Nofollow Attribute

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Nofollow Attribute

What Is Nofollow?

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.

How to Check If a Link Is Nofollow or Dofollow?

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!

screenshot html - nofollow attriute

Why Is Nofollow Important?

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.

When Might You Use Nofollow?

Websites should use nofollow links in a few different situations:

  • As mentioned above, nofollow tags can prevent websites from feeling the effect of commenters posting harmful or spammy links to your website
  • It’s a good way of preventing duplicated content from appearing in SERPs
  • You may have a page with seemingly irrelevant content to your website that is completely legitimate with valuable links and references. Google crawlers could misinterpret this as a form of link building. Using a nofollow means you avoid penalisation
  • Using nofollow allows you to separate yourself from websites that you don’t want to be grouped with
  • If you have been lucky enough to secure sponsored content on your website, you should use the nofollow tag here

The Benefits of Using Nofollow

There are a number of reasons why using the nofollow tag can be useful, including:

1. They Increase Traffic

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.

2. They Mix Up Your Link Profile 

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.

3. They Boost Your Brand Image and Awareness

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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