Exploring the Debate: Is There Value in Nofollow Links?

Digital marketers have been debating the respective value of nofollow and dofollow links for a long time.


Nofollow links refer to links that have the HTML tag rel=”nofollow” applied to them. The HTML tag tells the search engines to ignore the links and the links do not pass PageRank. Google created nofollow links to prevent spam in blog comments.


Most marketers spend all their time focusing on dofollow links. These links do not include the nofollow tag, so search engines pay attention to them.


Dofollow links improve domain and page authority by passing “link juice.” This provides a powerful SEO boost that helps sites rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).


Marketers get these links in a variety of ways, including guest blogging and creating high-quality content that others link to on their own sites.


While dofollow links are more important, marketers should not totally ignore nofollow links. Nofollow links provide some notable benefits that make them a necessary aspect of a marketer’s link profile.


Let’s look at how you can get nofollow links, the various benefits, and some tips you can use to build your own profile.



Where You’ll Find Nofollow Links


Since the nofollow tag was added to stop spam links on blog posts, it makes sense that marketers can build these links on various blogs, forums, and other user-generated content sites.


The most common places to build these links are:

  • Quora.
  • Forums.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
  • Press releases.
  • YouTube.
  • Reddit.
  • Medium blogs.
  • Paid links.

It’s a good idea to build nofollow links on a variety of sites.



The Benefits of Valuable Nofollow Links


Marketers are often surprised by the number of benefits nofollow links provide. Let’s look at the various benefits.


1. They Drive Traffic


Link building isn’t just done to improve search engine rankings. You also build links to drive traffic to your site, and nofollow links help with that.


For example, high quality Quora responses have been known to be great drivers of traffic. If someone clicks on one these nofollow links, he or she will visit your site and potentially turn into a customer.


2. Google Is Actually Paying More Attention Than You Think



While many believe that Google ignores nofollow links, that’s not entirely true. Regarding nofollow links, Google states, In general, we don’t follow them.”


That means that Google may notice these links more than you think. Adam White of SEOJet decided to find out just how much attention Google pays to these links.


He wanted to rank for “backlink software,” so he purchased a nofollow sidebar link with that phrase on a popular SEO blog. That was the only link with that anchor text pointing to his homepage.


In a matter of a week, his site went from ranking at number 19 for that phrase to number one. That is clear proof that nofollow links offer some indirect link juice.


Survey Monkey also conducted its own case study on nofollow links. The company added a nofollow link to one of its 404 pages. The link was directed at a nonindexed page.


Google should have ignored the nofollow link, but it followed it and indexed the page. Again, this is proof that nofollow links are a benefit to an SEO campaign.


These are just a couple of examples of Google paying attention to nofollow links. It appears that links with a nofollow attribute are followed at least some of the time, meaning in some cases, nofollow links help with page rank.


3. They Can Result in Dofollow Links


Nofollow links often result in dofollow links. Moz provides an excellent example of this. Moz created a post that contained maps explaining the impact of the Comcast buyout of Time-Warner.


The Amazing_Maps Twitter account tweeted the post to its more than 160,000 followers.


The tweet was a nofollow link, but it helped Moz get dofollow links. The Huffington Post picked up the story and other websites followed suit. Soon, Moz had tons of dofollow links, thanks to a very powerful nofollow link.


4. Nofollow Links Help You Maintain a Natural-Looking Link Profile


Some marketers try to build a link profile by only using dofollow links, but that is not natural. A natural link profile contains both dofollow and nofollow links.


A natural link profile is trusted and relevant, and can also stand up to algorithm adjustments made by the search engines.


The question is, what should your link ratio be? That depends on your competitors.


As a general rule, it’s a good idea to follow in the footsteps of your top competitors. Determine their ratio of nofollow to dofollow links and create the same strategy.



How to Make Nofollow Links Work for You


You know that nofollow links are an important part of your linking strategy. Not all nofollow links are created equal, though. You need to find a way to make these links work for you.


1. Write Quality Comments on Relevant Websites


High-quality blog comments will help you build a strong link profile. Look for blogs in your niche and write comments that add value to the post. Provide additional information so people will click on your link to learn more.


A great post can garner a lot of traffic if it’s done well. A mediocre post will get buried and disregarded.


2. Avoid Spammy Sites


Spammy sites should be avoided at all costs. You won’t enjoy the benefits of nofollow links if you use spammy sites.


These sites don’t offer high-quality traffic. Instead, it will look like you are part of the comment spam problem.


3. Give People a Reason to Click


You want to drive lots of traffic with your nofollow links. That means you need to give people a reason to click on the link. Include a CTA of sorts to get people to click on the link and visit your website.



Get Help With Your Link Building Campaign


CNG Digital Marketing has a proven record of success with link building and other SEO strategies.


Let us work on your inbound link building campaign to increase your page rank. We will create nofollow and dofollow links for your campaign so that you can get the best results.


With our help, you can finally move past the competition in the SERPs.


Get in Touch


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