Nofollow links can either benefit your SEO, or hit the brakes hard on your site’s progress toward your goals. Sometimes adding a nofollow attribute to a link is a good idea, but in other situations it can be disastrous and lead to problems that could’ve been avoided.
It’s safe to say you don’t want to come across avoidable problems, so let’s first clarify what they are exactly and when nofollow links are a good (and bad) idea.
A nofollow link is essentially a linked URL that tells search engines like Google not to “see” or “count” the page on the other end of the link.
Now, if you’re not sure how Google “sees” the web, here’s a mini-crash course. It has bots that turn over every rock and find all the bits and pieces that make up websites – including links.
Think of the nofollow attribute as more of a suggestion rather than a command. Google, for example, clearly states that it doesn’t follow nofollow links in general, meaning sometimes it ignores the nofollow attribute and does “see” or “count” the page on the other end of the link. That really depends on the situation and isn’t something you can control.
If you dropped one of your website’s links into a post on Instagram or Twitter, those would automatically be nofollow links because social media platforms don’t want people spamming their platforms with links trying to get something called backlinks.
Any links left as comments under blog posts, in Quora, Reddit, Wikipedia, etc. (you get the idea), are all automatically turned into nofollow links for the same reason.
The most common situation that warrants nofollow links is guest posting. According to Google’s guidelines, they actively try to hurt sites that promise a link in exchange for a blog post. If it catches you doing that, it can give your site a penalty and majorly hurt your SEO.
You can still invite guest posts on your site and guest post on others’ sites yourself, but be sure to add a nofollow attribute to any links back to their site or ask them how they would link to your website.
The second most common situation that warrants nofollow links is featuring affiliate links on your website. Because affiliate marketing is popular, a lot of online business owners are adding affiliate links onto their website (some unethically by not disclosing that they’re affiliate links).
If you have affiliate links on your site or are thinking about adding them in, make sure they’ve got that nofollow attribute. Because you’re *technically* hoping for a commission from those links, Google treats them as you getting paid for including them on your website.
When Google and other search engines can better understand the context and purpose of your website, they tend to rank it higher and treat it more favorably.
Most links shouldn’t be nofollow (these are called dofollow links). In general, you don’t need to keep such a close eye on if links are nofollow or dofollow.
Linking within your website? Typically, you don’t need to worry about nofollow.
It’s more of an important thing to do when you include a link to another website on your website – but not always.
If you link to a statistic within a blog post, there’s no need for a nofollow link.
If you have a link to your web designer’s website in your footer (crediting them for your site’s design), then you might want to consider making it a nofollow link.
In some cases, yep!
If, over time, you collect a bunch of nofollow links to your website, the mere exposure of these to new audiences coupled with a high volume of relevant links can really boost your SEO.
Or, if you’re buying backlinks or guest posting, then using nofollow links will keep your SEO safe because you’d be following Google’s guidelines.
Interestingly enough, a 2019 industry study found that both dofollow and total backlinks (including nofollow links) had a similar impact on search engine rankings.
That means nofollow links do in fact help your SEO – not a crazy amount, but definitely worth staying on top of.
Step 01. Login to your Showit account and find the link you want to make nofollow
Step 02. Click into the canvas that has the link and click on top of the element with the link
Step 03. On the panel on the right, click on the tab ‘Click Actions’
Step 04. Click on the ‘Do Not Follow’ checkbox and then click somewhere else so that the change saves
Step 05. That’s it! Now that link has the nofollow attribute and search engines will be asked to not follow where it goes
So what should you take away from all of this?
01. Nofollow links are good in some situations and bad in others
02. If you’re linking within your site, you typically don’t need to worry about it
03. If you’re linking away from your site, you might want to have a think about it
04. Adding nofollow links in Showit is so frickin’ easy, you can do it whenever you need to now!
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Mar 20, 2022
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