“Search Engine Optimization” is an umbrella term used to denote the process of optimizing a website for search engines. Simply put, it refers to doing all that is possible to improve a website’s online visibility. If a user searches for a query on a search engine, the higher your website appears in the search results, the more likely you are to attract new visitors to your website. As soon as a visitor lands on your website, if you have relevant content that meets his needs, you can convert him into a paying customer.
Needless to say, the toughest part of the equation is bringing the target audience to your website, and that’s where SEO steps in. It’s all about making changes to the content, description, and design of your blog or websites so that it ranks high on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Regardless of how insignificant such changes may look, they can take a website’s visibility to another level if utilized to their full potential.
A critical component of SEO strategies is handling links. Follow us as we attempt to explain the meaning and significance of links.
What are links and why are they important?
When it comes to SEO tactics, terms like noindex, doindex, nofollow, dofollow and backlink are frequently used. Though they are used for different purposes, in the world of SEO, all these terms hold equal importance. For content creators who are just getting started with SEO, it’s very important to understand the working of links.
Links, as their name suggests, are a way for search engines to perceive interconnections between websites. If a website contains a link to another website, the visitor will understand that the content on the two websites is linked somehow. When your website is linked to by another website, it not only provides web visitors with more in-depth information about the query they initially searched for, but it also increases the value of your website.
Think of it as a movie or book recommendation made by your friend or a teacher. The recommendation holds value to you since it is provided by a credible source, right? The same goes with the links as well. When you link to another website, you are giving away a portion of your worth to that website. Working with that same logic, if a credible website links to the content on your webpage, the goodwill of your website increases, and this phenomenon is known as backlinking! To put it simply, backlinks are “votes of confidence” provided by different websites that vouch for your content.
And now to answer a very pertinent question – why should you care about backlinks?
You can generate significant traffic to your website by having good quality backlinks pointing to your webpage; this doesn’t just come from individuals clicking on those links, but also from search engines – it’s that simple!
Moving on, let’s try to understand two important kinds of backlinks – dofollow and nofollow.
What are Dofollow and Nofollow Links?
To give you a quick idea, nofollow and dofollow backlinks are two different ways to recognize a link and instruct search engines how and when to associate different websites. Google uses PageRank, a weighted point system, to estimate the value of a webpage and its position in searched results. The amount of dofollow and nofollow links connecting a webpage taken into account by this system.
Now let’s try to understand these two links types.
A dofollow link is a type of backlink that improves a website’s SEO by passing the authority of the source site to it. The term “link juice” is a slang used to explain and quantify the amount of authority a backlink has on another website. The higher the authority of a dofollow link, the more impact it will have on the website’s search engine ranking.
All links in a webpage are dofollow by default, therefore, when writing the code for a webpage, there’s no need to use attributes such as rel=”dofollow” during linking.
A nofollow link is an HTML element that tells search engine crawlers or web spiders that a backlink with this attribute must not affect the position of the target website in the search engine’s index. Its goal is to make life easy for content creators who are having trouble with spammers trying to spam comments in the hopes of high ranking and getting unfair advantage.
In the year 2005, Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen proposed this concept stating that websites don’t endorse comment spamming and Back-Hat SEO techniques used for unfair advantage. Black-Hat SEO is an umbrella term used to denote unfair practices used by digital marketers to bypass search engines and extract unfair advantage over competitors.
How do Dofollow and Nofollow links affect a website’s SEO?
Gone are the days when tricks like keyword spamming in comment sections and content stuffing were used to attract web search interests. Nowadays, brands need a proper strategy in order to attract visitors and bring the site ranking closer to the first page. Modern digital marketers must focus on the closely controlled criteria laid out by Google’s PageRank algorithm while creating valuable, trustworthy, and fascinating content.
When used correctly, dofollow links can help leverage exceptional content into higher PageRank and improved search results. Also, nofollow links can indirectly improve search engine optimization by establishing the credibility and authenticity of a particular website. Each is useful for SEO since they tell search engines not to look at untrustworthy information such as sponsored links, newsgroups, blog comments, and some untrustworthy content.
Here, it is important to note that, although Google counts both nofollow and dofollow links in determining a page’s search engine ranking, the quality and placement of the nofollow and dofollow links play a big role in the calculation of links within the content. A link will have more significance if it has been placed in the beginning of your content rather than at the bottom. Also, if a link is being used on high-quality blog posts or credible sources like Wikipedia or some such, it could be quite valuable and provide huge traffic benefits.
Key Difference between Nofollow and Dofollow links
Dofollow hyperlinks serve as evaluation criteria for your website’s authority for “link juice”. As a result, if you acquire a hyperlink from a strongly authorized website, you will be perceived as a more trustworthy website and your overall SEO will benefit. The number of high-quality dofollow links referring to your page will be tracked by search engines, and as more high-authority websites link to your site, your rank will rank higher in search engine results.
In contrast, nofollow links do not actually benefit your website’s search engine ranking. Their goal is merely to filter out spam links that may negatively affect the page rank of your website.
How to change a link from Nofollow to Dofollow?
Some content management systems such as WordPress provide plugins that can convert Nofollow links to Dofollow without the hassle of coding. However, it’s recommended that such a basic task shouldn’t need the use of a plugin.
One way to tell if a hyperlink has been set to Nofollow is to examine the blog’s source code. Based on the website you’re using, there are a few options. To inspect the source code, you can go to your browser’s menu and pick “source” or right-click on the page and choose “view source” from the settings page.
The rel=“nofollow” property identifies a link as nofollow. When the rel=“nofollow” element is removed, the hyperlink becomes dofollow. There is no attribute to be used to mark a link as dofollow since all links are dofollow by default. The absence of the nofollow attribute alone transforms the link into a dofollow one.
Example of what a nofollow link looks like:
<a rel=”nofollow” href=”websites url ” title=””>Home</a>
Example of what a dofollow link looks like:
(<a href=”website url ” title=””>Home</a>)
As is evident, by deleting rel=“nofollow” a link becomes dofollow by default.
To Wrap it Up
Google’s Penguin algorithm has identified that sometimes, even a website that has only dofollow backlinks can appear questionable. This is especially true if the anchor text for all of those links are the same. Hence, a webpage should naturally have a mix of both nofollow and dofollow links.
Nofollow and Dofollow backlinks are two different ways to recognize a link and inform search engines how to associate different associated websites. A dofollow link helps a website gain authority in page rank, whereas nofollow links don’t pass on link juice but help a website in various other aspects.
We hope you found this article useful. If you have some more information about nofollow and dofollow links, do share in the comments section below.
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