There are different types of links that you can build from your content. Popular ones include dofollow links and nofollow links. However, what exactly do these terms mean? And why do you need to know about them?
Unlike Nofollow links, Dofollow links pass PageRank signals. In other words, dofollow links directly benefit SEO since they share link juice, while nofollow links benefit SEO indirectly.
The main difference between the two lies in how each link is evaluated by Google. Google search crawlers use the rel="nofollow" tag to determine whether the link impacts PageRank scores.
A dofollow link is a hyperlink that passes authority from one website to another. This type of link allows search engine crawlers to follow it and understand the relevance of the linked content on both websites.
Dofollow links point back to you every time you place them on your website, allowing search engines to see which other websites, blogs and posts link back to you. A "backlink" from a reputable site can significantly impact PageRank values and make brands more visible.
So when adding external links to your blog, ensure they are from trusted sites since this will increase the authority of your blog.
Dofollow links are essential for SEO success. They can help establish credibility by connecting with other authoritative websites, which adds value to your own site. Additionally, they pass along “link juice”, which helps boost the rankings of your website on SERPs.
All links are dofollow by default unless they're changed from dofollow to nofollow manually or automatically. Dofollow values are simply descriptors since HTML doesn't offer a dofollow attribute.
A dofollow link in HTML looks like this: example
When another site links to your site without adding the nofollow tag, Google and other search engines will naturally find your site and increase your PageRank. Having dofollow links on your site that come from reputable sites is ideal.
When adding links to your own website, the same applies. In your own content, you can include links to reputable websites for search engines to index.
Guest post: As soon as you have found your niche, approach websites with similar products and content. The link to your website can then be included in the author bio or the post's conclusion.
Email outreach: You can also get dofollow links by creating excellent content and promoting it via email. Using this approach works best if your content is unique, interesting or valuable to the people you're contacting.
Make business mentions into links: Check Google Alerts to find online mentions of your business. You’re likely to get a link from most people—you just have to ask.
Use dofollow links when the website:
A nofollow link is a hyperlink with the rel="nofollow" attribute. Search engines ignore links with the nofollow tag. These links transfer neither PageRank nor anchor text, so the destination URL's search engine rankings are unaffected. Nofollow links aren't even crawled by Google.
Nofollow tags were introduced by Google in 2005 as a means of combating spam comments. Other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, eventually adopted the tag.
Indeed, nofollow links do not directly improve your website's SEO. However, this link plays a vital role in maintaining your website's search engine ranking stability. Nofollow links:
Increase your website's traffic
Quality traffic can be driven to your page by nofollow links since they can be clicked and interacted with like any other link. Increased rankings, more traffic and higher conversion rates can be achieved with more traffic on your page.
Build brand awareness
There is still traffic to your site coming from nofollow links, as previously mentioned. Upon visiting your website, this traffic learns about your business and products. You need brand awareness to grow your company online, and nofollow links can assist you.
Serve as the safest tags
A nofollow link is the safest tag for your website. Your website won't be negatively affected by nofollow links. Because of this, Google won't penalise yours for backlinks.
Adding rel="nofollow" to the anchor tag in HTML creates a nofollow link. A nofollow link attribute appears between the destination URL and the linked text.
You can then add the link to the source code of your website using your CMS.
Here are a few examples of when and how to use nofollow links:
Comments containing links
Link posting in comments is likely to result in abuse. Anyone can create links to wherever, and you will pass on PageRank and link juice to them. This is basically your endorsement of the website, and that's not what you want. By using nofollow links, you can also facilitate discussion since meaningless comments won’t interfere with real people's comments.
You should assign a rel="nofollow" attribute to all links on your website that are primarily intended for profit. In this way, any site can be discouraged from paying for links on other sites to improve its search rankings.
Your niche is irrelevant to the whole page
Imagine that you own an auto repair shop. Suppose you post a blog about cooking or promote a contest for short stories on your site. For that topic, you link to lots of interesting resources. Because it differs so much from your regular content, Google might assume it was added without your knowledge. This would be considered Black Hat link building and penalised by the search engine. You can use a nofollow meta tag in such cases.
Read another one of our blogs, Understanding Backlinks to learn more about different linking opportunities.
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Social media posts are not links. They assist in your link-building campaigns by increasing brand awareness and the popularity of your website or blog. Do they count as backlinks?
A backlink is when another website links to yours. It’s crucial to have quality backlinks and leverage SEO link-building services to boost your site's ranking in search engines.
Google and other major search engines regard a backlink to a particular webpage as a vote of confidence for that page. As a result, backlink-rich pages usually rank higher organically.
When another website links to yours, it gives search engines an indication of how popular and relevant your site is. This improves your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing your website's visibility and traffic.
The best way to rank higher in the SERPs is to build quality backlinks. The following are a few factors that contribute to a backlink's quality.
A more established website can pass on more authority by linking to your site. If a link originated from a reputable website, Google evaluates it favourably.
Relevant backlinks are more valuable to Google because they attract more clicks.
There are a large number of dofollow links on the internet. Google and other search engines ignore nofollow tags. Thus, nofollow links do not affect search engine rankings. Meanwhile, most of the nofollow links offer little value and typically come from sources like comments on blog posts, news releases and sponsored posts. Conducting a backlink audit can help you monitor backlinks to discern quality links from harmful ones.
Are social media posts counted as direct backlinks? No. A Twitter or Facebook post or page that links back to your website is technically not considered a backlink. Some may argue that, by definition, it can be considered a backlink. As mentioned, a backlink is any link on another website that links back to yours. So since Facebook is, at its core, a website, then a Facebook post that links back to your business website is considered a backlink by some.
But even if Facebook links can be considered backlinks by definition, how popular search engines, like Bing and Google, rank websites is another story.
A backlink serves as an SEO tool and impacts your search engine rankings. In this scenario, social media links aren't considered backlinks since they’re usually no-follow links. As stated, no-follow links don't add authority to your website or affect your search engine rankings.
Social media links have an indirect yet powerful impact on your website. However, engaging audiences on social media offers backlinking opportunities. In this case, social media can be an excellent tool for building links.
So while you should rely on something other than social media links to improve your website's search engine rankings, you should only discard them partially. In addition, since Facebook is a social network, you can establish long-term business relationships there, enhancing your SEO potential.
Social media doesn't affect your rankings, so it won't directly benefit you. But while the two don't directly correlate, social media also plays a role in SEO. This is where partnering with a social media agency in the UK that also provides professional SEO services comes in handy.
As your content becomes more visible on social media, it’s likely that more people will share your content across their networks. More traffic will be sent to your site, resulting in higher rankings.
Getting your web pages indexed by Google faster can be achieved using your social media accounts. For instance, as soon as new content is published on your site, share it immediately on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to increase traffic. This signals to Google that your page needs to be crawled and reindexed.