No-Follow Links Hurt Your Google Search Rankings Or Do-Follow

Are you looking to generate backlinks to your website to help in your search engine optimization efforts? Then you should be aware of these 2 popular jargon’s in SEO community.

A no-follow backlink is one that tells Google, yahoo, bing and other search engines not to consider any hyperlink on the comment system. In other words if you add URL when you leave comment on these kind of blogs, major search engines will not count this as backlink. This method is used by search engines to stop spam on comments in blogs, forums and message boards so that they can’t earn backlinks by commenting. But some bloggers remove the no-follow attribute from a link then it becomes do-follow. In other words when you post comment, Google will crawl, pass link juice and pass anchor text benefits. It’s then called as do-follow blog.

Importance of Do-follow and No-follow Links

By proper use of these link attributes you can improve your Google search Rankings. If improperly used, you may be penalized and even de-indexed from Google.

If you’re a blogger you might have come across people who leave linked blog comments like “Visit my discount books site” in order to increase their website’s Google page rank. This is called comment spam. To avoid such things, you can add no-follow attribute to your comments section. Google identifies such attributes and don’t give any credit to those links. This is not a disadvantage for your site; it’s just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit by misusing public areas like blog comments, referrer lists and trackbacks. This is why popular websites like Wikipedia started using no-follow attribute on all outbound links to protect their website from spammers who post junk on Wikipedia website just for the sake of backlinks.

Google usually ranks a site based on the number and quality of backlinks. Quality backlinks can be links from any reputed websites such as New York Times, Huffington Post or may be an educational or government website. Even less popular websites can help your search engine rankings when they link back to your website. In fact, one of the simplest areas to gain a backlink is in the comment sections of reputed blogs. If you’re inspired by an article and want to post comment on that article, you are asked if you’d like to add your URL. If you provide your URL and your comment is meaningful then you have earned a backlink to your site from that blog.

But before you comment on others blogs as part of your SEO strategy, you need to find out whether the no-follow attribute has been enabled. You can quickly check for no-follow links by using Google Chrome’s no-follow plug-in. This plugin helps you to find out what sites are passing link juice and what sites are not. Some other examples of no-follow links are Facebook news-feed and Twitter feeds. You may wonder, if people are not getting any benefit from backlinks why are they doing so? The reason people do this in no-follow areas is to generate traffic to a website. If you post a meaningful comment on the article, you may impress other readers to click on your link and check out your website. The more traffic you generate, the more Google considers your site as a popular site, without the backlink.

Where should you use no-follow Attribute?

Use the no-follow attribute whenever you don’t want to pass Google juice. It should be used for linking to questionable and untrusted websites, for a resource page that has more than 100 links, for reputed websites and social networks such as Facebook, Adsense, etc, for paid links and for blocking spiders from pages in a site that you do not want them to crawl.

Untrusted website can pose complications, because a site inherits part of a penalty that may be imposed on a site that you link to. Sites such as porn sites, malware sites or any other site that use black hat techniques are subjected to penalties. Google mentions those sites as bad neighborhoods in their webmaster guidelines.

Is no-follow a bad thing?

Though no-follow links help you in increasing your page rank, they still refer real people. As long as “targeted audience” can follow the links, that’s great. The no-follow links do not pass link juice but you still get targeted audience. Hence, no-follow isn’t a bad thing.

So no-follow links neither helps nor hurts your rankings. But never put no-follow links on internal and external links.

On the other hand if you have multiple do-follow links from one source, search engines will recognize and may not give any credit to your links where they go to waste. Hence links should flow naturally and they’ll be quality links. Otherwise, your website’s link building efforts will suffer in the long run. Passing on too much link juice may leave you with an empty glass.

When judiciously used, both do-follow and no-follow links won’t hurt Google page rankings.

Kelly Marsh is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and women’s health for more than a decade. These days she is busy to contributes on amplify.