How To Use Nofollow Links Correctly For SEO
The nofollow attribute is an essential part of SEO backlinks. When an SEO agency conducts an SEO link audit, they should be able to distinguish nofollowed backlinks from followed links and determine if they were used the right way.
In 2005, nofollow links were introduced due to spam comments in blogs. When blogging became popular, people spammed blog comments because it was an easy way to link to quality websites and boost their rankings. As a result, Google used the nofollow attribute to prevent blog comments with links from getting credit.
Nofollow is a rel attribute specifying the relationship of a webpage where the link is and the page that it points to. It means that the page the link points to is not endorsed, or that there is no commercial relationship between the two pages.
Four years after nofollow was introduced, former member of Google Matt Cutts made an announcement, saying that influencing PageRank with nofollow links will not work as it had before.
In the past, PageRank was divided between the number of outbound followed links, but the new change meant that it would now be divided between the total number of links, no matter if they are followed or nofollowed.
Then, in March 2020, Google confirmed what most SEOs were suspecting. They recently announced that nofollow links are now treated as a hint instead of a directive.
They also added two more rel attributes: “sponsored” and “UGC”. The first attribute is used to distinguish paid links or paid content while the latter is used to identify user-generated content, such as comments and posts written by users on blogs and forums.
Moreover, these rel attributes can now be used with the nofollow attribute. However, if an SEO has links that do not fall into either of the two categories but still wants Google to not vouch for them, then just using nofollow is ideal.
Due to these updates, the way that SEOs use nofollow links has also changed. Before, SEOs and businesses used nofollow links as a general catchall for links that they did not want to pass PageRank.
Now, people use nofollow links if their links are neither related to the two rel attributes – sponsored and UGC – and if they do not want them to pass PageRank.
Some website owners and SEOs nofollow all outbound links because they are scared of receiving Google penalties. However, if you are confident that your links are not really designed to manipulate PageRank, then there is no reason to nofollow them.
For instance, you do not need to nofollow a link if: you think that it’s a useful resource; you were not paid to create the content; or if you just want to share it.
Nofollowed links do not necessarily boost a website’s rankings, but since Google and other search engines treat them as a hint, there is still a possibility that it might help a website rank higher. These links are great for traffic since they are much more effective at attracting visitors more than most followed links.
Despite the benefits that they bring, SEO agencies and business owners must familiarise themselves with the proper way to use such links for the betterment of their websites.
SEO backlinks are one of the most important tasks when it comes to ranking higher on search engines like Google. Here at Position1SEO, we can help you not only with linking to trusted and quality websites but also in choosing web pages that contain relevant and informative content. This will make search engines notice you, increasing your odds of ranking on the first page of the search engine results.