You must know a lot about links to understand search engine optimization (SEO). If you live in the digital world, you’ve probably heard of “nofollow links” and wondered what they mean for your SEO. This article will go into great detail about nofollow links, including what they are, how to spot them, and what they mean in the ever-changing world of SEO.
How Nofollow Links Work: The Basics
To begin, let us look at the basics. A “nofollow link” is a website link with the “rel=nofollow” attribute added to its HTML code. This attribute tells search engines like Google that the linked URL could be more critical. This means the search engine, “Hey, don’t pay too much attention to this link; it’s not an endorsement.”
Ordinary people don’t notice a difference when they click on nofollow links, but these links are essential in SEO. As an SEO expert in Kerala said, many people who work in SEO call this “link juice” or “PageRank.” Because of this, they don’t have a direct effect on how well a website ranks in search engines.
Finding Links That Don’t Follow
For the most part, nofollow links aren’t marked as such. If you look at a link, you can’t tell immediately if it’s nofollow. You can easily find these links, though, if you look at the HTML code of a webpage. How to do it:
Look at the HTML code:
Pick up the page and right-click. Then, choose “Inspect” or “View > Developer > Inspect Elements” from the browser’s main menu.
Click on the Link:
To see the link you want to look at, use the “Select Element” tool in the HTML code viewer.
There should be “rel=nofollow” in the HTML code between the <a> and </a> tags. If there is, it means that the link doesn’t follow itself. This is not a normal or “do follow” link if you don’t see it.
It is important to remember that unless you add the “nofollow” attribute to the link properties, all links are “dofollow” by default.
What Dofollow and Nofollow Links Are and How They Work
Dofollow and nofollow links are different in several ways:
An attribute called “rel=nofollow” is only found on nofollow links. Dofollow links do not have this attribute. This is what makes one different from the other.
Search engine crawlers follow links to find the web pages they link to and add them to their databases. Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search engines not to follow the linked URLs when they crawl and index the site.
What Nofollow Links Do for SEO
As said by SEO expert Kerala, your question might be why web admins and SEO experts even bother with nofollow links now that you know what they are. The main reason is easy to understand: nofollow relations don’t directly improve a website’s search engine ranking. They don’t give any PageRank or link juice. What’s the point then?
To understand what nofollow links mean in SEO, you need to know how search engines have evaluated websites and how they have changed over time.
What Links Are and How PageRank Works
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who started Google, came up with the PageRank algorithm, which was one of the first Google algorithms. PageRank was created to determine how important a website is by looking at how many other websites link to it. Links were basically “votes of trust” from one site to another.
This idea became one of the most important things search engines use to decide where to rank websites. Search engines thought your website was more trustworthy and valuable if it had more links. Because of this, you were more likely to show up higher in search results.
The Trouble with Manipulation
It was only a short time short time before search engines, especially Google, saw a big problem with this system: it was easy to change. By posting content on article directories, forums, and other sites, dishonest website owners and black hat SEOs could fake many links. This would increase the number of links to their site, which would help their search engine ranking.
That being said, these links weren’t actual “votes of trust.” Instead, they were fakes made to trick search engines. Because of this problem, search engines made some significant changes.
Changes to the Algorithms:
They changed their algorithms to change how they judge the value of links, making link quality more important than link quantity.
Search engines started punishing websites with too many outgoing links, especially ones that weren’t very good.
Introduction of Nofollow:
Adding the “nofollow” attribute was the most critical change. Webmasters were told to mark links as “nofollow” if they didn’t trust them completely.
Why nofollow links are helpful for SEO
You might wonder why nofollow links are valuable since they don’t directly improve a website’s search engine ranking. Here are some essential things to think about:
A website with a lot of authority links to your content, even if the association has a nofollow attribute, can bring good traffic to your site. Google also looks at “brand mentions” when figuring out how authoritative a website is. This means that even if a link from a trusted source doesn’t follow, it still helps your brand’s reputation.
Indirect SEO Benefits:
Nofollow links don’t directly help SEO, but they can still affect SEO in other ways. For example, a nofollow link can bring people to your site, which could lead to dofollow links from other sites.
Search engines may think your site looks more natural if it has a mix of dofollow and nofollow links. People might be wary of a website that only has follow links.
Compliance with Guidelines: Using nofollow links correctly shows that you follow ethical SEO practices because they align with Google’s guidelines.
When to Use Links That Don’t Follow
It’s your job as a webmaster or SEO professional to keep your website’s SEO in good shape. This means following Google’s rules and being smart about handling links coming in and going out. In the following situations, you might want to use nofollow links:
It’s safer not to follow a link to a website you want to use but need to be sure about its quality or trustworthiness. In order to keep your website’s SEO from getting worse, this is a good thing to do.
Content Made by Users: Links in comments and other content should usually be set to “nofollow.” This keeps your website from being linked to links that might be spammy or nounreliableNofollow links inside the site
The nofollow attribute should be added to internal links. These links on your website go to other pages within your domain. The main exception is crawl prioritization, which helps your website’s crawl budget work better.
For crawl prioritization, the nofollow tag is added to internal links that lead to pages that aren’t open to everyone on the Internet, like pages that require a login or password. This will help the search engine focus on your site’s most essential parts, improving the crawl process.