Nofollow is a HTML attribute that instructs Google crawlers not to follow a hyperlink. It first made an appearance in 2005 and was created with the intention of combating comment spamming.
There’s a pretty easy way for websites to check if a link is nofollow or dofollow. All you need to do is right click on the browser and ‘View page source’, and then review the page HTML. If the link is tagged with rel=”nofollow” attribute, it is a nofollow link. Simple!
Google crawlers use links to navigate a website in order to determine the trustworthiness and reliability.
In the past, users and websites attacked other websites with spam links which undermined website authority, and lowered ranking in SERPs which meant less website traffic. This was a problem.
Implementing the nofollow tag enabled a website to maintain it’s ranking even if it was hit with spammy links.
There are also other uses for the nofollow tag, as you’ll see below.
Websites should use nofollow links in a few different situations:
There are a number of reasons why using the nofollow tag can be useful, including:
While it may not boost your ranking in SERPs, nofollow tags still generate traffic and create engagement with your website.
More traffic to your website will have a knock-on effect too because popularity positively affects crawl budget.
Nofollow links are a natural component of owning a website, whereas having exclusively dofollow links will raise eyebrows from Google. It all about maintaining an equilibrium.
A mix of nofollow and dofollow will reassure Google that you are a legitimate website.
Nofollow links can still help you to build up a network of supporters. The more brand visibility there is online, the more exposure and traffic.
Social media users, for example, may post links from their accounts which are seen by fellow users who click from Facebook or Twitter.
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