A significant portion of search engine optimization revolves around link building. So it is natural that people try to understand the potential value of nofollow links. When you are out there trying to increase your search engine ranking, links genuinely play a considerable role.
But what does the nofollow tag exactly means, and how does it impact your rankings in google?
The confusion between dofollow and nofollow links began in 2012 when search engines recognized that there were too many poor websites with no value to web surfers, that were ranking incredibly well. Since backlinks were the primary way to get your website on the first page of search engine page results, Google decided to release the Penguin algorithm.
The Penguin algorithm update was imposed to combat many website owners who practiced spammy link building strategies. Today, this is now a core part of their algorithm. They also produce real-time updates so that it can monitor the websites that are following unethical standards when creating links to their site.
If you are wondering what value nofollow links hold, here are five questions and answers to guide you on when and how to use these links.
1. How valuable are nofollow links?
Google does not entirely dismiss nofollow links when these come from authority sites. Although they still help boost your reliability, a dofollow link holds more value concerning search engine optimization. But if you are thinking about using links as a way to put your site in front of your audience, nofollow links are incredibly valuable.
For example, if sites like The Guardian, the New York Times and any other authority sites use a nofollow link to your website, they can potentially offer more organic traffic to your site. And more natural traffic can eventually lead to more dofollow links down the line.
Just remember that if a site that holds no authority uses a nofollow link to your site, this has no value at all. but this is not true of authority sites.
2. Will it still bring traffic?
For some websites, their ultimate goal is to generate business and convert visitors into customers. If you are trying to rank higher in the search engines, then nofollow links will be of no use to you unless they come from authority websites. However, you can still receive traffic from users who clicked these links to check what you can offer to them.
3. When do you use nofollow links?
Many webmasters prefer to get dofollow inbound links because these help transfer some of the “link juice” to their website. However, when you want to follow google’s guidelines by the book, then you have to use nofollow links when you are linking to content or material that you think is not valuable or editorial enough.
For example, when somebody offers a compelling guest post to your site but you do not entirely trust the person who submitted it to you, the safest links to use are nofollow links.
To be more specific, ask yourself the following questions.
- Does the site have poor content?
- Am I receiving a product in exchange for a link?
- Is it an affiliate link so you can earn a commission?
- Am I reviewing a service or product in exchange for a link?
- Is the post a guest submission written by a guest author with a link to their website?
When the answer to the first three questions is YES, then you should use a nofollow link. As for the last question, if your answer is also YES, then you need to use your discretion on this. Guest posting is a hot topic widely debated in SEO circles. But if you genuinely want to be safe, it is wise to use nofollow links.
At the end of the day, nofollow links cannot affect the flow of your page rank unless it comes from big time websites. However, if the link is nofollow but it sends you more customers (which equates to higher traffic, better branding and sales), then it is still a valuable link to acquire.