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. Ronald Tee

    How do i know if i`m linking to websites with spamming bots? what should i see (and where) that may lead me to decide to place a no-follow link.

    and another question that i have , this might be based on a myth but i want to get another opinion –
    is google expecting you to have no-follow links aside of the dofollow link in order to give you higher ranking points ?

  2. graicy

    Thanks Bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really cleared my confusion. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole no-follow thing and right now I’ve got clarity. Thanks once again.

  3. Victor Winners

    Thanks Harsh. This really made sense for me. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole no-follow thing and right now I’ve got clarity. Thanks once again.

  4. Mohan Yadav

    Awesome article, I ‘m very new to SEO and it’s techniques and was interested to know more about dofollow and nofollow links. I had some confusion before reading this Useful, Great and Awesome Article but now Definitely, This article covered my confusion and gave me a good knowledge and information about SEO as well as.

  5. deepak

    Thanks for clearing my confusion about dofollow and nofollow links

  6. Rakesh Sharma

    I am a beginner to wordpress blogging and this really helps.

  7. Sahil

    thanks bro
    for sharing this useful info here, really need to what is the different between these two.

  8. sadek ahmed

    Nice one Anoop, I just wanted to know that if I’m creating any external links to Google or Facebook or any good site then which is good to have nofollow attribute or dofollow attribute. And what it is so?

  9. Mehedi Hasan Rocky

    Hey Harsh & Anoop Sir, I have just started blogging. I think I am learning a lot from shoutmeloud & some other website like wpbeginner,backlinko etc. This article is really helpful to, me. As I am trying to get something new everyday,I think this is the best place. Now I know a lot about do-follow and no-follow backlinks. Can you also suggest me some wordpress plugins by which I can use for SEO?

  10. Hari Hara Kumar Surisetti

    Hey Anoop!!

    Such a nice article and so useful. I am clarified a little but still in confusion. I am doing affiliate marketing and using thirsty affiliates. Should i use no follow to increase my rankings?? how is this possible..Actually please guide me in which cases we need to use do follow and no follow. kindly reply so that it will be helpful to me

    well this is a great blog i have come across. cheers!!

  11. vinay

    very useful i was confused but now every concept is clear about do follow and no follow

  12. Kundan Kumar

    I am a SEO professional and one of my Junior asked me a question today that Linkedin,plurk etc. are give us only no-follow links. So why we do bookmarking or else here. I said that to increase traffic.
    But I wanted to know that, any other is also out there or not.
    If yes then explain me?

    However you have explain few but I still wants more information related to this.

  13. fuzail khan

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

    1. Aaron Henry

      These kinds of topics matter mainly for the web developers and webmasters. A causal person that engages in link building cannot control the decisions of moderators and content publishers. He will only make an attempt to build links, while moderators will decide about the type of links given to him. If you are a moderator then I will suggest you to ‘nofollow’ all links going to page of other websites, because this is what Google recommends. Giving too much ‘dofollow’ links or not giving ‘nofollow’ or ‘external nofollow’ attribute to the outgoing links is harmful for search visibility.

  14. Joe

    Great article. I always remember to use the nofollow link attribute when linking to less reputable sites.

  15. karnam

    I was having doubts regarding do follow and no follow, but your post made me clear

  16. Matthew Thompson

    Very helpful, I wasn’t sure about this for a while.

  17. Nitin

    thanks for sharing your experience

  18. manish ransubhe

    From many months I don’t know about these but today you have cleared my doubt this post helped mi lot to understand about no follow and do follow

  19. kumar

    hey ankit sir good information. but can we use it in guest post like we sent guest post and he provide us nofollow link is it beneficial or not

  20. Josh

    As an SEO newbie learning the industry, I came across your blog and I’m glad I did because it cleared up some confusion. Thanks for putting out such good information. I’m looking forward to following your blog.

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