What Is Nofollow Link?

Nofollow links are the polar opposite of dofollow links, as they bear the “nofollow” attribute. This attribute serves as a directive to search engines, signaling that the link should not be followed or considered when determining the ranking of the linked page.

Unlike dofollow links, which enhance the linked website’s ranking by transmitting precious link equity, nofollow links play a different role in the realm of digital connectivity.

Nofollow links usually looks like this in page’s HTML source code :

Nofollow Link HTML Example

Nofollow Link Example

Visually, a nofollow link appears indistinguishable from its dofollow counterpart. Here’s an example of what it looks like in HTML:

<a href="https://example.com" rel="nofollow">Example Website</a>

Despite the absence of any explicit “nofollow” label in the anchor text, the “rel=nofollow” attribute is the silent sentinel that guides search engines.

Importance Of Nofollow Links

Nofollow links, unlike their dofollow links, do not contribute to the passage of link juice. They remain neutral in the realm of link equity, making them a key player in maintaining a balanced backlink profile.

While they don’t bolster search engine rankings, nofollow links are not without merit. They are valuable for driving referral traffic and ensuring a diverse link profile, which is an integral aspect of SEO strategy.

Nofollow Link vs. Dofollow Link

The difference between nofollow and dofollow links hinges on how search engine spiders treat them.

Dofollow links are the emissaries of link equity, directly influencing the rankings of the pages they link to by bestowing some of their source page’s authority.

In contrast, nofollow links carry a “hands-off” directive for search bots. They march to a different drumbeat, serving the purpose of referral traffic generation while remaining inconspicuous in the eyes of search engines, which pay them little mind when determining search rankings.

When Should Nofollow Links Be Used?

Here are some strategic scenarios where deploying nofollow links is advisable:

  1. User-generated content: When you allow users to contribute content, using nofollow links can be a protective measure to prevent spam and maintain control over your site’s link profile.
  2. Sponsored content: Any paid promotions or advertisements should employ nofollow links to adhere to search engine guidelines and avoid potential penalties.
  3. Untrusted or unverified sources: When linking to websites with questionable credibility, it’s wise to employ the nofollow attribute as a safeguard.
  4. Comments and forums: To thwart potential spammy comments or forum posts, nofollow links can be used to minimize their impact on your site’s SEO.

In sum, understanding the nuances of nofollow links is essential for maintaining a balanced and effective SEO strategy, ensuring both link equity distribution and the preservation of site integrity.

What Is a Dofollow Link?

Dofollow Links are links with no “nofollow”, “UGC” or “Sponsored” attribute which is the default status of the link created. When you create any hyperlink, its default attribute is Dofollow, dofollow Links called this because search engines follow those links to transfer link equity to the linked page.

Which in return enhances the ranking for the linked website, as it received a dofollow link. Which normally looks like this : 

Dofollow Link Example

As you can see in the image above there is no actual attribute called “Dofollow”, but SEOs used to call these types of link “Dofollow”, as search engines follow these links.

Which is not the case if there is a site-wide “Nofollow” tag installed on the whole website. In that case, the site-wide nofollow tag will overwrite the dofollow attribute.

Why Are Dofollow Links Important?

Dofollow are important because they are followed by search crawlers, and accordingly helps search engines to discover more of your content. 

And also, dofollow links as abovementioned they pass link equity or link juice to the linked page. Meanwhile, nofollow links do not pass link juice, but nofollow links are important for balancing your backlinks profile and also drives referral traffic.

Dofollow Link Examples

Most of the dofollow links usually look like this while inspecting the page source and checking its HTML.

<a href="https://dbrandria.com">Digital Brandria</a>

As you can see above in this HTML example for the dofollow link, there is no attribute called Dofollow as we mentioned earlier. Because, this is the default state for any link, unless nofollow, UGC or sponsored attributes were placed.

Dofollow Vs Nofollow Links

The main difference between dofollow and nofollow links comes down to how search engine crawlers treat them.

Dofollow links pass on link equity to the site being linked to. This means they directly influence search rankings by lending the target page some of the authority of the source page.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search bots not to follow the link and ignore it for SEO purposes. While still useful for driving referral traffic, nofollow links don’t impact rankings.

When To Use Dofollow Links?

Here are some recommendations on when dofollow links should be used:

  • For links within your own site linking internal pages together
  • For backlinks from authoritative, relevant external sites to gain equity
  • On guest posts and resource links that cite your site as a quality reference
  • Anywhere you want to pass authority and increase search visibility