In affiliate marketing, links can be a great way to promote your product or services and give your business’ website a slight SEO boost. However, sites that use too many paid links or embrace corrupt linking practices can quickly be found and penalized by Google. This information can easily become overwhelming for the average online business owner.
Thankfully, Affiliate Royale is here to help! In this post, we are going to explain the differences between nofollow and dofollow links, and how to best use the two!
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What Are Dofollow and Nofollow Links?
A nofollow link is a type of HTML attribute that informs search engines that they shouldn’t give any authority from your page to the site that you are linking to. On the other hand, follow links allow search engines to provide the website you are linking with to authority from your site that works in their favor.
A nofollow link looks like this:
<a href=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Example anchor text</a>
All nofollow links must contain the rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute. If you want to find out if your link is nofollow, highlight, and right-click the link you are interested in, then select Inspect on your browser. Your browser window will then split into two parts, and in the bottom portion, you will be able to see the HTML source code of the link. If you see a nofollow attribute listed, then it’s a nofollow link. If not, it’s a dofollow link.
A dofollow link is the exact opposite of a nofollow link, where it is an HTML attribute that is used to allow search bots to follow the links. This type of link allows search engines to give authority to the site you are linking to.
Why Do We Need Dofollow and Nofollow Links?
Google originally created nofollow links in response to blog comment spam. As blogging grew in popularity, spammers would leave links back to their websites in blog comments. As a result, these spam sites would gain rank authority on Google and blog spamming became even more rampant. This led to Google creating the nofollow tag in 2005 and other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing following suit.
What Links Should Be Nofollow?
Which links should always carry a nofollow attribute? Here are a few examples:
- Paid Links
- User-Generated Content
- Links To Sites You Don’t Want To Endorse
- Sites That Are Deemed Untrustworthy
How to Add and Generate Nofollow Links for Your WordPress Website
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how you can add nofollow links to your affiliate website in the new Gutenberg content editor.
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > Add New.
- If you haven’t already, be sure to write your blog post. If you’ve already written your content, select the text that you want to link to, and click on the link icon in your toolbar.
- A text field will then open just below the text you selected. You can paste the external link of your choice in the box. Once you have finished, you can click the arrow icon to add the link.
- Once done, you can click on the apply or Enter icon to add the link.
- To add the nofollow attribute, select the block containing your link and then click on the 3 vertical dots icon on the top bar. This will open a menu with the option to edit as HTML. Click this option.
- You can now add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link. Once you are finished, click on the 3 vertical dots icon again and select the Edit visually option to go back to the visual view.
How to Track Dofollow and Nofollow Links
Tracking your links isn’t as hard as you may think!
To see which links are nofollow and dofollow links in Google Chrome, right-click on the page you want to monitor and hit Inspect Element. In Firefox, right-click the page of your choice and click View Page Source.
Regardless of the browser you use, your next step will be the same. Hit CTRL+F and type “nofollow” in the search bar. All of the nofollow links will then be highlighted.
If you do not want to track you links manually, there are also a number of tools that you can use to manage and track your links in one place, including PrettyLinks, SEO Quake, and NoFollow Simple.
Are Nofollow Links Valuable?
Nofollow links do not get the direct benefits as a dofollow link may receive, but there are still some positive aspects of having nofollow links:
1. Nofollow links are key to a balanced backlink strategy. Not every link on your site has to be a nofollow link – as a matter of fact, it’s normal for a website to have a healthy combination of both dofollow and nofollow links on their website.
2. Nofollow links help build brand awareness and trust. If your business name or brand is mentioned on trustworthy, high-quality sites, visitors are exposed to your business and consider it to be a brand that is credible.
3. Nofollow links increase traffic. Although these links may not help with your site’s direct page rank, these links are still clickable, meaning that site visitors can still click through to your website, which increases your traffic.
New Link Attributes to Lookout For
In 2019, two more link attributes were added by Google as a new way to identify different types of links:
- rel=”sponsored” – Use this attribute for sponsored links, ads, or any form of paid content.
- rel=”ugc” – UGC stands for User Generated Content. This tag should be used for user-generated content, like comments and posts on forums.
Help your affiliate partners manage their links using Affiliate Royale. Start today!
Nofollow and dofollow links may seem overwhelming at first, but we hope that this post will help you learn to navigate the waters of link building and SEO.