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. Ahmed Ali

    As i know do-follow links effects on DA , PA And CF , TF both but No-follow links only effects on DA , PA it does not effects on CF because no-follow did not give Trust to that URL. If i am wrong then let me know 🙂

  2. Dave

    Hey Cool article! You guys really seem to know your stuff! Once you’ve got a few backlinks flowing, would it help to have a few internal links (Home page>About Page etc.) a few times throughout the site? How does Google see that?

  3. Tyler

    Very captivating and educating post.

  4. Ravi Patel

    Thanks for this article.

    This is very useful for my new blog.

  5. omair

    helpful articles thanks for sharing. now i understand dofollow nofollow

  6. Vicky rao

    Thank You Anoop for this article, Is their any tool is present to check weather the link is follow or No-follow please suggest.

  7. Abhishek Tripathi

    I am little confused that Can I use this no follow tag while commenting also. And if I use this no follow tag while commenting, then Search Engines will not able to know that admin of which blog has commented this. Then how will this be considered as a no-follow link? Please suggest.

    Thanks 🙂

  8. Deatives

    From thing I’ve learned in my months of research of SEO is that Google doesn’t only want to see “dofollow”, it appears as if you bought the links, regardless of if you’ve done it or not it’s important to have a mix of those links.

  9. Alan bryson

    Nice article,

    Always good to have a mix of nofollow and dofollow links


    Nice Ideas, Thanks for clarifying all my queries.

  11. Richard V Landman

    thanks for such a great article it is really useful, you just clear my confusion.

  12. abiya

    It is a type of link which has a potential to improve the ranking and the credibility of your website in Google. By default every link is dofollow, link which does not contain Rel=”Nofollow” Attribute is dofollow and these are considered to be the most powerful links for any websites.
    These links allow search engine to doindex and pass link juice which is indeed the most vital thing for webmasters.The credit goes to Google who introduces dofollow link in 2005 to deeply filter search engine results for spam indexing.

  13. Shahzaib Ul Hassan

    Thankyou for wonderful article, mostly i check it by right click on website and selecting inspect in chrome. it will tell me about do follow and no follow backlinks.

  14. Adeel Sami

    Hello, Anoop!

    Thank you for clearing this up for us!

    I am not a frequent user of these tags but did use it for one post on my blog because I had to avoid some foreseeable issues.

    So, it is true that as we all write we have to understand the importance of all of these tags and implement whenever required.

    Thank you, buddy! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

  15. Abhishek Kumar

    Nice article, i am new in SEO and wanted to know more about follow and no- follow link. This article gave me good information.

  16. Madhushalini

    Thanks for the useful article. I’ve heard that website content is the most important things nowadays. Do you know how much the value of links has fallen? I mean, is it even still necessary to do link building?

  17. kranthi kiran

    Hi Can any one help me ?
    Can i get back links from websites hosted on Single IP Hosting server or Do they hurt my site SEO? Please suggest me.. Thanks in advance

  18. Mark

    What are your thoughts on NOFOLLOW anchor text? I understand that Google reckons they don’t pass on value of any anchor text that’s nofollow, but has anyone actually tested this?

    Interested to hear you thoughts.

  19. vineeth m

    Nofollow links from high domain authority can increase websites authority and thus it will help in ranking too. More the number of returning domains with high authority then we can grow faster. But keeping not less than 1:3 ratio of dofollow:nofollow will help you without penalizing.

  20. suprakash mishra

    ok fine can any one say after commenting top blogs which commenting section are do follow enabled but when i test through any backlink checker thats result is tour site have no backlinks.what is the issue.

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