Why Nofollow Links Are Important!

Hi everyone!

Yesterday there was an entire #fblchat dedicated to different blogging aspects of the law. This chat also included the attribute rel=nofollow which got a lot of people confused and nervous so I decided to do a blogpost on the subject clearing things up a bit.

What are nofollow links?

First, of all the rel=nofollow attribute is not something you are legally obligated to use, it’s an attribute for search engines. The point of the rel=nofollow attribute is to tell Google not to follow a specific link.

Google is crawling links on different websites to find the best search result for us users. This means that a website with a lot of links on the web might get a higher pagerank, this is why companies want to pay you to link their website on your blog. When you link a website let’s say hm.com you are telling Google that this website is to be trusted and that you like it.

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Why you should use nofollow links!

There are a couple of reasons why you should rel=nofollow on some of your links. Always only use rel=nofollow on external linking (linking to websites outside your blog) and never on internal linking (websites on you own blog.) Remember linking internal content will help your SEO when Google is crawling your blog and help your readers find interesting blogposts form you.

If you are unsure whether you can trust a site or not, you should use rel=nofollow. Having links to untrustworthy websites are bad for your own pagerank, these links could be spammers in the comments or hidden links in your blog theme.

Google has very strict guidelines about “bought” links. This could be; being paid for links on your website, getting products for links on your website or “if I link to you – you link to me.” It means that every time you are doing a sponsored blogpost, with either money in return or free products you should always use rel=nofollow.

It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with linking to different websites where you bought products yourself. If you are doing an OOTD and your jeans are from hm.com you can link to those jeans without doing anything wrong as long as you are not paid by H&M.

How to use nofollow links in WordPress and Blogger

If you are a WordPress user there is a very easy way to control all of this. You can download the plugin named “No Follow for External Links” this will put the rel=nofollow attribute in all your external linking so you will always be sure.

If you are a blogger you can just check the box add rel=nofollow every time you link external.

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You can also write the code yourself in the HTML part of your blogpost if you find that’s the easiest way.

Again I just want to say that this is not something that the law says and you can’t go to jail or something for it, but you can end up with a bad pagerank or be removed from Google, which is bad for your pageviews.

If you want to know more you can visit Google’s official guidelines about these subjects Rel=nofollow and Link schemes

Autumn Leaves also did a blogpost summarizing yesterday #fblchat Nofollow or follow links? What, when and how?

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below asking. Do you use or know of rel=nofollow?

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  • http://tanjamortensen.com/ Tanja Mortensen

    I hope it helps. It seems like it’s something a lot of people don’t know about :)

  • Serena Davina

    this is really helpful

    great post

    • http://tanjamortensen.com/ Tanja Mortensen

      Thank you!

  • lornapenn

    I’ve heard other bloggers talk about no follow links and never knew what they were talking about. I am a fashion blogger and quite new so it might be a while before I am sponsored for anything. When we write comments on other blogs or websites have we created a link? I thought this was good for SEO but I’ve noticed some bloggers using the nofollow?

    • http://tanjamortensen.com/ Tanja Mortensen

      I don’t think you need to worry about it when posting links on other people’s blog. It’s good to create links around the internet, but when posting your link in the comments of other people’s blog it’s mostly to get them to notice you and visit back.

      The reason why some people use no follow links when sharing their links in the comments of other people’s blog could be if the blog have or end up with a bad Google reputation you don’t want your blog to be associated with it in Google’s eyes.