If a link is marked NoFollow (rel=”nofollow”), this is an indication for the searchbot (search engine spider) that it should not follow this link.To understand the purpose of this link marking, you should first read the introduction about dofollow links. If you already know the difference, you’re good to go.
The description introduced by Google in 2005 can be found in the URL of the web page. If a link is marked with NoFollow, it will be excluded from the results of the respective search engine.
With this, Google clearly took action against the manipulation of their directory.
Before NoFollow was introduced, smart SEOs spammed blogs and forums with links because Google used backlinks as a valuable ranking criterion and it could be positively influenced by that.
Differentiation of NoFollow tags
A distinction is made between:
- For example, if you want to refer to a certain link, but do not want to take any responsibility for the linked page (in this case no linkjuice is passed on). This includes, among other things, links that are made via comment functions. The operator of the site has no influence on this and is therefore also marked.
- Likewise irrelevant contents are often marked with the attribute, since these are not to be considered intentionally. This includes, for example, forms. There are much better ways to exclude certain pages from the search directories. A good alternative is the Noindex entry.
Effects on SEO
Whether and to what extent NoFollow links affect SEO, the experts on the scene answer quite differently. Some believe that a backlink profile with a very high percentage of such links has no negative impact. The reason is that they do not inherit PageRank and thus the link would not negatively affect the ranking. Others are convinced that NoFollow links can also lead to aGoogle penalty.
SEOs don’t even agree that a NoFollow link doesn’t transmit “signals”. The best known example are links from Wikipedia: Many SEOs think that the consistently NoFollow marked links from the encyclopedia definitely influence the ranking, even if Google continues to deny this.
The only thing that is clear is that NoFollow links are part of a natural link profile. This is also shown by a comparison with the competition.
What benefit do they have for SEO work?
This often depends heavily on whether they come from small low authority sites, social media channels or high authority sites (e.g. Wikipedia). So you should look at these three “areas” separately.
Low Authority Sites
NoFollow backlinks usually do not transfer PageRank, linkjuice or trust to your own website. They have no direct effect on the ranking of a page, says seo-trainee.de. This would be shown by numerous tests such as from the SEO evangelist who has tested some of his domains in the long run. He had noticed that domains that were only linked with NoFollow links from low authority sites did not show up in Google’s index.
Nevertheless, they give the backlink structure a high degree of naturalness.
Social media portals like Twitter
While Twitter’s NoFollow links were not used for ranking by Google & Co. until now, contracts between Twitter and the search engines have been concluded in the meantime. According to this, Twitter transmits a separate data stream (Firehose) of tweets (without NoFollow attributes) to Google and Bing. Since then, it has been possible for search giants to include this information in their rankings.
High authority sites like Wikipedia
With high authority sites like Wikipedia there is mainly speculation. Google always emphasizes that Wikipedia is only a good traffic source, but has no influence on the SERPs.
Practical comparison: DoFollow / NoFollow
In order for you to clean up your link profile, you first need to know how to recognize a NoFollow link. Here is an example of tagging within a link:
Note: Every link that does not contain a “NoFollow” attribute is automatically a DoFollow link!
The ball’s in your court! Check the links below (Our Blog) for a NoFollow tag:
You have no idea how to check a link for NoFollow? Then watch this video!
NoFollow should be used with caution. With exceptions, this attribute is only for promotional links, links without content relevance for Google and spam and should not be used otherwise.
If a link is necessary, but it should not affect the relevance of the original page in search engines, a NoFollow attribute is extremely useful.
Whether these attributes of Google affect the ranking of your website is explained in the following video of Google Webmasters.
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