Whenever a new blogger setup its own blog, the first thing which comes into his mind is, how will my webpage hit first page on Google search results? If you are a newbie and searching the answer of it then a one liner answer would be Improve On page & Off Page SEO where SEO stands for search engine optimization. Building backlinks is Off page search engine optimization. In this article, I will explain to you what are dofollow and nofollow links? We will also discuss how it affects website’s page rank.
Note: Page rank seems irrelevant now because it has not been updated since December 2013. Also, Google’s John Mueller said that: We will probably not going to be updating Page rank going forward, at least in the Toolbar PageRank.
For those who are wondering what is page rank, it is a quality metric invented by Google. It measures a page’s value on a scale of 0 to 10, The values 0 to 10 determine a page’s importance, reliability and authority on the web according to Google.
Lets talk about nofollow and nofollow links: Technically Nofollow links stop the link juice(its quality and value) from spreading to other pages. On the other side dofollow link tells Google bots(sometimes referred as spiders) to follow the link and index the page, thereby giving the linked page value.
What is Nofollow link?
If a link is set to nofollow, it means Google bot won’t crawl the link and won’t pass any link juice. This is how nofollow links look:
<a href= http://www.example1.com rel="nofollow">Example1</a>
<a href= http://www.example2.com rel="external nofollow">Example2</a>
rel HTML tag: Did you notice rel html tag in the links above? Both the links having nofollow keyword in their real tag, which means they are nofollow links. Even though nofollow link doesn’t pass any link juice, it helps you to bring traffic towards your website, so if you are making No follow links then there is no harm. Google doesn’t follow these links, however other search engines respect them, I have explained it in detail at the end of the post.
You can also make an entire post nofollow with the help of robots meta tag for that you can just add the following statement to the header section of a page/post.
<meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />
By adding the statement above, you can make a whole post/page nofollow, All the links present on the page will be treated as nofollow even though they don’t have Nofollow rel tag.
Read more about meta robots tag here »
Free WordPress plugin to setup robots meta tag.
No Index No follow Noarchive Noodp & Noydir tags in detail.
What is Dofollow link?
Dofollow link passes link juice and they definitely help you much, in order to achieve good page rank. As it instructs search engine spiders to follow this link.
<a href = http://www.example3.org rel="external">Example3</a>
This link is dofollow, generally when you left comment on other site, you will see links with rel external attribute, rel=”external” is just to represent that the link is external, it has nothing to do with backlink type. If you find no rel attribute in link then also its being treated as a dofollow link.
How to check whether links is dofollow or nofollow?
There are many ways to check dofollow and nofollow links, however I prefer the method 2 to identify the type of link.
Let me explain this with an example. Suppose you commented on a blog and you want to check whether the link is nofollow or nofollow. You can follow the steps below to find out:
Step1: Right click on the webpage and click on ‘view page source’ as shown in the below screenshot.
Step2: Search for the link you left in source code, press Ctrl+F and search for your website name or your comment as shown in the screenshot below. You will find out the source code of the backlink you made, thats it now you can see whether the comment you dropped has dofollow link or nofollow link,similarly you can also prepare the list of the blogs which awards you with nofollow link when you comment.
Did you noticed that the comment I left on my own blog is nofollow :D?
Note: When this post has been published first, the blog name was different, it has been changed to beginnersbook.com couple of years back.
Method2: Right click on the link and click on ‘inspect element’ and it will show you the html code for your backlink. You can easily check rel attribute and determine the link type.
Few useful WordPress plugin
Useful Mozilla Addon to make your task easy
Commenting on other blogs is probably is the easiest and quickest way to build quality backlinks, however do you feel cheated when the link you left in comment is nofollow? I don’t rather I prefer to comment on blog that rewards dofollow link to their commenters.
Do you need something which can tell you that the comment links are nofollow or dofollow as soon as you open the website on browser? There is a mozilla Addon which highlights the nofollow & dofollow links as and when you open anything on Mozilla. Find the add-on and read more here.
How search engines interpret dofollow and nofollow links?
While all engines that use the
nofollow value exclude links that use it from their ranking calculation, the details about the exact interpretation of it vary from search engine to search engine.
- Google states that their engine takes ‘nofollow’ literally and does not follow the link at all. However, experiments conducted by SEOs show conflicting results. These studies reveal that Google does follow the link, but it does not index the linked-to page, unless it was in Google’s index already for other reasons (such as other, non-nofollow links that point to the page).
- Yahoo! follows it, however excludes it from their ranking calculation.
- Bing respects ‘nofollow’ as regards not counting the link in their ranking, however it is not proven whether or not Bing follows the link.
- Ask.com also respects the rel attribute.
If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to ask me, either through comment or contact-us form. I would love to answer those.I wanted to discuss some other related topics such as traffic tricks, Keywords role in SERP, dofollow backlinks etc. But I think I should write another post for these topics.
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