Are Nofollow Links Important for SEO?

Nofollow links SEO

If you work with influencers, you may have come across the term nofollow links. You should be well versed with the difference between nofollow and dofollow links, but in case you’re new to the area here’s a brief breakdown:

  • Nofollow links – Links that have the HTML attribute rel=“nofollow” in the <a>tag. The attribute value tells the search engines that the link shouldn’t influence the link target’s ranking in the index.
  • Dofollow links – All links are dofollow by default so there’s no need to do anything to the hyperlink to make it dofollow. These links let the search engines follow the links, giving them link juice and they count as a backlink. The more link juice you have (from reputable websites and non-spamming campaigns) the higher ranking your website will achieve.

In the past, everyone would have backlinks  but the guidelines have changed and now influencers or anyone you have paid to include a link or your product on their website needs to use the nofollow link attribute and disclose the relationship.

Due to the nature of nofollow links, there has been a believe that these links are not worth having. But that’s not the case. Nofollow links are valuable when it comes to SEO, as reported in a recent article on Search Engine Land.

Nofollow links that are inserted onto worth platforms provide your business with multiple benefits that include:

  • Brand exposure
  • Referral traffic
  • Off-site signals benefiting SEO

Don’t Turn Down Nofollow Opportunities

Bloggers and influencers have problems when it comes to old fashioned PR and SEO firms. These firms have only recently begun to accept that PageRank is no longer ‘a thing’. These professionals try to convince influencers to ignore the best practices and effectively lie to their audiences and use dofollow links without disclosure of payment or products received in leu of payment. The use these deceitful tactics (putting their own website at risk of being penalised, along with the influencer’s site) as they wrongly believe that nofollow links are worthless when it comes to SEO.

Indirect SEO Benefits of Nofollow Links

Nofollow links indirectly help with SEO. The exposure of being placed on a quality website is beneficial enough. The association will help to increase your visibility in the search engine results pages, plus there’s the added bonus of referred traffic and increasing the reach of the brand.

Nofollow links also appear to indirectly help get your web pages indexed in the search engines. Google doesn’t have to ignore all nofollow attributes. They have said themselves that they generally don’t follow them. Showing that there are cases when they do. There are people that believe the search engines will ignore the nofollow attribute when it comes to trustworthy websites and when they have been ‘editorially’ placed.

Furthermore, Google has given plenty of warning that if you’re only getting links for SEO then you are already probably breaking their guidelines and risking your rankings. Link-building strategies need to be aiming to increase exposure, that will have a positive effect on your SEO organically. Therefore, nofollow links should never be turned down simply because of the added attribute.

Return on Friday when we’ll be looking at ways to increase the SEO value of nofollow links in your campaigns.