What is Nofollow link? What effect does it have on SEO?

Some people think that Nof0llow has no effect on the SEO of the site and it is better that all the links they receive for their site are followers, with this simple mistake, we will lose our place in the search results forever.

Google updates its algorithm several times a year to optimize the ranking of results for users in the best possible way. You may be wondering how Google chooses the best of all the sites on the Internet.

  • Short answer: Google has a scoring system
  • Long answer: There are 200 factors affecting SEO by which Google algorithms can make better and fairer judgments about the quality of sites. Of course, some of these factors have been confirmed by Google SEO experts and others are still in a state of ambiguity.

External and internal linking is the top 200 SEO factors that Google has confirmed many times; But improper use of link building techniques has a detrimental effect on our site:

We may lose our place suddenly and forever!

Using the Nof0llow feature in external linking helps us to minimize the possibility of being penalized by Google. In the following, we want to introduce you to the definition of Nof0llow link, when to use it and its applications.


What is a NoFollow link?

All links on the Internet are Follow by default; If we add the rel = Nofollow attribute to the <a> tag, it becomes a nofollow link. By adding this feature, we tell Google bots that there is no reason to enter the linked page and check it; In other words, this method does not transfer any credit or value to the landing page. (There is a lot of disagreement about this sentence and we will mention it a little later)


Why was Nof0llow added to the SEO literature?

First of all, we need to know why the Nof0llow link was created. Google’s algorithms were of great value for link building from the beginning; SEO experts soon realized the importance of links to a better position in search results.

Patience is one of the most important ethical attributes of SEO success. But instead of choosing quality, some SEO experts focus on quantity and want to get to the top 1 of Google as soon as possible. For this reason, they have designed and implemented a variety of linking methods that were unnatural to Google; Linking in the comments section, forum profiles, creating a free blog and…

Blogging, which had become an important trend at the time, was on the verge of extinction! Because all valuable and high quality pages were attacked by bots and commenting users (for the purpose of linking). Introducing the NoFollow link was the best possible way to deal with spammers. In 2005, Google announced that by including this feature in links, it would prevent links from being reviewed by Google bots and effectively prevent the transfer of value and credibility to the target page.

Nof0llow quickly showed its impact on the Internet, so much so that today, in the comments section of specialized sites and forums, we automatically Nof0llow all the links posted by users, thereby reducing the attractiveness of sending spam comments for the purpose of linking. .


The arrival of the penguin made Nof0llow even more important

External linking techniques are not limited to posting comments and activities in forums. Purchasing text backlinks, publishing ad reporting, link exchange, making loops and vortices (PBNs) from free blogs are all common ways to improve your site ranking. We have thoroughly reviewed the history of the formation of these techniques and Google’s fight against it in the article on black hat linking.

Well the result is clear; Backlinks flourished, and playing by ranking results was made easier. Displaying sites with low-value content but strong linking has dramatically reduced the quality of search results and sounded the alarm for Google.

Since 2012, the Penguin algorithm has entered the game with an important mission; Identify and penalize fraudulent sites.

Sites that link to unrelated pages or buy backlinks are identified by penguins and lose their place in search results. But a new problem arose; Advertising on the Internet was almost impossible!

To design an advertising campaign (banner or text), we pay more attention to the effectiveness and chances of being seen than to the thematic relevance. As a result, placing our banner ad on an unrelated site (which also has a link) should not be detected in violation of Google rules. Here, the value of the Nof0llow link was rediscovered, and advertising sites were forced to use it.


When should we use the Nofollow link?

So far we are familiar with some of the uses of Nof0llow. But let’s take a closer look at its applications. Before we get started, let ‘s know that in 2019, Google has added 2 new features to Nof0llow
In the following, we will examine the use of each.

Sponsored (promotional)

For sites that sell banner ads or publish news reports (such as news sites and e-magazines). Using the Sponsored feature instead of Nofollow is recommended. This feature can also be used for sales collaboration systems or any other model that needs linking.

<a href="URL" rel="sponsered">Anchor Text</a>

UGC (user generated)

UGC stands for User Generated Content. For pages or sections whose content is written by users, it is best to use the UGC feature. For example, in the comments section, forums, ad sites, blogging tools and anywhere else where the user can directly insert content and of course the link.

<a href="URL" rel="UGC">Anchor Text</a>

Nofollow (semantic connection)

If the link is inserted directly by the site administrator and not for advertising purposes, the Nof0llow link can also be used, thus preventing the transfer of value and credibility to the linked page.

<a href="URL" rel="nofollow">Anchor Text</a>

Some people think that whenever we link to another site in our content, it must be Nof0llow, while this is not a true belief. If the page to which we have linked in the text of our article is conceptually and semantically related to our content, there is no need to use Nof0llow, but if for any reason we link to a page that is not completely related to our page, it is better to use Nof0llow.

Imagine we have written an article on Bootstrap training and in this content we have linked to the main site of Bootstrap as the main reference and the website of SEO teaching as the company that uses this framework. Should both be nouveau riche? No! The Bootstrap site is completely relevant to the subject of our article, and reviewing it will help Google bots to better understand our content, so we are not using the Nof0llow feature, but the SEO teaching site is not directly related to this topic and should be Nof0llow.


Nof0llow links have no value in SEO?

Let’s review a familiar scenario; Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time building links on sites, forums, social networks and blogs in the hope of improving rankings, but now we realize that all of them are nouveau riche and have no value or credibility. Yes! A slap hit us hard on the face!

But do not worry, Nof0llow links are not worthless. In September 2019, Google announced that it was using Nof0llow links to better understand the topic and link the pages. In other words, their value and impact are not as great as the follow link, but it can no longer be said that they have no value.

Of course, the good news does not end here, there are other important uses for this link building model:

1- Increasing visits and brand awareness

Let’s not forget that our goal of link building is not just SEO, but the most important use of links is to create access routes for users. If our link is on a high-traffic site and in the right place, it will have a great chance of being clicked. This will allow more people to become familiar with our brand or use our products and services directly.

2- Bypassing the penguin algorithm

The Penguin algorithm has several methods for detecting abnormal link building, and one of the important factors is the balance between follow and Nof0llow links. This means that if all the external links to our site are followers (in large numbers), the chances of the penguin being suspicious of the site and being penalized will increase. In fact, by having Nof0llow links, we create the necessary ground for purposeful and valuable linking for the site.

3- More freedom in linking

Our goal in producing content is to satisfy the user and answer his questions. In many cases, we refuse to do so for fear that linking to another site will cause us to lose our credibility, even if it is useful to the user! First of all, linking to reputable and relevant sites is not only not dangerous, but also helps to improve the quality of our content and ranking. If the page is not related to our topic, by using the Nof0llow feature, we have both maintained the user’s satisfaction and there is no problem for the SEO site.


What is the difference between a Nof0llow link and a Nof0llow metatag?

The answer to this question is very simple but very important. If we use the Robots meta tag with the Nof0llow attribute on a page, it is like adding the Nof0llow attribute to all the links on that page. To use this meta tag, we only put it once in the page code and in the head section:

< Meta name="robots" content="Nofollow" />

Of course, the use of this tag is recommended only in certain circumstances. For example, on pages such as user profiles that do not contain important links. If we use this tag for all sites, all our internal links will become nouveau riche, which is not the right thing to do.


Use Nof0llow in internal link building?

There is no need to use the Nof0llow tag in internal linking. Some people think that by following public links like pages about us and contacting us, more value is transferred to the more important pages (in terms of SEO). While this belief is not true.

Only if our internal page has been removed from Google by the Noindex tag or the Robots.txt file, it is better to use the Nof0llow feature in linking to these pages.

And finally, a valuable piece of advice!

The link building process is one of the most important and effective factors for improving a site’s ranking in Google search engines. Our mistakes in this part of SEO can have irreparable consequences. The link building course is designed to provide the most up-to-date and practical internal and external linking techniques, and is a good guide for you in this direction by providing practical examples.

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