As we all know, follow links or inbound links as they’re most commonly known are a great way to boost ranking on search engines. Each time you gain an additional inbound link, this is recognised in the Google algorithm, slowly increasing your position up the rankings. If those links are found in larger and reputable sites, then even better for your link building SEO.
The same can’t be said for nofollow links. These are not considered by search engines as a ranking factor and won’t help with the placement in the SERPs. As the name would suggest, these are created with a nofollow link HTML tag. As an example, it may look something like this:
<a href=http://www.examplewebsite.com/ rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>
This tag acts as a reference for the search engines, letting them know not to consider their value as a ranking factor.
Why use nofollow links
By this point, you’re probably questioning the purpose of the nofollow link. Despite not offering any page ranking benefits, there are plenty of reasons to make use of the nofollow. It still presents a major opportunity for growth of traffic which ultimately increases your visibility on the web.
A well placed link – follow or nofollow – can generate a ton of referral traffic, thus increasing conversions on site. As the search engines evolve and become more adept at disregarding spammy websites, less emphasis is placed on link building. It’s all about brand awareness and creating a sense of trust across all platforms.
Social signals are now highly considered even though it’s a nofollow protocol. By establishing a firm following and being recognised as an industry leader, you’ll reap far more benefits than going after endless follow links.
When to use nofollow links
There are other occasions when a nofollow link should be used. Here’s some of the main areas where they can help out:
Paid links can be a great way to drive traffic and revenue but there’s always a risk of being penalised by Google. Make use of nofollow links to safeguard yourself, ensuring that people who buy links on your site through ads aren’t taking the credit.
Do you have a comment feature on your site which allows users to have their say freely? This lack of moderation can leave you open to link drops. Again, by using nofollow you won’t get in trouble with Google when these users post links in the comments section to gain credit from your site.
Similarly, if you have other users contributing to your site with blog posts and other content, you’ll want to implement the nofollow. Any links that are posted without your permission won’t have an impact on SEO.
Finally, at those times when you’re linking to a site that you don’t wish to endorse it can be useful to use a nofollow. This can be especially handy for those trying to remain impartial where you won’t appear to be favouring the site you’re linking to.
As you can see, there is loads of reasons to include nofollow links in your SEO efforts. Despite their lack of influence on ranking, be sure to implement these as part of your day to day strategy.