Why You Should Use NoFollow Links

September 22, 2013Allison Murray

So I’ve been trying to be a better blogger. That has included searching the internet for tips and tricks, speaking with successful bloggers to seek their advice and lurking on webmaster forums and boards.

And in my lurking I found out something big, absolutely huge and probably a big reason why my Google Page Rank hasn’t been improved from the 2 I’ve held since last year… Simply put, my affiliate links have NOT been NoFollow links. And, GASP, this is a huge no-no as far as Google is concerned. Like massively disaster making awful. Or at least I got that impression from one particular board and then 3 or 4 I frantically read through as well.

Simply put, every single affiliate link you have on your site needs to be NoFollow. I know what a pain in the neck that can be because I spent a full freakin’ week’s worth of spare time updating links on OVER FOUR HUNDRED posts. Egads did that suck but it also sucks that my page rank hasn’t getting any better…

UPDATE!!! I’ve gotten a question about what exactly a NoFollow link is, and it’s pretty simple. A NoFollow link has a little snippet of code that tells search engines “do not follow this link”. If you want, you can get this info straight from Google — rel=”nofollow”.

Why You Should Use NoFollow Links

So, here are a handful of reasons you should be using NoFollow links on your blog:

Any links that have any financial anything behind them. If you or the company or person who had you put the link on your site stand to gain financially from this link, Google says get a NoFollow on there. Why? Because all of those links will push search results to that source and Google don’t play with anyone purchasing their search results like that.

Any links that you have appearing on every single page of your blog should be NoFollow. Do you have your blog roll in your side bar? If those links load every time a page comes up, you could actually be hurting the blogs you love be oversharing those links. Either move things like this to their own page, where your favs can still get a good quality backlink, or if you want it on every page for higher visibility, change those links to NoFollow.

If you’re not willing to vouch for the content (for instance a forum where the content is constantly changing and may be totally different from what you originally linked up to) those links should also be NoFollow.

If your readers will need to log in to access content, that needs to be NoFollow. Why? Because the search engine bots cannot follow the link through and it looks like a bad link which is bad for your site. As an example, I want you check out this Ravelry pattern, which you’ll have to have an account to log in and view… As such, the link you see is NoFollow.

Why You Should Use NoFollow Links

How you can implement NoFollow links on your blog:

Now, if you have WordPress, there is a super, super simple way to integrate NoFollow into your links. I use the plugin Ultimate NoFollow and all I have to do is click a little box that makes a link I just entered in no follow. Like I said, super simple.

If you need to go in and edit your code, the HTML you need to include in your links is this  –> rel=”nofollow”

As an example, this is how you would use the NoFollow code in HTML:

<a  href=”http://www.sitethatImakemoneyonforsharing.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Buy this fantastic thing and make me money!</a>

The NoFollow bit does not change the way anything looks, just what happens behind the scenes. And this is what you’d see…

Buy this fantastic thing and make me money! (and FYI this isn’t going to take you anywhere valid because www.sitethatImakemoneyonforsharing.com isn’t real.

Bottom line?

Updating every link in your entire site that needs to be NoFollow can be a pain in the neck. I totally get it because I totally had to do it. But, bottom line, it’s something that needs to be done if you ever want to play nice with the search engines. The good news is the update can be as simple as the click of a box, or a repetitive session of copy and paste.

Was this post helpful to you? I’d love to know!

And be sure to check out this week’s link party! Share anything you’ve made and potentially get featured! Happy Sunday : )


Comments (3)

  • wendy

    September 25, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    I’m afraid not, I’m even more confused now. What IS a no-follow link??

    1. Allison

      September 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      I went ahead and updated the post, but a nofollow link is simply a link with a snippet of code that tells search engines “do not follow this link”. If you need more info, there is a link to a video and explanation from Google. Sorry to have confused you more!

  • Jelli

    December 26, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    This is the most helpful post about no-follow links that I’ve read. I’ve never understood what they are or how to fix my links because most posts just tell you to use them. Thank you so much, Allison!

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