Dofollow vs Nofollow
The concept of dofollow and nofollow links appeared when Google decided to put an end to the spammy backlinks being built in the Search Engine Optimization world.
Before doing so, bloggers and website developers were competing against each other to create spammy backlinking strategies. For example, they were adding links everywhere it was possible on their websites, just to create backlinks.
Once Google has set the rules for backlinks it became challenging to building new backlinks. If you would ask any SEO company, they would now say that building links for a website is one of the most important and challenging SEO activities.
Definition Of A Nofollow Link
A nofollow link is one that doesn’t bring any added value and won’t place the page in search engine results. A nofollow link doesn’t boost PageRank. Thus, it tells Google that you don’t have anything to say, and they should put too much effort into evaluating your page. When you create a nofollow link, you should add the “nofollow” HTML tag to let Google know that your page falls into this category. You are practically letting search engines know that they shouldn’t count on the page that you created.
However, nofollow links are useful for your SEO strategy. First, they don’t do any harm to your website. Usually, you will find this tag in untrusted content, forums, or paid links. In addition, you should think of nofollow links as a diversity strategy. You cannot have all your pages created with dofollow links. It might seem suspicious to do so.
It is better to combine dofollow and nofollow links.
What Dofollow Links Mean?
When you create a hyperlink, which takes your audience to a website’s page, then you are starting an SEO boost. Google carefully evaluates each hyperlink and checks how many inbound links you have for your page and the sites where these backlinks were created. Also, Google uses a straightforward algorithm to determine whether you are creating a dofollow link. The more people are linking to your page, and then it means that you have something to say, and you deserve your place in search engine results. Thus, the immediate effect that you will see is that your page will be ranked higher than other pages on similar topics.
In SEO language, the more backlinks your page gets, the more link juice you create. So, as long as you manage to develop backlinks on reputable websites, then there will be more link juice that you will obtain for your SEO strategy. For example, creating backlinks on prestigious websites like Forbes or The New York Times, then you can consider that you have gained the golden ticket. PickWriters, for example, are using do-follow links to rank their services presentation page higher on SERPs.
Is It An Excellent Strategy To Use Nofollow Links?
Nofollow links still bring a lot of value. Even though they don’t get noticed by PageRank, they are still crucial for a website’s trustworthiness. For example, when a site has zero nofollow links, it leads to the suspicion that it contains spammy elements. A healthy website produces nofollow links naturally in time. You can also these links to stay away from the association with spammy sites, while also offering valuable information to your readers on your website page.
Moreover, you can use nofollow links for sponsorship activities. In general, some of the most significant websites receive money for creating dofollow links and rank on higher places on search engines. However, when they are not paid for creating a backlink, then they shift immediately to nofollow links. Thus, they don’t generate any link juice without compensation.
While it is evident that dofollow links increase traffic, not many know that nofollow links can also do the same. Let’s take a simple example to understand the idea better. For example, you can choose to create a nofollow link on Entrepreneur.com, which is known to have only a few dofollow links. On the other hand, this website has a very well-developed audience who follows and reads their posts daily. Therefore, it becomes almost impossible not to have people reading the posts containing your backlink. As people are curious human beings, they will surely visit your page to see what type of content you produce and how you can solve their needs.
Second-tier nofollow links can also bring traffic to your website. These are the links that don’t lead directly to your site but to a different page that contains nofollow links from your page. Even though the chances of bringing people to your people are smaller, this strategy can still bring visitors to your website.
Do You Know How To Create Nofollow And Dofollow?
If you want to increase your website’s visibility, then you should create high-quality, dofollow links. There are many methods that you can try to create valuable dofollow links. For example, you can search for mentions of your brand in the content from other websites. You can contact the author directly and ask him whether he would want to create a dofollow backlink to your site. In most cases, website owners accept the opportunity, especially when the mention in the content is a positive one.
You can also use some tools available online to search for the backlinks that your competitors have. Once you discover their backlinks, you might find that your content is way better than that of your competitor. Therefore, you can contact the website administrator and ask him to turn the competition’s dofollow link into a nofollow one. You can also discover articles, including lists on various services. If you are also providing those services, you can ask the website to add your brand in the list as well and create a backlink. This is a strategy that doesn’t have success all the time, but it is worth trying. After all, any backlink created represents one step forward to increasing your popularity status.
On the other hand, link building is not a very easy activity. Once you have created a successful backlink, this doesn’t mean that you will be ranked first in search engines for the rest of your life. Google is permanently changing its SEO algorithms. So, what might be very popular today might lose its credibility tomorrow. Thus, the best strategy is to stay updated with the trends and create engaging content that will make people link to it naturally. If your content is valuable for your target audience, then search engines won’t have other options than to pick up your link and rank it according to its popularity.
How Does Google Treat Nofollow And Dofollow Links?
When Google decided to introduce the nofollow attribute, its primary purpose was to prevent spammy content. From a simple recommendation, it immediately turned into Google’s method to identify and flag sponsored links or advertised content. There have been many changes since this method was first introduced in 2005. So, Google felt the need to make changes in its nofollow strategy and comes with various recommendations. Below you can find what Google is recommending in terms of nofollow policy:
- The sponsored attribute, identified by rel = “sponsored,” is used to identify those links which are part of an advertisement or sponsorship campaign. This attribute should also be used when you create content as part of a compensation agreement.
- You should use the UGC attribute in the cases when you are creating user-generated content. For example, you should develop such links for comments and forum posts.
- If you want to create nofollow links, then you should do it for the case when you created the content without expecting any type of endorsement.
- Google will continue to consider nofollow attributes as “hints” to identify whether it should ignore them for rankings.
- For the time being, Google will continue to ignore nofollow links and not consider them for crawling and indexing. Starting with the 1st of March 2020, Google changes its behavior and will begin to find nofollow links as “hints,” which means that it can choose to consider it for crawling purposes.
- There is no restriction against combining attributes between each other.
- If you want to create a link in a paid partnership, then you should choose either the nofollow or the sponsored attribute. You can even combine them and make the link more powerful. However, if you make the mistake of selecting only the user-generated content attribute, then you risk receiving a severe penalty.
- If they decide to change or not change anything about their nofollow attributes, publishers won’t receive any punishment or incentive from Google.
- A publisher who thinks of using nofollow for crawling control should better think to reconsider his strategy as now it won’t be the case.
Should You Do Anything About Your Current Nofollows?
Google doesn’t urge publishers to make any changes in their current nofollow links as long as they use them correctly. For instance, if you use them to block sponsored links, then you shouldn’t make any change. So, before making any change, it is better to judge correctly why you used the nofollow links. Did you do it because you wanted to confirm a page that you linked to? Then there is nothing you should do about it as Google will continue to support it.
Are You Allowed To Combine The Unfollow Attributes?
Google is perfectly fine with it. For example, if you combine the sponsored attribute with the UGC one, then it means that you produced a user-generated content that is also sponsored. The same rule applies if you combine the unfollow attribute with any of the other two.
Moreover, if you have used nofollow to flag sponsored links, you should do anything about them. Google supports this method as your effort to prevent any penalties. However, you should acknowledge Google’s new rules for your future content and use the sponsored attribute when it’s the case.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t worry too much if you use the wrong attribute on a link. Actually, there’s no such thing as an incorrect attribute. For example, if you use the sponsored attribute for a UGC link, it will still be identified as a hint. The maximum impact which might appear is that the respective link won’t be classified as a contribution for another page. There might be an issue if you do the confusion in the opposite way. So, if you use the UGC attribute for a link that is clearly an ad or sponsorship, then you might get into trouble. In this case, you should use the sponsored attribute. The nofollow one is also accepted.
All the changes mentioned above will start to take effect beginning with the 1st of March 2020. You should pay great attention to sponsored posts as you risk penalties. Google recommends website administrators to use either sponsored or nofollow attributes when they are creating sponsored or paid links. Even though it is easy to confuse them with UGC, you should use this attribute only for user-generated content. Google made all these changes to clarify concepts as much as possible and help publishers make the correct changes in their links.