links from trusted sources.

How to add Nofollow Links to Your Website?

Adding the nofollow links to your site links is simple. All you have to do is include the rel=”nofollow” tag to your link codes.

But, be warned:

Making minor mistakes in the HTML code can ruin a whole page on your website. So, you must be sure to include the attribute within the <a> tag close the quotation marks.

Here’s an example:

<a href=”sponsoredlink.com” rel=”nofollow” > Your text goes here </a>

If you’re a WordPress user, it’s even easier. And there are two ways you can do it:

  • Modify the links manually using the HTML editor.
  • Install a plugin to add the code for you.

First:

Create your link in WordPress using the visual editor.

adding no follow link in wordpress

Now:

Switch to the text editor to see the HTML code. Then go to your link and add the rel=”nofollow”. 

And you’re good to go!

If you don’t want to do this manually each time you create a new link, you can install a plugin.

To do that:

Go to Plugins > Add New.

Search for Ultimate Nofollow, and install it, and activate it. 

nofollow link plugins

After that:

Go back to your post editor, and add a new link.

Go to Link Options

Next:

When you add the link, you’ll see a checkbox to insert a rel=”nofollow” code in your HTML code.

insert nofollow link

Click on it, and it will automatically add the code to your link.

This method is easier because it saves you time and trouble. You won’t have to keep updating your HTML tags each time you want to make a nofollow link.

How to Nofollow Your WordPress Comment Links 

You can simply do this using the same plugin on WordPress.

From the left sidebar in the WordPress admin dashboard, click on Settings > Nofollow.

You’ll see this page:

nofollow link wordpress comments

Make sure “Nofollow all links in comments” is checked, then click Save Changes.

Any links in your blog comments will now automatically be nofollow.

How to Check Links on Websites?

Do you want to identify nofollow/dofollow links while browsing websites?

The boring way to do that is by checking the HTML tag for each link individually.

You’ll have to inspect the page in your internet browser, find the anchor link, and read the HTML tag.

But:

What if you want to save time and check dozens of websites in fast?

Thankfully, there’s a better solution.

You can install a browser extension to check whether a link is nofollow or dofollow.

For Chrome users:

You can do this by simply adding Nofollow to your browse.

nofollow browser extension

Now, each time you come across a nofollow link, it will have a red dotted border.

For other browsers:

Just search on Google for nofollow link checker extension, then install it.

Conclusion

Learning about nofollow links is important to your SEO growth. And whether you’re getting backlinks, or link to others, you must know when to use them and why.

With the tips and knowledge we shared with you in this guide, you now have a deeper understanding of nofollow/dofollow links.

Ready to find online success for your business with content marketing and SEO?

Start by grabbing your free SEO report card to identify what’s keeping you from growing. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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