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Understand Dofollow and Nofollow Links And How To Use Them

One question I get a lot and one that I see always being asked is in relation to DoFollow and NoFollow links. Some of the answers I have seen people give for those questions were totally misleading and incorrect. So my main goal here is to leave you knowing exactly what DoFollow and NoFollow links are used for, how to use them and the difference between them.

I’ll start off by describing DoFollow Links and NoFollow links individually and explaining the use of each one.

DoFollow Link

A link is determined to be either a DoFollow or NoFollow by the rel tag added to the link (I’ll explain exactly how to use NoFollow/DoFollow later). If the link does not have the “rel” tag then it is automatically set to be a DoFollow. When a link is placed anywhere on the internet (Website, blog, forum, YouTube, etc) it will pass some of the link popularity of the page/site where the link is located to the website it is pointing too.

Before there was the DoFollow/NoFollow tag every link anywhere would pass this link popularity. As you can imagine this caused a lot of spammers trying to post links everywhere in order to get a higher page ranking. Spammers would spam comment every blog, forum, anywhere they could comment. This was making it harder for Search Engines to determine which links where genuine and which ones should be given value.

NoFollow Link

NoFollow links where introduced to solve the problem mentioned above. To stop spammers gaining value from links that where just spam and should not have been adding value to the websites they where pointing to, the NoFollow tag was born. Now most links that are posted in forums, blogs, basically anywhere you can comment are tagged with NoFollow.

The NoFollow tag is used to tell Search Engines not to pass any link value to the website it is pointing too. So this means that spamming your link all over forums and blogs will not add any value what so ever to the ranking of the website it is pointing too. The only benefit is that having your link on those pages could possible receive some clicks from visitors which would give you some extra traffic.

You can also use NoFollow links if you want to link somewhere from your website but not pass any “credit” over to the website your linking too. However as you may know the internet basically runs on links and Search Engine rankings depend a lot on DoFollow links which are now most valuable when actually used by webmasters within content on their website.

How To Use A NoFollow/DoFollow Link

Adding the NoFollow tag to one of your links is pretty easy and to make a link DoFollow you can simply ignore this tag and the link will naturally be a DoFollow. So below I will show you what a normal link looks like;

<a href=”LinkURL”>Anchor Text (link text)</a>

So above is the normal way to make a link and it would pass link popularity (often called link juice) to the website it is linking too. Now let’s make this same link a NoFollow link so that no link juice is passed. Below is how you make a link NoFollow;

<a href=”LinkURL” rel=”nofollow”>Anchor Text (link text)</a>

When Should You Use DoFollow Links

DoFollow links are very important and you should use them. If you are running a website and you link to another site because you want your visitors to see that page because it has some value in some way then you should use a DoFollow link. This will show search engines that the page you are linking to does have some value for people interested in the topic of your website. This will help search engines rank the better quality websites above those that try to get spam links.

DoFollow Links Don’t Hurt

Some people slam the NoFollow Tag onto every link leaving their website because they heard that if you use a DoFollow link you are passing away some of your link juice. This is totally wrong, search engines do not punish you for linking to a website with a DoFollow link, they actually prefer that because it helps them rank websites better. It has also been said that linking to a quality website with a DoFollow link can actually help your own search engine rankings. So don’t use a NoFollow link when you link to a website you think deserves it.