Understand DoFollow & Nofollow Link: SEO Basics


Whenever we talk about search engine optimization, some of the common words are noindex, doindex, nofollow, dofollow, meta robots and so on. All the words hold equal importance in the book of SEO. In this post I will be explaining about Nofollow and Dofollow. Especially for newbies who are new to SEO or people who are still not clear about Nofollow or dofollow, this post will be useful.

Did You Know?

Nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines bots that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place. This is a concept introduced by Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen in the year 2005.

What Is The Difference between NoFollow & Dofollow

Nofollow links attributes do not allow search engine bots to follow link.That means if the website owner is linking back to you with nofollow attributes, it does not pass on link juice. Only Humans will be able to follow the links. Though some time back Google made it clear that they don’t consider nofollow link attributes but weightage of such links are really less. Even though, it’s a good practice to use Nofollow link attribute to those link, where you don’t want to pass link-juice.

An example of Nofollow Link:

<a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>

Dofollow links allow google (all search engines) to follow them and reach our website. Giving us link juice and a backlink. If a webmaster is linking back to you with this link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you. The best way to give someone dofollow love is allowing keyword in the anchor text. This means when you are linking to any website or page, use the targeted keyword as anchor text.

An example of Dofollow Link:

<a href=”http://www.google.com/”>Google</a>

Note: By default all the hyperlinks are dofollow. So, you don’t need to do anything to make a link do-follow.

Important Notice:-

Recently Google has said that they will still count the nofollow link as an outgoing link in terms of the distribution of page rank from your page. Though again it also depends on where that nofollow link is placed. Placing a nofollow link at the bottom of the page has the least impact, and when placed at the top of the page, it carries some impact.

Types Of No-Follow

  • Robots Meta Tag : <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />

This tells bots/crawlers/spiders not to follow links on the full page.

  • Link Attribute : <a href=”http://www.google.com” rel=”nofollow”>

This tells search engines not to count the link in terms of ranking pages.

  • Save

Quick Tip: Try to keep noindex attribute for pages like contact and nofollow attribute for affiliate links on your blog posts. If you are linking to any spam website for any reason, use the nofollow link attribute.

Do let me know if you have more questions regarding basics of Nofollow or Dofollow?

For further reading:

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Authored By
Anoop Sudhakaran is a Tech Blogger from Mumbai, India.He is the Founder & Editor of HackTabs. His areas of Interest include Computers, Blogging, Gaming, Internet Surfing. At HackTabs he writes about Technology,Internet Security,Ethical Hacking,Blogging,Microsoft Windows,SEO,Mobiles and Gadgets.

146 thoughts on “Understand DoFollow & Nofollow Link: SEO Basics”

  1. Rheace

    This is a great article!

    Just used this to show my friend the difference between do and no. Was better than me writing out my own 500 piece article!

    Thanks for the help 🙂

  2. Mrunal

    What are the best practice to get dofollow links as im confused now. Because what i was thinking when we comment on blogs or forums it benefits our ranking.

    Most of the comments on blog and forums are nofollow or dofollows. Is it a waste of time now commenting on top blogs.

    Harsh please explain us. Very confused about it.

    1. Daniyaal Khaleeq

      MRUNAL I am a lover of Shout Me Loud,
      It is truth that search engines do no follow no follow links, but if you have hundreds of no follow links then they can surely give a slight impact on your site’s ranking

  3. Dipanjan

    how to check how many link in my website is dofollow or nofollow link

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Dipanjan,

      You can use SEMRUSH.

  4. Sizzor

    I have seen lot of websites uses nofollow than do follow links to get to the front page of google, but it is feasible or will get penalised by google ?

    1. Mark

      You definitely need a mix of both dofollow and nofollow links these days.If they are relevant you won’t get penalized.

  5. Ankita Shreeram

    What about links with neither attribute – nofollow or dofollow? All the links on my blog are like that because I wasn’t aware of either attribute until recently. Are plain links better/worse than nofollow/dofollow? Please clarify. Thanks.

  6. arav saha

    i am a newbie in seo.I don’t that much difference of no-follow and do-follow but your article gives me a lot of information.I just want to know if i get a do-follow backlink how to check that.Can you tell me please

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Arav,

      You can use SEMRUSH.

  7. Dave

    Hi there, I currently only have a DA of 25, and have never added No-Follow tag.

    Do you think that has made a significant difference?

    If I went through my site and added no follow tag would that help raise my DA to over 30?

    I currently get around 50K page views per month pretty much all from Google.

  8. Taranpreet Singh

    I’ve a question: Outbound links to authority sites should be no-follow or do-follow? Please reply asap.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Taranpreet,

      It should be do-follow.

  9. veer sing

    Thanks for sharing..I have a question..?
    Guest post or comments has do follow link or no follow link…?

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Mostly no-follow.

      1. Tabassum

        Hello!!! I want to know, which are some of the blog commenting sites which allow do follow comments.

          1. Tabassum

            Thank Harsh!

            It was useful article and forum site links for me.

  10. Md. Maksudul Hassan

    Thanx for this post.. now i understand what is do follow and what is no follow.

  11. Oluseye

    Speaking of do-follow and no-follow, how best would you explain knowing the site with a do-follow.

    The explanation seem to be lacking in the post, and I so need that.

  12. Rhutik Giradkar

    How Many Days Will It Take For A Do Follow Backlink To Get Indexed?

  13. kavith

    aleast now i know what is nofollow and dofollow link thank you harsh this information was very useful for me

    1. Aman

      this was added by ANOOP SUDHAKARAN , :p

  14. Radha Agarwal

    How much is backlinking important for a website? If one does not have even one dofollow link then?

  15. Ramesh

    Very useful info.

    Is there any ideal ratio between dofollow and nofollow links for a website?

  16. Ally Msangi

    This post has helped me to differentiate between the two. At first i didn’t understand at all their differences.

  17. priya

    Great article.I always confuse with do-follow and no-follow links.Now its clear.Thank you.

  18. jeklen

    Thanks for the tips. I now know much about these links types.I am just building dofollow links via guest posting

  19. Rubel


    Brilliantly Written post.

    But, I am still not sure, whether I should go for Nofollow Links or not?

    Because some articles say, nofollow links helps in ranking, but some say, it does not have any effect, when it comes to SEO.

    So, What should i do? Currently, I am just building dofollow links via guest posting.

    Appreciate your time.

    1. renaissance

      hi rubel,
      Actually Google Page Rank is not only matter of dofollow and nofollow backlink.Its a part of SEO.But both are important.But try to use content related backlink.Every thing is changing day by day.better read this article root of music (Renaissance-Creator of Art)

  20. Tarun Rawat

    Hey Guys,
    This question is for both of you ANOOP and Harsh.

    Well I know that if I give do follow link to some external site then it pass my site link juice. But what happen to my site ranking will it gonna dec. ?

    and one more thing is that if I don’t give any do follow link then all link juice will stuck to my site so my site will rank better ?

    Waiting for reply… Lets see Harsh How fast you treat your readers 😉 😉

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