Two types of follow tags are used by search engines, dofollow and nofollow. Dofollow tags tell the search engines to pass on the link juice to the link. But this is not the matter of discussion here. In this post, we will discuss one of the ways of dealing with search engine crawlers. No follow links are used to command search engine crawlers to no to crawl through a link. Search engine crawlers index your websites with the help of links. These links act as a bridge for them. By using No follow tags, you place a “Stop” board right infront of it. This command has to be followed by crawlers, but human searchers can pass through that link.
The No follow Meta tag or attribute is one of the important properties in link building process. It signifies the search engines that a link juice or Page rank should not be passed to the receiving site. No follow links comes in two forms:
i. NoFollow Meta tags:
A NoFollow Meta tag is placed in the <head> section in the source code of the web page. An example of a NoFollow meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="NoFollow">
The above tag implies to search engine crawlers that no link juice should be passed to any of the links in this page.
ii. NoFollow Attribute:
This is a refined form of NoFollow Meta tags. An example of NoFollow Attribute is given as:
<a href="http://www.yourdomain.com/page37.html" rel="nofollow">
When this attribute is place inside the web page, search engines will follow the link present inside the command. This allows publishers to select specific links that they want to NoFollow from a given web page.
One of the common uses of NoFollow tags and attributes is in deactivating all the links that are given in the comment section of a blog. It prevents the blogs from spammers who flood the comments section with spam sites.
Basically, a NoFollow link tells the search engine crawlers to not to follow to the destination link. This increases the efficiency of the searching by prevention of false indexing and crawling. The only difference between a normal link and a Nofollow link is the “rel=nofollow” part that is used in the HTML command.
Always check the links that you are building in your campaign. It should not have a nofollow attribute in it. Thousands and thousands of nofollow links cannot affect your page rank.
Different search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have different kind of reactions for the nofollow links. Nofollow links are counted as backlinks, but just that it does not passes the link juice from referring site to the linked site. However no follow links have just a little effect on SEO rankings.
Let’s take this with the help of an example. Requesting site R has backlink from link target site T. Now if the backlinks/anchor text contains the dofollow attribute, then only the search engine crawlers will crawl into your site. Hence your site will be indexed. But if the anchor text contains nofollow links, then your site will not be indexed.
There are certain benefits of Nofollow links because of which it is used:
a. One of the best uses of Nofollow links is to nofollow all the links in the comments section. This helps in prevention of spammy websites.
b. Nofollow tags are very often used for internal linking of web pages to avoid indexing of duplicate content. If a website contains multiple pages of similar content, then with the use of nofollow, you can direct search engines of what to index and what not to index.
c. Search engines use nofollow in case of Paid links.
If you wish to learn the entire process of link building with a step by step and a detailed approach, then read our Link Building Guide which will lead you in finding high number of quality backlinks.