When you link to another website, or vice versa, that link can be helpful in various ways, depending whether it’s DoFollow or NoFollow. If you search Google, you’ll find lots of arguments about why DoFollow is better for SEO, or why they’re the same, or why NoFollow links are pointless etc.

Basically, a NoFollow link tells a search engine that even though you’re linking to a website, you have no relation to the site and it’s not worth following the link, perhaps if you think the site is untrusted. This means that the site would receive traffic if your readers click the link, but the link will not improve the websites Page Rank or search rankings. So from an SEO perspective, it’s pointless.

Usually, the default for linking is DoFollow. Anytime you link to a website without a NoFollow attribute, it is essentially a DoFollow link. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which I’ve included below.

DoFollow Advantages

  • By allowing readers to leave a DoFollow link when they comment, there is more chance a user will comment. At the end of the day, who doesn’t enjoy more comments? No matter the quality, more comments makes your blog look popular and bursting with activity.
  • If you’ve discovered a website you’d like to promote, what’s more rewarding for them than leaving a DoFollow link in one of your posts? This means more traffic for them which could also result in them linking back to you!
  • A Top Commenters form with DoFollow links is a great way to reward those readers that interact the most with your blog. If anyone tries to spam your blog to reach the top, you could easily just delete their comments.
  • Another great thing about DoFollow links is that you can submit your site to DoFollow directories. Also, other websites are more inclined to link back to you to let others know that you’re DoFollow.

DoFollow Disadvantages

  • A DoFollow blog is more prone to spam because some users are there purely for the backlink, not to engage in conversation. You’ll have to spend more time moderating comments, unless your Blogging platform does it automatically for you!
  • A blog with lots of outgoing DoFollow links can lower your Page Rank. Every DoFollow Link that leaves your blog takes some of your PR with it. Although some links may deserve a healthy backlink to their website, what about those linking to bad websites? The more links to bad websites, the more likely Google will punish your Page Rank, which in turn will affect your search rankings.

NoFollow Advantages

  • You can link to as many websites as possible without worrying about any consequences. For instance if you accidentally link to a website with tons of infringing links, your site isn’t going to suffer.
  • By using NoFollow links, a search engine crawler will be able to index your pages faster, without checking out all the outgoing links on your website. This also means less bandwidth usage.
  • If someone knows your blog is NoFollow, then there is less chance of them leaving a spam comment just to get a cheeky backlink to their own website. You know who you are…

NoFollow Disadvantages

  • Although spam is bad, less comments from people desperate for backlinks also means less activity on your beloved blog.

Personally, I believe a healthy mix of DoFollow links and NoFollow links are the best method for your blog to succeed. If you’re unsure of whether you’re linking to an untrusted website, just add a NoFollow attribute to your link. Your readers can still access the website and Google won’t deem the link worth following when crawling your blog. To create a NoFollow attribute, keep reading!

How to make your links NoFollow

Creating NoFollow links are easy, assuming you already know how to create a standard link. The tag <a> is used when creating a link in HTML. Say we’re linking to Google, here’s what a standard link looks like:

<a href=”http://www.google.co.uk” rel=”nofollow”>Google’s Home Page</a>

Now, to add the NoFollow attribute to your link, you’ll need to add <rel=nofollow> as shown below. Make sure you leave a space before or after, depending on where you place it.

<a href=”http://www.google.co.uk” rel=”nofollow”>Google’s Home Page</a><a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.google.co.uk”>Google’s Home Page</a>