NoFollow Links : SEO basics

Are you looking to learn about NoFollow Links? Here’s an in-depth guide about NoFollow links that you can use to improve your SEO strategy.

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for search engine optimization. However, not all backlinks are equal. In fact, there are many different types of backlinks such as nofollow, dofollow, noindex, doindex, meta robots and so on. Today, we’ll be looking at NoFollow Links in more detail, and also understand the difference between nofollow links and dofollow links.


What are Nofollow Links?

Nofollow is an HTML attribute for anchor links that tells search engine bots not to use it to influence the search engine rankings of the link’s target website. Here’s an example of nofollow link:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Test Website</a>

The above link will tell the search engine bots not to use this link to influence the search engine rankings of “Test Website”


Bonus Read: How to Build Backlinks to your website and 10 Best Link Building Tools for SEO


When to use Nofollow Links?

Nofollow links are basically used to cut down on search spam. For example, you’ll find that blog comments, social media posts and forum answers are notorious for having a high number of low quality outgoing links to other sites. This reduces the domain authority of those blogs, sites & forums and results in a lot of spammy backlinks to other websites. So they used to end up losing search rankings simply because they were allowing low quality outgoing links on their site. Eventually, Google introduced the concept of Nofollow links in 2005 as it realized that too many websites were using black hat SEO techniques to obtain backlinks. Now a days, if you include a backlink in blog comments, you’ll find it to be a nofollow link. So if you run a blog, forum or any other website that allows user generated content, ensure that the links in them are nofollow links. Otherwise, your site may be penalized for low quality outgoing links.


Bonus Read : 9 Best XML Sitemap Generator that you can use to create XML/HTML Sitemaps for your website.


How to Find Nofollow links to your website?

There are plenty of free nofollow link checker tools available online that you can use to check nofollow links to your website. For example, you can use nofollow link checkers by Varvy SEO Tool, Search Engine Genie, or you can use SEO Backlink Checker tools that will provide a detailed backlink profile for your website, with tons of useful information count of both nofollow and dofollow links, top referring domains and more.


What is the difference between NoFollow & DoFollow links?

Nofollow link attribute instructs the search engine bots to exclude the link from search engine ranking calculations. In other words, nofollow links don’t pass any SEO value (link juice) to their target websites. However, users can still click nofollow links to visit their target websites. So nofollow links are great for driving referral traffic to your website, but they won’t impact your SEO efforts. In other words, just because blog comments and forum posts allow only nofollow links, you shouldn’t stop promoting your website at those places. These links can drive a lot of high quality referral traffic to your website, if you place them properly at relevant websites.

On the other hand, dofollow links instruct search engine bots to be included in search engine rank calculations. In other words, dofollow links DO pass SEO value (link juice) to their target websites. Dofollow links to your website are counted as proper backlinks that can positively impact your SEO efforts. Dofollow links also allow users to click and visit their target websites. So dofollow links are great for both improving your website’s search ranking, as well as driving referral traffic to your website. That’s why, it’s so hard to get dofollow links in the first place. Here’s an example of a dofollow link:

<a href=”” >Test Website</a>

Notice how the rel=”nofollow” attribute is missing in a dofollow link. By default, all hyperlinks are dofollow and you don’t need to anything special to make them dofollow links. Please note, you don’t even need to add rel=”dofollow” for dofollow links.


Bonus Read: Best Online Backlink Checker Tools for SEO and Top SEO Audit Tools for Website & Blogs


What are the types of Nofollow links?

There are 2 ways you can add nofollow links to a page.

  1. Using robots meta tag : You can add a single robots meta tag on your page to tell the search engine bots/crawlers/spiders that all links on that page are to be counted as nofollow links. This way, you don’t need to individually add rel=”nofollow” attribute to each link. Here’s an example,
    <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />
  2. Using link attribute : As mentioned earlier, you can also make individual links as nofollow by adding the rel=”nofollow” attribute to them. This is useful if you only want some of the links on your page to be nofollow links. Here’s an example:
    <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Test Website</a>


You can also read our list of Best SEO Checker Tools for SEO Analysis & Audit of your website



Nofollow links are a great way to tell search engine bots which links should be excluded from search engine ranking calculations. It enables site owners and webmasters to keep their website spam-free and maintain high quality outgoing links on them. So, if you run a blog, forum or a website, ensure that the links placed in blog comments and forum answers have the nofollow attribute, and also keep any affiliate links on your site as nofollow links. From an SEO perspective, nofollow backlinks are not really helpful in boosting search ranking of your website. However, you can always get quality referral traffic if you get nofollow links from highly relevant websites and blogs.


You can also check out our other SEO guides such as:

  1. What is URL Canonicalization in SEO
  2. How to Create an SEO-Friendly URL Structure for your website?


Do you have tips & best practices for nofollow links?


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