Where and When should a Website use the nofollow tag for Backlinks?

February 21, 2015

Google has a thing or two to say about no-follow backlinks, and how this concept can impact PageRank. If you’re going to build a successful website, one which is going to find a high position on search engine results like Google, then you’re going to have to learn more about this SEO element.

Simply put, no-follow backlinks are backlinks that are designed to tell the search engine not to go any further. This is where the “no-follow” element comes into play. When no-follow tags are employed in backlinks, these links refrain from transferring valuable link juice. Keep in mind that link juice plays a significant role in your PageRank on a site like Google.

In the beginning, these particular types of backlinks were designed to prevent spamming in blogging. However, their importance has changed through the years. If you’re building your site, and you’re trying to create a clear approach to unlocking your true SEO potential, you’re going to want to take what no-follow backlinks mean to your PageRank on Google seriously.

To that end, here are the times and places in which it is appropriate to use these backlinks:

Paid links: Unless you want to get penalized by Google, it is important use these attributes to keep the links that people buy on your site from passing credit.

Comments: Any comment section that isn’t being properly moderated is going to suffer from spam comments from bad websites. These backlinks will make sure these bad sites don’t get any credit from you. That’s good news for your PageRank on Google.

User content: This is similar to how no-follow backlinks benefit your comments section. Allowing just anybody to contribute to the site without moderation can cause problems. No-follow creates the impression that you’re not giving validation to just any other site that comes along.

Embeds: If you’re bringing in widgets or infographics from other websites, and you don’t want to be seen as endorsing those websites, no-follow is definitely the right way to go.

The right time to use a no-follow backlink is when you don’t want to be seen as endorsing another website or user. This is where these backlinks are going to be the most intensely useful. You’re going to want to use these attributes to maintain a good standing with Google and other search engines.

No-follow can be inserted automatically content management systems, or included with your own hand by simply adding rel=”nofollow” to a link (e.g. <a href=”" rel=”nofollow”>).

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