One of the most common questions I am asked as a blogger is what is nofollow and dofollow? Most new bloggers don't understand what these two terms mean and are often taken advantage of it by brands and sponsors for that reason. This is a simple explanation of the two terms and an explanation of why it's important.
This post may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase using my link.
What is nofollow and dofollow?
First, a little background. Google ranks webpages by assigning each one a Page Rank. This Page Rank is made up of a number of different variables that they don't share with us. In part, they rank webpages by the number of other webpages that link to it. More quality links to your site, in part means your page rank will be higher. Higher page rank means you are seen more often in search results.
When you are writing a blog post, if you link to a webpage simply because you think it's amazing, Google gives that webpage a little bit of your Page Rank juice. No, it doesn't impact your Page Rank at all, it's just like a little vote for their webpage.
If you're writing a blog post and you link to a webpage because they have given you money, gift cards, product or affiliate income, you must let Google know that you're linking to them because you got something in return. You tell Google this by inserting a nofollow tag into the link. If you don't do this (and this is important) Google considers you to be selling your page rank. If you get caught, Google can remove both your Page Rank and the site you linked to. If you don't add nofollow to a link, it is dofollow.
There are a number of different ways you can nofollow a link. You can use a variety of different plugins or you can learn to do it manually. I recommend you learn to do it manually. If your plugin stops working, you'll want that knowledge. Plus, it takes only a second to do and some plugins cause compatibility issues with your blog.
- Edit your blog post and go into the text mode. This method works with both Blogger and WordPress.
- Look through the HTML in the text mode of your blogpost. You'll be looking for a link that looks like this:
<a href="http://thisisyourlink.com" target="_blank">Words you link to</a>
- You may or may not see the target="_blank" - This code opens your link in a new window which is always a good idea.
- You need to change the link so it looks like this:
<a href="http://thisisyourlink.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Words you link to</a>
- Then just save and publish your blog post as normal. You need to follow this method with EVERY link in the post that goes to a site you are getting something from.
- If you link to your own blog or to a friend's blog or to a helpful resource like Wikipedia, there is no need to do this. You only need to nofollow a link when you are getting something in return.
That's all there is to it. It's very simple. Whenever anyone offers to pay you for a text link, chances are they are expecting you to give them dofollow. Make sure you ask and let them know you do not sell dofollow links to avoid violating Google's Terms of Service. This holds true for banner ads and sponsored posts as well. It only takes a moment to let them know you only provide nofollow links.