There are two methods by which a website can link to another website. A dofollow link is used in the first case, and a nofollow link in the second. Although both types of links link from the origin site to the destination site, they communicate two different messages to the search engine.
Let’s talk about the distinctions between nofollow vs dofollow backlinks as well as their uses.
A Nofollow link: what is it?
A link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute in its HTML code is referred to as a nofollow link. Search engines are informed by this attribute not to transfer authority from the linking page to the destination page. Nofollow links, therefore, have very little value from an SEO perspective.
Dofollow links: What are they?
A link that passes the authority is referred to as a “dofollow link,” as opposed to one that doesn’t.
Dofollow Vs nofollow
The presence of the rel=”nofollow” tag is the only technical distinction between a nofollow link and a typical “dofollow” link.
The practical distinction is that nofollow links don’t pass link equity, or “link juice,” as do links that are followed.
With a nofollow backlink, the linking page doesn’t transfer its authority to your page, to put it another way. Your rankings won’t rise, and no PageRank will be transferred.
When ought I to employ nofollow links?
1. Websites you do not want to recommend
There are times when you must simply link to websites that you don’t want to recommend.
2. Advertised links
Google’s policies categorically forbid the practice of buying links.
As a result, you don’t want the website receiving the link to be flagged by Google, but you also shouldn’t be selling links outright on your website.
The only way is to use the rel=”sponsored” nofollow attribute on all sponsored links (rel=”nofollow” will also work, or you can combine the two values as in rel=” sponsored nofollow”).
3. Partner links
Both this and the earlier point are very similar. Even though affiliate links aren’t technically “sponsored links” per se, it’s still a good idea to nofollow them.
4. User-generated material
Any time a visitor can add a link to your website (typically in the form of a comment or a forum post), that link should be automatically followed.
There is a unique characteristic to this situation: rel=”UGC”
Are nofollow links still useful for SEO?
There has always been a heated discussion surrounding the potential effects of nofollow links on rankings.
Does a nofollow link from a relevant Forbes article have the same SEO benefit as one from a spammy comment on an arbitrary website?
We are unsure. But even if nofollow links don’t pass any link equity at all, they still have other unintended advantages.
1) They could give Google a hint.
One interpretation of the data is that Google may choose to “ignore” the nofollow attribute in some circumstances. It might be just for crawling and indexing, or it might be for ranking purposes.
But it’s more likely that they’ll just use them internally to enhance their comprehension of links and the information on the linked pages.
2) They can drive traffic to you.
Recall the case where a nofollow link was present in a relevant Forbes article and a spammy comment.
There is undoubtedly a difference in the traffic potential these two links have, even if there were no differences from the “PageRank” point of view.
A well-placed nofollow link from a pertinent website with lots of visitors can still drive a lot of beneficial traffic to you even if there is no SEO benefit. And increasing traffic is the main goal of SEO.
3) They add variety to your link profile.
There will always be dofollow and nofollow backlinks in a natural link profile. It can appear unnatural to have only dofollow links or too many dofollow links.
You don’t have to actively seek out nofollow links or worry about the dofollow/nofollow ratio, for example (unless you actively build links at scale). There isn’t and never has been an ideal number.
Anyhow, having nofollow backlinks is common and has no negative effects on your website.
There are two ways to identify a link and instruct Google how to connect the website you are linking to with your website: dofollow and nofollow backlinks. A website can gain authority from dofollow links while losing link juice from nofollow links.