What is a nofollow link and how does it affect SEO?

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Using the nofollow link feature in an external link helps us reduce the likelihood that you will be penalized by Google. All links on the Internet are followed by default; If we add the rel = Nofollow attribute to the <a> tag, it will become a nofollow link. By adding this feature, we tell Google’s bots that there is no reason to enter and check the linked page; In other words, no credit or value is transferred to the destination page in this manner.

Nofollow link is one of the simplest HTML tags and is not a new topic. They have been around for 14 years. If you care about your website’s search engine performance, knowing when you should and when you shouldn’t use nofollow links is not only important, it’s crucial. In this article, we explain how to create nofollow links, how they help your SEO, and how using them correctly can protect your site from the dreaded Google penalty. First, let’s lay out the basics.

What is a nofollow link?

Nofollow links are hyperlinks that are displayed with the rel=”nofollow” tag. These links do not affect the search engine ranking of the destination URL because Google does not move the page or text ranking. In fact, Google doesn’t even check broken links.

Nofollow, defollow, and no-follow links look fairly familiar to the average web user. The difference between the two only appears when you look at the HTML code. HTML is otherwise recognizable only if the rel=”nofollow” tag is added.

You can unfollow all links on a webpage by placing a bot meta tag with the value “nofollow” in the header of the page. However, the nofollow link is most commonly used because it allows you to unfollow some links on a page while following others.

How does Google handle nofollow links?

Google first introduced the nofollow link to combat comment spam back in 2005. If you’re a blogger (or blog reader), you know the agony of people trying to raise their sites’ search engine rankings by posting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount drug site.” .” It’s called comment spam, we don’t like that either, and we’re testing a new flag that will block it.

From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) in links, when we rank websites in our search results, those links will no longer be valid. This is not an upvote for the site where the comment was posted. This is just a way to make sure spammers don’t use public places like blog comments, follows, and referral lists. Shortly thereafter, Yahoo, Bing, and several other search engines also announced their commitment to nofollow links.

Today, WordPress, like many other content management systems, adds the nofollow tag for commenting on links by default. So even if you’ve never heard of a nofollow link before, rest assured that any spammy commenters on your blog won’t be getting any SEO benefits on your site for their efforts. You can easily install nofollow Chrome extension to clearly mark all broken links while browsing the web.

Does a nofollow link help with SEO?

In general, it seems that Google does not check nofollow links. Even if we assume that nofollow links have no direct impact on SEO, they can still have an indirect impact for the following reasons:

1. They help diversify your cookie

Natural backlink profiles are varied. Some links are followed and some are not. This fact is unavoidable because some people will inevitably relate to you through illegal connections… no matter how much you wish that weren’t the case. In addition, most of the backlinks you get from the following places are not affiliated:

  •     Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  •     Forums (Reddit, Quora, etc.)
  •     Press statements
  •     Guest Books (Hello, 1998!)
  •     Wikipedia (note: anyone can edit a Wikipedia page)
  •     Attention
  •     guides

In short, if a website only follows backlinks or clearly has a high percentage of backlinks, this is an interesting sign that something fishy is going on. Use the overview report in Ahrefs Site Explorer to check the percentage of followed versus nofollow links for any website or web page.

2. They drive traffic and follow traffic drives links

Links are not only useful for SEO purposes. It also drives referral traffic. That’s why we’re so active on Quora. If you haven’t heard of Quora before, it is a question-and-answer website where anyone can post answers to people’s questions. In these answers, Quora allows links to related resources. So remember that in order for someone to link to your site, three things must happen:

  • They see your content
  •     They enjoy your content
  •     They recommend it to others (via a link on their site).

Since nofollow links can help you with the first move, they are often a catalyst for follow links.

3. They can protect against Google’s penalties

Sometimes there are good reasons to pay for links. If the website has a lot of visitors, then it is quite logical to buy an advertisement post on this website. And if you’re paying good money for a feature, you’ll probably want to include a backlink so your readers can find your website easily. Now, if that link is not based on Google rules, there is a chance that your site will be fined.

The result is that nofollow links play an important role in SEO. If you are actively building links to your website, it makes sense to prioritize backlink building. These are things that go beyond PageRank and have a direct impact on your SEO.

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