Do NoFollow Links Help SEO?

July 11th, 2012 by | Print

nofollow links, dofollow links

You want a popular website, right? A place where your ideal customers come to learn more about your business, make buying decisions, and refer their friends to? And in some cases, a site that incentivizes them to visit your brick and mortar business, if you have one. For them to find your site, you need to elevate your visibility organically and/or through paid services. Links to your site play a big role.

There are “nofollow” links and “dofollow” links. Some SEO consultants will tell you that nofollow links are a waste of time. I disagree.


What’s the difference in the types of links?

Nofollow links are typically found as links included in the comments on blog post and in forum signatures, as well as links coming back from sites like Wikipedia and Pinterest. Dofollow links are often those include in the body of articles or blog posts on sites. In the case of dofollow links, the referring site lends its credibility to the site they link to. Nofollow links don’t. In basic terms, this means if a highly reputable site links to your site in an article, on a page of their site, or in a blog post, the credibility of their site lends credibility to yours. Google sees that, and they rank your site higher organically. Conversely, if less-than-reputable sites link to your site, their bad mojo rubs off on you.


Why shouldn’t you focus on dofollow links only?

Yes, it’s great if the New York Times writes a review of your business and links through to your site. Google likes to see that. And they like to see government sites (.gov) and universities (.edu) linking to you, as well. These are considered highly reputable sites. And if they show they value what you have to offer by linking to you, Google considers this to be a vote of credibility.

So are nofollow links a waste of time? In some cases, yes. But not in all case. Like I mentioned at the beginning, links play a big role in SEO. And SEO isn’t just about making the search engine spiders happy.


What is SEO really?

There are a large number of variables that impact your site’s organic ranking on the search engines. According to Google, there are about 200 on-the-page and off-the-page optimization criteria that affect your site’s ranking, both positively and negatively. Not all carry the same weight. It isn’t just about keywords and title tags … although they both play an important role. However, if this has been your focus, you need to widen your gaze. SEO is also about getting people to your site, where they spend time, read a number of pages, and take action. The algorithms like to see this. And as mentioned earlier, linking from the right sites that have dofollow links lend credibility in the eyes of the search engines. However, nofollow links have their place, too.

Let’s put it this way, if you were to leave a valuable comment on a blog that has a large following of your target audience, and a high percentage of their readers clicked through on your link back to your site, and increasing the targeted traffic to your site, wouldn’t that be a good thing? It might not get the extra PageRank love from Google because of the nofollow nature of the link, but at the same time Google does see other SEO benefits of having this increase in traffic. Would you sacrifice this quality traffic just because it was coming through a nofollow link? Of course not.

If you are struggling to gain visibility and credibility leading to better profitability online, leave your questions in the comment section or contact us for help with your SEO strategy.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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