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Understanding the Value of Links: Nofollow vs. Dofollow

In the world of SEO there is a lot of terminology that you need to know in order to successfully rank your pages for search. In this post, we will discuss the value of Nofollow and Dofollow links, what you need to know about them to effectively use them, and the difference between them.

Getting Started with Links

If another site links to one of your pages, it helps your SEO. As an illustration, for every link pointing visitors to your page, you get a point and the more points you get the better SEO ranking you’ll receive.

Dofollow links increase the SEO ranking for the page being linked to. Nofollow links do not affect the SEO ranking of the page (except for some circumstances – see the note on the bottom of the Nofollow Links section).

Nofollow Links

When a link incorporates the nofollow HTML attribute, search engines are notified that this link should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.

That means that search engine bots will not follow a nofollow link but a human user can. If someone has linked to your page using a nofollow link that means you will not get any SEO benefit from that link since the search engine bot will not follow it.

Nofollow Link Example:

<a href=”http://www.example.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Example</a>

*NOTE: In a recent update, Google has said that it still counts Nofollow links as a distribution of page rank from your page.

Dofollow Links

Your standard dofollow hyperlink allow search engine bot’s like Google’s to reach the page that is being linked to. This means that these links do increase SEO for the pages that the outbound link leads to.

When another webpage links to your site with a Dofollow link, that means both humans and search engine bots can visit you. To give the page you’re linking to even better SEO power, use a keyword in the anchor text.

Dofollow Link Example:

<a href=”http://www.example.com/”>Example</a>

The Value of These Links

Since pages like Wikipedia and WordPress have started automatically using nofollow links in their references and comments respectively, link spamming online has drastically decreased. By using a nofollow link, people are less likely to try to build links unethically.

Although the online world would prefer if everyone played by the rules and tried to do things respectfully, the nofollow attribute has done wonders to reduce spammers.

So if you want your site’s SEO to improve don’t get Nofollow links, you need legitimate Dofollow links driving traffic to your page.