Understanding the Value of ‘NoFollow’ Links and Your SEO Marketing

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Understanding the Value of ‘NoFollow’ Links and Your SEO Marketing

Nowadays even the very new digital marketer will be able to tell you that your Link Profile (aka back-links, link building) is one of the three major SEO components. What that might not be able to tell you about with quite the same accuracy, is what the value of your links are. Including the pronounced difference, between ‘nofollow’ and ‘dofollow’ link types.

So, let’s get the basics covered from a very entry level standpoint by explaining that ‘back-links’ are web links between to domains. This is a one-way trip, so from one web domain to the other. Let’s also for the sake of argument assume that all links are ‘dofollow’ links. I say this because essentially this was the case in the early days of the search engine break through, all links were considered to transfer SEO authority (more on this later). In fact, you’ll almost never hear the term ‘dofollow’ link, outside of a discussion like this. But you will often hear about ‘nofollow’.

So, if we assume at first all links are ‘do’follow’, then what is a ‘nofollow’? You’re still following me right? 😉

When search engines and SEO came to light, it was obvious that links were a prominent way to boost your search engine rankings by obtaining as many as possible from varied sourced. At this time aside from mass link buying and farming, a popular technique was to bombard forums and blog comments with anchor text links to your website in order to generate a new link. These things popped up everywhere and search engines like Google dubbed certain types of coded links to automatically qualify as ‘nofollow’.

The term ‘nofollow’ comes from the notion that if a link has a ‘nofollow’ tag against it, a search engine crawler would quite literally not follow the link to arrive at the referred website. Thus, the link was essentially void and didn’t count. It certainly wouldn’t pass on the sought-after link equity SEO marketers crave.

This is still the case today all though in addition, webmasters have the ability to set almost any link to ‘nofollow’ if desired. It is also common for ‘nofollow’ to be set as default on various platforms.

Where you can typically find 'nofollow' links

Nofollow links are typically found anywhere that the insertion of a link is easily achieved. As per our previous example of users posting links within comments on a forum or blog site.

Other typical examples can be found all over social media platforms in which bio’s and your own account stream are controlled entirely by the user and thus anyone can link to anything as much as they link. This goes for all major platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

The same goes for any article comments sections even those hosted by major tabloid newspapers etc.

Likewise is the case for virtually any site or platform which allows you to easily submit your own content eg. Reddit & of course You Tube alongside your video uploads. Let alone the following comment sections.

The basic principle is that not all links are equal. The ‘nofollow’ link type has considerably less ability, if any, to transfer credibility and almost no stand alone value in increasing your rankings on search engines. This makes monitoring your link profile closely an important part of your approach to SEO for your site. It may be that you have thousands of links, making it seem like you have a positive and growing link profile. And in theory you do, but just how significant is it? What percentage of those links are ‘nofollow’?

For those of you who are considering a link building campaign in which you set out to actively generate more new links for your site, ‘nofollow’ links will not be your focus. You need to look at methods to earn genuine links from ideally high authority sites that are linked to your industry or your products and services in order for them to have an notable value to your campaign.

And don’t even get me started on the rest right now, including context, anchor text and domain authority. We’ll cover those in a separate blog I think!

By | 2018-08-13T01:37:38+00:00 August 13th, 2018|Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO|0 Comments

About the Author:

Chris is the primary founder and director of The Fiit Agency as well as an 11 year marketing and health & fitness veteran. He is a qualified level 4 trainer with additional coaching qualifications in strength & conditioning as well as complimentary nutritional studies. While Chris remains the main author for our own blog, he is also a regular contributor to a number of digital marketing, business growth and health & fitness blogs, websites and other key industry media.

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