What is the difference between nofollow and dofollow links?

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The difference between nofollow and dofollow links lies in how search engines treat them when it comes to SEO and link authority.

  1. Dofollow links: A dofollow link is a regular hyperlink that search engines consider while calculating the link authority and relevance of a webpage. By default, all links are considered dofollow unless specified otherwise. When search engine crawlers encounter a dofollow link, they follow it, crawl the linked webpage, and pass authority from the source page to the target page. Dofollow links can positively impact the search engine rankings and visibility of the linked page.
  2. Nofollow links: A nofollow link is a hyperlink with an attribute that tells search engines not to follow or pass authority through that link. When a webpage includes a nofollow attribute (rel=”nofollow”) in the link code, search engines understand that they shouldn’t consider that link for link authority calculation or search ranking purposes. Nofollow links are commonly used for user-generated content, paid advertisements, or any link that the website owner does not want to endorse or pass authority to.

The purpose of the nofollow attribute is to help combat spam and manipulative link-building practices. It allows website owners to prevent the flow of their website’s authority to low-quality or untrusted websites.

It’s important to note that while nofollow links don’t directly contribute to search engine rankings, they still have value. They can drive traffic, increase visibility, and improve the overall user experience. Additionally, search engines may still discover and crawl the linked pages through nofollow links, but they won’t consider them for ranking purposes.

In summary, dofollow links pass authority and contribute to search engine rankings, while nofollow links do not pass authority but still have value for referral traffic and user experience. It’s generally a good practice to have a mix of both types of links in your website’s link profile.

  1. Link building strategies: Dofollow links have traditionally been more sought after in link building strategies because they contribute to the link authority of a webpage. Websites often prioritize acquiring dofollow links from reputable and relevant sources to improve their search engine rankings. However, it’s important to maintain a natural and diverse link profile that includes a mix of nofollow and dofollow links.
  2. Nofollow for user-generated content: Nofollow links are commonly used for user-generated content platforms such as forums, blog comments, and social media platforms. This helps prevent spam and manipulative link-building practices, as it discourages individuals from posting irrelevant or low-quality links solely for SEO purposes. Nofollow links in these contexts allow users to share links without impacting the search engine rankings of the target websites.
  3. Paid links and advertisements: Websites often use the nofollow attribute for links associated with sponsored content, paid advertisements, and affiliate marketing. This ensures transparency and compliance with search engine guidelines by indicating that the link is paid or sponsored. It helps prevent the misuse of paid links to manipulate search engine rankings.
  4. Natural link profiles: Search engines consider a natural link profile to be diverse and comprised of a mix of nofollow and dofollow links. A link profile that appears unnatural or heavily skewed towards dofollow links may raise red flags to search engines and potentially result in penalties. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance and focus on acquiring high-quality links from reputable sources, regardless of their nofollow or dofollow status.
  5. Link relevance and authority: Both nofollow and dofollow links can contribute to traffic, visibility, and referral traffic. While nofollow links don’t directly impact search engine rankings, they can still generate traffic and provide exposure to a wider audience. Additionally, nofollow links from reputable sources can indirectly boost the credibility and authority of a website.

In summary, understanding the difference between nofollow and dofollow links is crucial for effective link building and SEO strategies. While dofollow links carry more weight in terms of search engine rankings, nofollow links play a significant role in user-generated content, paid advertisements, and maintaining a natural link profile. Both types of links have their value and should be considered as part of a holistic SEO approach.

  1. Social media links: Most social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, use nofollow links by default. When you share a link on these platforms, they are typically marked as nofollow. While these links may not directly impact search engine rankings, they can still drive traffic to your website and increase its visibility among social media users.
  2. Content syndication: When you syndicate your content on other websites or platforms, such as guest blogging or article submission sites, the links included in the syndicated content are often set as nofollow. This helps prevent duplicate content issues and ensures that the search engines attribute the original source as the authoritative one. While these links may not pass link authority, they can still generate referral traffic and exposure for your content.
  3. Link diversification: Having a diverse backlink profile that includes both nofollow and dofollow links is beneficial for SEO. It indicates to search engines that your website is attracting natural and organic links from a variety of sources. A natural link profile with a mix of link types and sources is considered more trustworthy and credible.
  4. User experience and engagement: While the direct impact of nofollow links on search engine rankings may be limited, they can still play a significant role in enhancing user experience and engagement. When users find relevant and valuable content through nofollow links, they are more likely to spend time on your website, explore other pages, and potentially convert. This positive user engagement can indirectly contribute to improved search rankings over time.
  5. Link auditing: Regularly auditing your backlink profile is important to identify and address any potentially harmful or spammy links. By analyzing the nofollow and dofollow links pointing to your site, you can assess their quality, relevance, and potential impact on your SEO. This allows you to take necessary actions, such as disavowing toxic links or requesting the removal of low-quality links.

Remember, the overall goal of link building and SEO is to provide valuable and relevant content to users while establishing your website’s authority and credibility. While dofollow links are often prioritized for their direct impact on search rankings, nofollow links should not be disregarded. They can still contribute to your website’s visibility, traffic, user engagement, and overall online reputation. A well-rounded approach to link building considers both types of links and focuses on quality, relevance, and natural acquisition.

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