Dofollow Backlinks

Dofollow Backlinks Vs Nofollow

Dofollow backlinks from external sites pointing to ours are generally good for your SEO efforts. I'm going to explain the difference between dofollow vs nofollow, because this really confuses my students when they first learn about this linking practice.

Before we go too far into this, when we talk about dofollow versus nofollow, there's only one command that makes the difference for the link. We only have the nofollow command; otherwise the link is a dofollow link. You can see it in the source code of any web page. The nofollow command looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.somesite.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Some Anchor Text</a>

And just so you know, the standard dofollow link looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.awebsite.com/”>Some Link Text</a>

The Meaning of Dofollow Backlinks Vs. Nofollow

Here's what these terms mean for linking/SEO purposes: Dofollow - If a link a page is "dofollow," this means that some - SOME - of the Google love (ranking, link juice) FOLLOWS the link to page it's pointing to. The receiving page gets some of the link love from Google from the page that is linking to them. The search engine crawlers do this when they encounter the link. They've been programmed to assign a certain amount (how much, we don't know; Google won't tell us) of link juice to the page that's the recipient of the link.

dofollow backlinks for SEO

Obviously, this is a good thing if we get a link from a great site that's authoritative and relevant to our site's page that's getting the link traffic. But suppose this page has several, or a dozen links that are automatically dofollow - does that page lose all of the ranking love it gets from Google? Most likely not, but yes, it'll be diminished over time. Any webmaster or SEO pro who is maintaining a site really doesn't want to lose Google love, do they? Can you blame them if they want to keep as much link juice as possible? If you were in their shoes, wouldn't you feel the same way? Sure you would - you know it.

So, you can think of the nofollow as a compromise. The nofollow command means NONE of the Google ranking love/link juice is FOLLOWING the link to your page. It's NOT FOLLOWING.

Are No Dofollow Backlinks Bad?

Does this mean you should never have nofollow links, or that your SEO efforts are screwed if you have nofollow links? Not at all. Google expects this kind of behavior from webmasters and SEOers, so they consider having nofollow links as part of your inbound backlink profile as normal. So relax, its OK.

The nofollow command tells the search engine crawlers to keep all of the Google love and link juice on the page that has the nofollow link. They know this, and act accordingly for indexing and ranking purposes.

By the way, human web readers never see these commands. They're in the source code. Humans can still click on these links and go the new site or page. That's OK; you want targeted traffic to come to your site. Once they land on your pages, your job is to keep them there with very useful content to persuade them to take the action you want for conversion purposes.

Social media sites and knowledge repositories typically have the nofollow command for all the links on their sites. Wikipedia is an example of a knowledge site.

Many bloggers also automatically tag any links you put in comments on their posts as nofollow as well, because they also understand the value of having all of their posts rank as well as possible.

If you'd like to learn a lot more about SEO link building practices, as well as keyword research, troubleshooting web site ranking issues and more, let's set up an SEO training course for you.

Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!

All the very best to you,

Nancy McDonald

Image courtesy of Flickr

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