It is extremely important for bloggers to understand and utilize nofollow links. By using them properly, you can avoid being penalized by Google, which could have a negative effect of your website’s ranking in search engine results. In this post, I will explain what Nofollow links are, when you should use them, and how to create them.
What is a Nofollow Link
When posting links on your website, those links will essentially be follow or nofollow links. The nofollow tag is a unique attribute that you will add to some of your links in order to tell search engines not to follow or count those links.
When you add the nofollow tag to a link, you are in a sense telling Google, “Don’t pass along any of my good page rank or give any boost to the website that I linked to.”
Without the nofollow tag, the links you post on your site are automatically follow links, which tells search engines that you trust those sites and don’t mind passing them some of your page rank, or what some call, “link juice.”
When Should You Use NoFollow Links
If you are writing great content and linking to relevant websites, the majority of your links are most likely going to be follow. The following are certain times where you should be and/or are required to use nofollow links.
When Linking to Websites You Don’t Trust
When linking to sites that are sketchy, you want to make sure to add the nofollow tag. One thing you don’t want to do is increase the page ranking of bad sites. Using nofollow links will protect you and help you to sustain your good reputation with Google.
Now, I want to be clear that it is perfectly okay to use follow links for good sites. Don’t just make your links nofollow simply because you don’t want to share some of your page rank. It’s actually good SEO practice to have external links to multiple sites that produce relevant content.
If you link to fellow bloggers or others who are producing good content, be generous by giving them a follow link. Remember the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Affiliate Links and Sponsored Posts
As required by Google, You MUST use the nofollow tag for all paid links. This includes affiliate links as well as sponsored posts. The reason for this is thatGoogle wants to know when you are profiting from any links displayed on your website. Also, Google does not want you passing page rank to sites or brands that are paying you to post their links on your site.
You should inform any sponsors beforehand that the nofollow tag will be applied to any links included in sponsored posts. Not following this guideline can cause your website to rank low in search results, or even worse, you can be penalized by Google.
You should make the links in your comment section nofollow. Doing this will keep you from increasing the page rank of spammers who leave links in the comments. If you have WordPress, all links posted in your comments are automatically converted to nofollow.
How to Create a NoFollow Tag
Creating a nofollow link is really simple, but it does involve some HTML coding. In order to make a link nofollow, you will add the nofollow tag, which is written: Rel=”nofollow”
For example, if we wanted to write about Moo business cards, the HTML link in our post would normally be written like this:
If we are an affiliate for Moo, we would add the nofollow tag to the link, which would change it to:
<a href=”http://moo.com” rel=”nofollow”>Moo</a>
If you use WordPress, you would make the change in your post editor. Open the post and switch from Visual to Text view. Once you find the link, add the nofollow tag and then click update. For more help with this, watch my Youtube video below (make sure to watch in HD for better quality and fast forward to 2.09 to jump right into the tutorial).