No-follow links are a signal to Google crawlers to not pass on link equity to the destination page. While no-follow links used to get a bad rep, there’s countless research out there which shows that no-follow links can bring you tremendous benefits.
Let’s discuss no-follow links in more detail.
A Nofollow link is a hyperlink with a rel=“nofollow” attribute and that is what differentiates it from a DoFollow link.
The need for NoFollow links arose when people started spamming the comments section of blogs by leaving junk comments with backlinks pointing back to their site. To combat that, Google came out with the NoFollow attribute in 2005. With the nofollow attribute in place, the spammers would get no link equity to their website since crawlers would ignore crawling those links.
Since their inception, the nofollow links have evolved to be placed not only in blog comments but also in sponsored links, social media links, forum links, press releases, and more.
Between 2005 and 2019, some SEOs saw a correlation between no follow links from high authority websites and the rankings in the SERPs. This belief was further upheld when Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines talked about EAT and how mentions by high authority sites and positive reputation information could help build expertise, authority and trust.
Then, in September 2019, Google came out with an announcement: “For crawling and indexing purposes, nofollow will become a hint as of March 1, 2020.” This means that in some cases, Google may choose to use nofollow links for rankings. The link to the full announcement is here.
Here are our top 4 reasons why you should make use of nofollow links:
1. When it comes to referral traffic on your website, if you earn a nofollow link from a high authority website, you can expect a big bump in your traffic numbers.
2. With nofollow links from social media, you will have greater chances to be introduced to a wider audience thus creating more brand awareness and increasing the Trust element of the EAT in your content.
3. You still have a chance to earn a dofollow link through a Nofollow link. That can happen when someone finds your content from a nofollow link website like Quora and decides to quote a piece of it on their own website with a dofollow link.
4. Having some nofollow links is also a hint to Google that your backlink profile is all organic and natural. As a general rule of thumb, 20% of your backlinks should be nofollow, but that’s not a hard and fast rule by any means.