Whether you own or manage a website, you have likely heard of nofollow and dofollow links in the SEO world. These are two main types of links that SEO and content experts use for very different purposes. Let’s take a look at how these links are different below.

A Brief Overview of Backlinks

A backlink is a SEO term describing an incoming hyperlink from one website to another website. When ranking your site, major search engines like Google consider the overall quality and quantity of these links. Google uses a weighted point system known as PageRank, which determines how valuable a website is. The most valuable web pages will show up at the top of SERPs (search engine results pages), especially if a site has high-value links from top-ranking websites. 

What Is a Dofollow Link?

A dofollow link refers to the default state for a link. When a different website links to your site with a normal link, this can directly impact your site’s SEO rankings. 

Check out this example of a dofollow link below:

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Here is the code: 

You can examine this code by highlighting the link “rewarding career” above, right clicking on your mouse, and selecting Inspect. Depending on which browser you are using, this will bring up a developer’s toolbox that allows you to check the link code. The code below is an example of a dofollow link. The rel=noopener is just a HTML attribute that is added to any links that are set to open in a new window on WordPress sites.

<a href=”https://awesomewebsiteguys.com/awesome-careers/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>rewarding career</span></a>

How Do Dofollow Links Impact Your Site Rankings?

When search engine bots crawl your website, they will evaluate any dofollow links to determine where you are linking to and vice versa. These SEO bots will assess the link authority found on the web, which helps search engines determine your PageRank. If a top-ranking site links to a page of your site, search engines will view your site as being more credible and authoritative. This can help boost your PageRank and overall SERPs.

How Do You Create a Dofollow Link?

If you have ever added a link to your site, then you have created a dofollow link. This can be either an internal (linking to another page of your site) or external (linking to a page on a different site) link. While it would be nice to control what type of link other people use when linking to your site, this is not possible. However, you can control what type of links you use when linking to other websites.

What Is a Nofollow Link?

To most people, dofollow and nofollow links appear to be the same. However, a nofollow link includes a HTML attribute that tells search engines not to follow the link to the destination page. There are a variety of reasons why a nofollow link can be useful, which we will discuss later on. 

Check out this example of a nofollow link below:

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Here is the code: 

This code tells SEO bots to not follow the link below using the HTML attribute, “rel=nofollow.”

<a href=”https://awesomewebsiteguys.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Wilmington web design</span></a>

Do Nofollow Links Impact Your Site Rankings?

The top search engine, Google, reports that nofollow links that point to your site do not affect your site’s SERP ranking. The original goal of using these links was to combat comment spam on blog posts, social media platforms, and forums. Indeed, SEO and content experts should not invest much of their time into posting comments on blog posts and social media platforms with dofollow links.  

How Do You Create a Nofollow Link?

To create a nofollow link, you simply need to add the HTML attribute “rel=nofollow” to your link code. Depending on which site platform you use, you should be able to access your site’s page or post editor. This will give you the option to view the HTML view of your site content. Once you locate the link to add or modify, you can either select an option for nofollow or add the HTML attribute manually. 

Check out this example for reference:

<a href=”https://awesomewebsiteguys.com/responsive-web-design/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>responsive web design</a>

This code above shows search engines that the link should not be followed or used for the PageRank assessment. The HTML attribute “target=”_blank” is a piece of code that is used to open a link in a new tab when a user clicks or selects a link.

We hope this article helped clarify the differences between nofollow and dofollow links. Like other SEO topics, it can sometimes be confusing to know which links are best for your site’s SEO needs. Just remember – if you are trying to increase your site rankings, use a dofollow link for other quality sites. If you are not trying to improve your rankings, but just want to increase your site traffic or CRO, then you may want to consider a nofollow link. Contact Awesome Website Guys today in beautiful Wilmington, NC to learn more about our search engine optimization services and much more.