No Nonsense Guide to Dofollow and Nofollow Link Relationship Attributes
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get right to it!
What is dofollow?
Simply put, “dofollow” is a plain HTML link that indicates to users that text is hyperlinked. It also tells search-engine spiders to crawl your link.
If you’re familiar with basic HTML, “dofollow” links should be very familiar:
<a href="http://example.com">Your Anchor Text</a>
The term “dofollow” is used to describe a type of link in conversations like we’re having today. You will notice there isn’t an actual “dofollow” link relationship attribute, which is an HTML tag that tells the web browser the relationship of the linked document with the current document.
What is nofollow?
The link relationship attribute “nofollow” looks like this:
<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Your Anchor Text</a>
Still visible and clickable to users, what “nofollow” does is tell search-engine spiders to not follow your link, resulting in the following:
- Spiders will not follow the link
- Users may still click and follow the link
- PageRank is not transferred
- Anchor text is not transferred to your link profile
Okay, I know you might be thinking, “Wait?! Isn’t that counterproductive if what I’m trying to do is build exposure for myself in search engines?”
The link relationship attribute “nofollow” is one of many methods search engines have initiated to prevent link spam from reaching end users. With strategically used “nofollow” tags, you will build your exposure and protect your authority with search engines.
Here are the two most common ways you can use the “nofollow” link relationship attribute on your own website:
- Your blog comments section. If you’re already monitoring your blog comments (as you should be), then you know that commenters will often leave vague or sometimes completely irrelevant comments just to get a link back to their website. The “nofollow” will preserve your website’s integrity from those linked comments that are not easily deciphered as spam.
- Pages you don’t want indexed. You may have areas on your website that are exclusive to members that are not open to the public or perhaps you simply don’t want users on a page. Use the “nofollow” relationship attribute to indicate to search engines that you don’t want it indexed.
Your Articles: Dofollow vs. Nofollow
If you recall, section 3f. Website Links/URLs of the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines, you may include:
- A maximum of two self-serving links (links you own or have a vested interest in).
- A maximum of two non-self-serving links (those links you don’t have a vested interest in, such as a citation).
- Up to four links max., consisting of both self-serving and non-self-serving links, in your entire article submission.
Depending on the placement on your links, your articles on EzineArticles.com use both “dofollow” and “nofollow”:
- Nofollow: All links placed in the article body automatically include “nofollow” , which instructs search engines that the link should not influence ranking.
- Dofollow: Links placed in the Resource Box are “dofollow” and therefore do influence the ranking.
5 Additional Quick and Easy Must-Read Resources on Linking
- The Fold: Why Linking Above the Fold Is Problematic
Click here learn more about link placement in your articles.
- HTML Code Basics for Expert Authors
Click here to learn how to format basic HTML.
- Diversify Your Link Profile With Descriptive Anchor Text
Click here for more information on how to maintain your visibility with a balanced link profile.
- Losing Readers? Keep Them on Your Website by Improving User Experience Part I
Click here for 7 tips to improve your website’s appeal and keep visitors on your site.
- Losing Readers? Keep Them on Your Website by Improving User Experience Part II
Click here for 5 website basics to consider BEFORE you link.
Any questions? Share your comments and suggestions – we’d love to hear from you!