Understanding Nofollow Links

By 04/16/2019 April 20th, 2019 SEO

In today’s digital world, your website ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) depends heavily on your site’s external and internal linking. By correctly implementing relevant, dignified internal links and appropriately tagging them as follow links or nofollow links, your business can leverage your website’s link equity and PageRank to create an influx of valuable traffic for your brand. Accordingly, nofollow links play a crucial part in your digital content strategy as they have a significant impact on your website’s value. Read on to learn everything you need to know about nofollow links.

Nofollow and Follow Links: What’s the Difference?

Follow links are hyperlinks that are followed by search engines during a crawl, which scores and supports the transfer of link equity from website to website. These are the types of links that facilitate a boost in search engine optimization (SEO) value of the linked-to sites.

Links with the rel=”nofollow” HTML tag are known as “nofollow links.” A nofollow link is a hyperlink that does not count as a point in terms of link equity or PageRank. The nofollow tag intentionally tells search engines not to crawl the linked-to site and proves integral to the success and prosperity of your brand’s website.

History of Nofollow Links

Google was the first to introduce the nofollow concept to the digital world, and other search engines soon followed. Nofollow tags were developed to limit or completely restrict the credit given to paid links or comment spam in public areas, such as blog comment sections or referrer lists. Search engines reward links that are earned by compelling, all-original content.

At the time, this meant that if a page on your website had 30 links and 15 of them were nofollowed, then the remaining 15 follow links would receive two PageRank link points each. Web developers began to take advantage of this concept, and it became known as “PageRank sculpting.” PageRank sculpting enabled digital architects to nofollow links to unimportant pages and “juice up” whatever other internal pages they desired.

Today, however, Google and other search engines divide PageRank link points equally amongst all links on a page, whether they are follow or nofollow links. Search engines have also outlawed paid links that pass PageRank, as the guidelines deem the buying and selling of followed paid links as violations. Together, these two actions have leveled the playing field concerning hyperlinking integrity.

How Nofollow Links Affect SEO

Maximize Crawl Budget Results
In terms of SEO, utilizing the rel=”nofollow” tag is simple but critical to your internal linking efficiency. Nofollow links enable your business to dictate which links search engines crawl and which ones they don’t, which is an ability that helps to effectively capitalize on your website’s crawl budget. With properly allocated follow and nofollow links, search engines will spend the majority of your brand’s crawl budget on the most important pages. The best SEO specialists understand how a search engine crawl transpires and prioritizes your website’s internal linking methods accordingly to optimize your business’s crawl budget results.

Diversify Your Linking Strategy
A website should never unanimously consist of followed links. A website inevitably receives nofollow backlinks, especially because social media, press releases, Wikipedia, forums, and many other public domains automatically assign nofollow tags to their links. If your brand’s website has a suspiciously high percentage of followed links, search engines and your competitors will notice. An experienced digital marketing agency knows how to efficiently manage your follow and nofollow links to achieve an ideal link balance and diversification and maintain credibility in the eyes of search engines and your industry.

Generate Valuable Traffic
Though nofollow links don’t directly transfer link points and equity, they still provide visibility to the linked-to website. More publicity for your business’s website is never a bad thing. When users visit your site pages, your brand’s web content should captivate and entice them to take an action, such as buying a product or sharing a webpage. In this capacity, nofollow links can indirectly impact SEO and ROI by driving more traffic to your business’s website. The best digital marketing agencies implement a robust, organic linking strategy to generate consistent and genuine interest while boosting your website’s SEO value.

Looking to improve your website’s visibility on SERPs? Bearpaw Partners is a digital marketing agency in the Atlanta area that specializes in SEO and creative content. We work with you to enhance your website’s structure and ranking to give your business an unbeatable digital presence. Let’s work together!