Nofollow vs. Follow Links: Everything You Must Know

Nofollow Links vs. Follow Links: All You Need to Know

Nofollow Links vs. Follow Links: All You Need to Know

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), understanding the difference between nofollow links and follow links is crucial. Both types of links play a role in your website’s visibility and authority, but they are treated differently by search engines. In this guide, we will delve into the world of nofollow and follow links, explaining what they are and how they impact your SEO efforts.

What are Nofollow Links?

Nofollow links are hyperlinks that include the rel=”nofollow” attribute in their HTML code. This attribute tells search engines not to follow or crawl the linked page, and it also prevents the linked page from passing any authority or “link juice” to the destination page. Nofollow links were introduced by Google in 2005 as a way to combat spammy link building practices.

Typically, nofollow links are used in situations where you don’t want to vouch for the credibility or trustworthiness of the linked page. For example, user-generated content platforms like blog comments and forums often use nofollow links to discourage spammers from leaving irrelevant or low-quality links.

What are Follow Links?

Follow links, also known as “dofollow” links, are hyperlinks that do not include the rel=”nofollow” attribute. These links are the default type of link, and search engines follow them, crawl the linked page, and pass authority from the source page to the destination page. Follow links are considered endorsements or votes of confidence from one website to another.

Follow links are an essential part of SEO because they contribute to your website’s authority and rankings. When reputable websites link to your content using follow links, search engines see it as a positive signal and may reward your website with higher visibility in search results.

How do Nofollow and Follow Links Impact SEO?

Nofollow and follow links have different impacts on your SEO efforts. While follow links contribute to your website’s authority and rankings, nofollow links do not directly impact them. However, this doesn’t mean that nofollow links are entirely useless for SEO.

Firstly, nofollow links can still drive traffic to your website. Even though search engines don’t pass authority through these links, users can still click on them and visit your site. So, if a high-traffic website includes a nofollow link to your site, it can still generate valuable referral traffic.

Secondly, nofollow links can help diversify your backlink profile. Having a mix of follow and nofollow links looks more natural to search engines and can protect your website from potential penalties. If all your backlinks are follow links, it may raise suspicions of manipulative link building practices.

Lastly, nofollow links can indirectly impact your SEO efforts by increasing brand visibility and awareness. When your website is mentioned or linked to from reputable sources, even with nofollow links, it can still improve your online reputation and attract more organic mentions and links in the future.

Best Practices for Nofollow and Follow Links

Now that you understand the difference between nofollow and follow links, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

1. Use nofollow links when appropriate:

As mentioned earlier, nofollow links are useful in situations where you don’t want to endorse or pass authority to a linked page. Use them in user-generated content platforms, sponsored posts, and any other instances where you can’t vouch for the credibility of the linked page.

2. Focus on building high-quality follow links:

While nofollow links have their benefits, follow links should still be your primary focus when it comes to link building. Aim to earn follow links from authoritative websites in your industry through creating valuable content and building relationships with other website owners.

3. Monitor your backlink profile:

Regularly monitor your backlink profile to ensure a healthy mix of follow and nofollow links. Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze your backlinks and identify any potential issues or spammy links that need to be disavowed.

4. Provide value to users:

Ultimately, the key to earning both follow and nofollow links is to provide value to users. Create high-quality content that solves problems, answers questions, or entertains your target audience. When you focus on delivering value, other websites are more likely to link to your content naturally.


In summary, nofollow and follow links are two types of hyperlinks that impact your website’s visibility and authority differently. While follow links contribute directly to your SEO efforts by passing authority, nofollow links still have their benefits in terms of driving traffic, diversifying your backlink profile, and increasing brand visibility. By understanding the difference between these two types of links and implementing best practices, you can optimize your link building strategy and improve your website’s SEO performance.

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