Building links is an important part of SEO (search engine optimization). Some of the links created are called Nofollow links.
You may wonder – what is a nofollow link, and why is it important? Are they really needed if they do not offer link equity? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
NoFollow Links Defined
Nofollow tags were initially introduced in 2005 by Google. The goal was to help reduce webspam. Nofollow is a tag that can be added to links on a website. The tag lets Google (and other search engines) know that no link equity should be given to the pages linked to.
Common uses for Nofollow tags are for user-generated content, such as forum links and blog comments. Today, social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more, use the nofollow tags on links people put on their posts.
The Appearance of NoFollow Tags
To create a nofollow tag, use “rel=”nofollow””. You can also find plugins to find and insert these.
The Reasons to Use NoFollow Tags
Google has stated it is best to use nofollow tags for things like user-generated content or sponsored links on websites. These tags help ensure Google does not penalize your page for linking to unsavory websites. Most spammers will always work to find a way to link back to their website to try to “game” the search engine’s algorithm.
Because of the nature of sponsored links and the use of user-generated content, it makes sense that Google does not want to attach any link value to them. A sponsored link is an ad. This means they should not help with organic rankings. This would be a pay-to-play situation. It would also mean that the highest bidder would receive the highest ranking. This would not be good for the reputation of being the “best search engine”.
Also, it would be impossible to manage user-generated content spam. Spammers can dynamically have thousands of posts to different social sites with all types of links going back to their website – this would result in the platforms being heavily abused.
Checking for NoFollow Links
There are two methods you can use to check for nofollow links. One is to use a tool, which there are several available online, to highlight all the nofollow links on a set web page. This makes it easier for you to see what is and is not a nofollow link.
Another option is to view the source of the page you are on with Ctrl + U and then find anchor text for the link searching for. Once it is found, see if it has the “rel=nofollow” tag next to the link.
Building Your Website and Using NoFollow Links
If you are having a website built, or if you want to add nofollow links to your site, consider hiring professionals. They can help ensure the nofollow links are used properly and in the appropriate places. This will help you boost your SEO and make sure Google is “happy.”