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Written by Gijs de Rooij, 20 June 2024

Follow vs nofollow links

The Internet consists of millions of links. All of these links redirect to websites, blogs or files. Follow and nofollow links determine whether these links affect your search engine optimization. How exactly that works and what the difference is between follow links and a link with no follow tag, we explain to you in this blog.

Google and importance of domain authority

Every website competes for the title of first search result in Google. It is not without reason that websites go all out to get that top position. Many searchers on Google immediately settle for the first option, completely overlooking other search results. The result? Far fewer visitors to your website. In fact, these are largely located on the website of the first search result.

There are several methods for making a serious bid for first place in a SERP. Content writing, page optimization and link building are some of those methods around search engine optimization. With the latter, you can boost your domain authority considerably, and Google values high domain authority. Your website’s authority is determined, in part, by the number of links that link to your website. If these links come from a website with high authority, you will see your website rise in Google’s rankings. In fact, this search engine values good authority. Only follow links contribute to a website’s domain authority. Want to know how exactly? If so, please read on.

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What is the difference between the two?

The difference between follow and no follow links is mainly in how search engines such as Google interpret and use these links in determining the ranking of Web pages in search results. Follow links are standard hyperlinks that search engines follow and pass on the value (also called link juice) to the linked Web site. A follow link is usually used for internal links within a Web site and external links to reliable and relevant sources.

A no follow link id a hyperlink with a special attribute (rel=”nofollow”) that instructs search engines not to follow the link or pass the value to the linked page. Thus, no follow links do not contribute to the search engine optimization (SEO) of a website. A nofollow link is often used for sponsored links, advertisements and links to unreliable or unverified sources. This is to prevent such links from affecting search engine rankings.

What is a rel-attribute?

In the paragraph above you already saw rel-attribute come by, but what is this and why is it used? The rel attribute helps determine how links are tracked and valued by search engines and how they function in terms of security and privacy. Depending on the value given to the rel attribute, different actions and behaviors can be affected. For example, by adding a rel=”nofollow, you prevent search engines from following the nofollow links and passing on link juice.

Follow links

What does a follow link look like?

A follow link looks like this:
<a href=”https://www.2manydots.nl/”>2manydots</a>

When to use?

For domain authority

By placing a follow link to a reliable and relevant website, you signal to search engines that you value and trust the linked site. This helps the linked site increase its domain authority, which has a positive effect on its overall reputation and visibility in search results. Moreover, getting back follow links from other trustworthy sites strengthens your own domain authority.

For better rankings

When you link to a relevant resource with a follow link, search engines such as Google recognize this connection and may rank the linked page higher in search results. This is because follow links help spread “link juice,” which improves the linked page’s SEO score. The result is that both your page and the page you link to perform better in search results. And that, in turn, leads to more organic traffic.

For better indexing

Use follow links to improve indexing of web pages by search engines. Follow links act as signposts for search engines, which follow these links to discover and index new content. This means that pages connected via follow links are picked up faster and added to the search engine index. Better indexing ensures that new or updated content shows up in search results faster. Important for increasing the online visibility of your website.

Nofollow links

What does a no follow link look like?

A no follow link looks like this:
<a href=”https://www.2manydots.nl/” rel=”nofollow”>2manydots</a>

When to use?

For name recognition

Use no follow links to increase brand awareness without directly impacting SEO rankings. No follow links on high-traffic websites, blogs or social media platforms help increase your brand’s visibility. Although they do not pass on “link juice” to your site, these links with a nofollow tag can still generate a lot of traffic and reach new audiences.

For referral traffic

No follow links are also a valuable source of referral traffic. When a link to your site is placed on a website, blog or forum with high authority, visitors can follow that link and come to your site. Regardless of whether the links are follow or no follow. Leveraging no follow links is an effective way to generate direct traffic to your site.

For a diverse link profile

Maintaining a diverse link profile is important for a sound SEO strategy, and no follow links play an important role in this regard. A natural link profile contains a mix of follow and no follow links. Search engines consider this a sign of organic link building and are less likely to flag your site for possible link building manipulation.

Do you want to outsource link building?

Do you want to outsource link building? Let our experts increase your online visibility and get your website to the top of search results! Build a strong link profile and contact us today for a free consultation!