A NoFollow link is a type of link in website programming that tells search engines not to take the link into account when crawling or indexing the site. This type of link usually will not pass ‘link juice’ or authority from the referred page to the referring page.
In essence, nofollow links are a way for webmasters to tell search engines and other crawlers that they do not take responsibility for the content found on the referred page, thus preventing the search engine from taking the content of the referred page into account when ranking webpages.
NoFollow links became a part of the HTML code and website programming standard in 2005 when Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, began supporting the rel=”nofollow” HTML tag to combat spam and malevolent links.
What are the General Guidelines and Best Practices?
1) Use NoFollow links on any links you don’t want search engines to take into account when crawling, indexing, and ranking your website.
Many webmasters use NoFollow links on links to external pages and those outside their own domain.
2) NoFollow links are, most often, primarily meant for referring to untrusted content.
As previously mentioned, NoFollow links will usually not pass any ‘link juice’ or authority from the target page to the referring page.
Therefore, most often, webmasters primarily use NoFollow links on links to when pointing to untrusted websites, such as user-generated comments or when referring to sponsored content.
For example, if a user-generated comment contained a link – say, to a suspicious website – the webmaster could use NoFollow links, as to not have the search engines take this link into account when crawling and indexing the site.
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3) Content ‘in the wild’ may be NoFollowed automatically.
When it comes to user-generated content (UGC), such as forums, blogs, or social media posts, the content might be NoFollowed automatically. For example, many forums automatically NoFollow any links contained within the forum post.
Therefore, it is important for webmasters to check the NoFollow status of each individual link.
4) Pay attention to the Anchor Text of NoFollow links.
Anchor text is the text that makes up a link. Many times, the anchor text for NoFollow links will still have value to search engines, even though the link itself is not given any. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the anchor text of NoFollow links, as they may still pass some of their value to the search engine, and therefore, to the target website.
5) Be aware of the benefits of NoFollow links.
Although NoFollow links will most often not pass ‘link juice’ on to the referring page, they do still pass certain benefits, such as potential referral traffic and brand recognition. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the potential benefits of NoFollow links, particularly if they’re referring to other trustworthy websites.
6) Monitor your NoFollow links regularly.
Finally, it is important to keep an eye on your NoFollow links, as search engines may still take them into account when crawling, indexing, and ranking a website. Therefore, it is important to regularly monitor your NoFollow links, as any changes to the links themselves may cause issues with the website’s rankings.