nofollow links – Performancing Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Do Internal Linking the Right Way Wed, 10 May 2017 03:11:29 +0000 Internal Linking and SEO Best Practices One of the great things about raising your visibility through search engine optimization is that you can get a lot of link juice with a few simple changes to how your produce and present your content. One well-known way of improving your SEO is through external links from relevant, […]

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Internal Linking and SEO Best Practices

One of the great things about raising your visibility through search engine optimization is that you can get a lot of link juice with a few simple changes to how your produce and present your content. One well-known way of improving your SEO is through external links from relevant, popular sites that point to your content. A method of improving your SEO that’s a little less understood is internal linking and its many benefits. If you aren’t including internal links in your webpages, you’re losing out on what could be a substantial boost in your Google rank.


What is Internal Linking?

An internal link is a link on your website that points to another page hosted on your website. For example, if a blog post on your page references a product you’re selling, you could link to that product. You could also link to your homepage, frequently asked questions or another post that sheds light on a topic mentioned in the one with the link. The important thing about internal linking is that the source and target link are on the same domain.


What’s the Point of Internal Linking?

Internal links serve a few different purposes on your website. For one, they create a roadmap of your site that helps people navigate. A clear webpage structure makes a better customer experience. Another thing they do is educate your visitors on what topic you’re writing about. Sometimes concepts are too complex to be explained in a single post, and linking to another can help your visitor find more information to clear things up.

These links also help create more links on your site, which can benefit your Google rank and help make your site more visible to interested searchers. One of the major benefits of internal linking is its ability to make more of your pages indexed, which is another way to increase your visibility. 


Internal Links and Google Crawlers

Google indexes the web with robots called crawlers. They go to a website and index the content, then follow links to new pages to index those as well. When content is indexed, it is available to searchers on Google.

Internal linking gives the crawlers a new way to find pages on your website. It creates links for them to follow. It helps Google index your pages and display them in search results, which increases your potential visibility. Since Google only updates their indexed content so often, creating new links to your pages may increase the rate of refresh for your site.



Internal Linking provides crawlers a way to find other pages on your website.

Internal Links and Crawl Limits

When designing an internal linking strategy, keep in mind that search engine crawlers have limits to the amount of links they can crawl. Google recommends that you keep the number of links to a few thousand at most, as of 2017. In the past, however, Matt Cutts of Google recommended keeping links on a page to less than 100, Google dropped this recommendation later in 2008 but also reinforced that they would take action if a page was deemed to be linking out for spam purposes. 

When linking internally it is also important to keep your crawl budget in mind. This is the number of pages on your site that Google bots are able to crawl.


What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This

what is your crawl budget


Since you also want to keep the page looking natural and not like it was link-stuffed, go easy on the internal links. Link totals include every link on the page, including the header, footer and any sidebars. If you can work in two or three internal links in a few thousand words, you’re doing the right thing.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when more internal links are useful. If you’re setting up an index page or doing an overview of a topic to help people find more in-depth articles, link away. But in general, go easy on the internal links. Just a few to help readers and crawlers find their way to new pages can do wonders for your website navigation and SEO.


Types of Internal Links to Use

Use links in places where there is a convincing connection between the two pages. Ask yourself: is this relevant enough that a reader would want to click the link to see more information about it.

Use links that reach deep within the content of your site, not only links to the surface. While a link to your homepage is technically an internal link, it’s unlikely that it will deliver the same search engine optimization benefits as a link into deeper content, like blog posts or answers to reader’s questions that have been submitted to the site.


Types of Internal Links to Avoid

One type of link to avoid is a nofollow link. Since crawlers are using the link to get deeper into your site and index more pages, nofollow links counteract this. Crawlers generally only continue to the next page when the link is formatted as a follow link. Google doesn’t like to see webmasters doing this as it looks like ‘page rank sculpting’ which is when you try and force Google bots to only flow to certain pages to boost their value. 

“Nofollow is probably never the answer, especially on your own site. I can think of corner case scenarios where the target page would be robotted for whatever reason, and then if it is robotted and not indexed yet, if you don’t want to get that page indexed, then you probably don’t want to point to it with anchors”

Gary Illyes, Google

Matt Cutts did say back in 2013 though that its ok to nofollow a link to a page that contains something such as a login form:



Don’t have your internal links be the same on every page. Most webpages have a setup where links to major content are linked on every page. Examples include: contact us, the homepage or business hours. Avoid the mistake of making no variation.

Some examples of links that won’t be crawled are:

  • Links kept behind forms won’t be indexed. Crawlers won’t submit forms.
  • Some links are only accessible through an on-site search. These won’t be indexed. This is one of the most common causes of links not being crawled.
  • Flash, Java and similar plugins can prevent crawlers from accessing the links on them.
  • Links in certain types of Javascript won’t be crawled. It’s almost always better to use normal HTML links.

As you build internal links, decide what you want to focus on. You can focus on spreading many internal links through your site. Another strategy is promoting certain pieces of well-written content on many different pages. Either way, work to structure your links so they’ll be crawled. Your site will benefit from the new links and crawlers may find pages they haven’t before.


Internal Linking and SEO

Internal linking combines some of the most important components of search engine optimization into one task: linking, content, indexing, and refresh rates. Though you won’t get the same juice as you would from an external link from a high-authority site, you still get a boost when Google crawls and indexes your pages more often.

When your search engine optimization is increased, you’ll see your Google rank climb. Since pages at the top of Google’s search results for a term get significantly more traffic than those lower on the list, it’s worth the effort you put in to increase your rank.

Internal linking can also help increase your traffic and SEO by returning more of your pages in search results. More links mean more crawling means more pages indexed by Google. Those indexed pages can be returned in searches for the keywords you’re targeting. In that way, your site may rise above one that doesn’t use internal linking.


Internal Links and Reader Engagement

Another benefit of internal linking is that you can increase reader engagement. A good link structure will make your site and content easier to navigate for readers. One benefit is that a clear link to supplementary content will add value. Adding value will make your site more appealing to a visitor.

The easier and more helpful your site, the more interested people will be in returning to it later. Since returning visitors are more likely to make a purchase on your site, it pays to keep people coming back again. This is another reason why fresh content is essential and helps an internal linking strategy–it keeps people coming back and following links to your pages, establishing you as an authority and building the trust that inspires people to purchase products or services.


Internal Links and Niche Authority

Linking to your own material can also help increase your own authority in your niche. While linking to outside websites also has value, you show that you know your stuff when you use internal links properly. Since building your niche authority can help you build relationships with other businesses, attract customers, and offer external link trading capabilities, it’s good to position your brand as an expert.

Pages that define terms, elaborate on mentioned concepts, or highlight some area of expertise that you excel in can position you as an authority. Linking to those exposes your brand knowledge and awareness to other people. If you have more relevant and substantive content on your site, they know that you know as much or more than your competition.


Creating Linkable Content

One trick to internal linking is to create lots of content. The more content, the more potential links and places to link on your site. Since updating your content regularly helps improve your Google rank, increasing the content production on your website is a good idea for more reasons than one anyway.

To create content that is easy to make relevant links to, take a look at your old posts and consider how they might connect to new content. Don’t force it, though. You don’t want to sacrifice the quality or readability of your content to link to other pages on your site.

If you already have a lot of content that isn’t linked, go through and update it to add links to relevant pages. To make it natural, consider adding a sentence or two to refresh the old content when you revisit it. Add the link in the new content. In this way, you’re making it fit naturally and it will be easier to read.


Formatting Internal Links

Always format internal links the right way. Not doing so many detract from their benefits. The link structure you’re creating is designed to help Google find and index pages on your website.

A normal, follow link should work perfectly fine with internal linking. Also, if you’re trying to get very good results for a particular page, consider making the link more visible. Place it in the content with a good anchor text: keep it succinct, relevant to the link, and don’t make your anchor text too keyword heavy.

Many websites are designed in such a way that Google can’t easily index their content. Having the pages linked the wrong way can inhibit the crawling activity. This keeps your site from being indexed and returning as a search result. If your pages aren’t linked properly, Google may not even know they exist. Google can’t return what it isn’t aware of in search results.


Keep Your Internal Links Relevant

Adding internal links to your website isn’t just about shoehorning them in where they fit. It’s important that they’re relevant to the content of the source page. Ask yourself whether the links adds value to the page. If it does–and is formatted and selected properly–then you have a perfect internal link. If it isn’t, remove it and use a link that does give a reader more value.

Before placing a link, determine whether it’s relevant. Ask yourself whether you’d find it interesting and educational if you were reading the page. Picture yourself as a customer and ask whether that link would seem natural and useful to you. If you think it would be, then add it to your page.

If you aren’t already using internal links in your content, start today. It’s a simple and easy way to increase reader engagement and improve your search engine position. On top of that, it makes your site more easy to navigate and can supplement your content.

As you work to increase your position as a brand authority, internal linking should become a commonplace feature of your site. The benefits over time will be substantial.

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What Are The SEO Benefits of Nofollow Links? Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:30:40 +0000 When you’re setting up your marketing strategy, getting your brand out there is essential. Whether you’re climbing the ranks in a Google search or attracting new customers to your site, everything you do should push your brand to make it more popular and more visible. One way to encourage both new customers and better search […]

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When you’re setting up your marketing strategy, getting your brand out there is essential. Whether you’re climbing the ranks in a Google search or attracting new customers to your site, everything you do should push your brand to make it more popular and more visible. One way to encourage both new customers and better search rankings is getting links to your site from other sites. The type of link makes all the difference—but neither type is inherently bad. Though nofollow links have long been seen as less beneficial than dofollow links, that’s not a complete picture of the situation. Nofollow links come with their own set of benefits and offer real utility to anyone who wants to increase their SEO and promote their brand.


What Are Nofollow Links?


Nofollow links are links set up so that Gogle bots do not pass any page rank or ‘link juice’ link to the target site.  According to Google, they don’t “transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links.” Nofollow links were long eschewed by SEO professionals because they were believed to not have a direct result on SEO, so the effort you spent getting a nofollow link was seen as wasted effort. That’s no longer the case. Nofollow links can be just as valuable as dofollow links for increasing your visibility.

While Google says “in general we don’t follow” nofollow links, that doesn’t mean they never follow the links. It just means that in general, you shouldn’t expect the same SEO benefit type from nofollow links as dofollow links. The type of benefit is different.


What are Dofollow Links?


Technically there is no such thing as a ‘dofollow’ link, there are only normal links without the ‘rel=nofollow’ tag, however within the SEO industry people like to refer to these as ‘Dofollow’ or ‘Followed’ links. Dofollow links are the opposite of nofollow links. They signal to a search engine crawler that the link should be followed by that bot. It’s a signal that the link is trusted and organic. Dofollow links are also the default type of link, so if you put a link on your page, it’s already a dofollow link without any modification. Special tags have to be added to a standard link to make it a nofollow link. The more dofollow links you have, the more Google sees your site as authoritative. They’re a positive signal for your website that can help increase your rankings even if they don’t increase engagement—though having all your dofollow links remain unclicked isn’t as good as having dofollow links that people engage with.


Why Are Nofollow Links Used?


There are a number of reasons a site would use a nofollow link. The first is that the site is concerned with protecting its own page quality and site rank. Since Google’s crawlers can’t go through site pages that are password protected, using nofollow tags on those links will help make the crawlers index the pages the site actually wants on the search engine.

Another reason a site would use a nofollow link is if they don’t trust the site on the other end of the link. It doesn’t mean a site is bad—just that the referring site isn’t personally willing to vouch for it. One example is a site that allows users comments, which aren’t vetted beforehand and could lead to spam or other inappropriate content.

Paid links are another type of link that is often converted to nofollow. When you advertise a product on another site, it’s important to Google that your marketing budget doesn’t directly affect your rank—otherwise people could pay thousands to get links on enough pages to rise above sites with more relevant and useful content. For that reason, Google prefers that any paid links are nofollow, which is one of the issues you can run into, depending on your marketing strategy.



SEO and Nofollow Links


So why use nofollow links if a Google crawler won’t use it to boost your page rank? The reason you should use nofollow links is because they can increase organic engagement—and lead to dofollow links from other sources. Each link is a chance to get noticed, which gives your link a chance to be shared organically, not as a paid link that you’ve built or one you’ve exchanged for visibility. If a person who’s interested in your product or service visits the link, finds it useful, and then links it on his own page, you’ve not only engaged an entirely new group of customers but also developed a second link on the back of the original nofollow. As these connections increase, your search results position should increase as well.


What Are the Benefits of Nofollow Links?


Nofollow links biggest benefit is that they act as an introduction to your site, brand, products or services on the page where they’re hosted. When you consider what you’re trying to achieve with your SEO & content marketing strategy, it’s clear that the introduction and attention are the most important aspects of the game. Nofollow links from paid advertisements or sources that found your site helpful and linked back to it cautiously still give you access to a new audience. Moreover, sometimes nofollow links generate more traffic than a dofollow link.

Rob Toledo writes on Moz about his experience with a dofollow link and a nofollow link. The dofollow link generated no traffic for his site; the nofollow link generated hundreds of pageviews that engaged with his site. He concludes by saying, “These are not unique experiences. I have noticed an upward trend where nofollow links can often present the absolute best and immediate return when proper site metrics are measured.”


Check out Rob Toledo’s excellent nofollow examples on Moz.


His experience is an example of why your link acting as an external resource can sometimes be more important for your site rankings than a crawler detecting your link and following it to your site. There’s more than one way to conquer SEO and move your site up in search results for Google; you don’t have to rely on traditional marketing strategies like an uneven distribution of nofollow and dofollow links.


Passing Value Through Nofollow Links


A nofollow attribute isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Though Google’s crawlers are told to not follow the link, certain links may be followed despite the nofollow attribute. Jason Lancaster, of Moz, argues that “Nofollow isn’t a rule – it’s just a guide” because it’s possible that search engines are giving some weight to nofollow links on certain pages.

“It’s beyond foolish to assume that Google doesn’t use nofollow links on Wikipedia (for example) to rank sites. Same goes for links from a popular Twitter profile, YouTube profile, and any other trusted/quality site with an automatic nofollow policy”

Jason Lancaster


Also, Google’s own documentation on how they handle them is a little ambiguous!


Managing Your Follow/Nofollow Ratios


Your link profile should be made up of both follow links and nofollow links. Though Google’s specific algorithm for determining site ranking isn’t known, experts like Neil Patel believe that the makeup and size of your backlink profile has a major impact on your ranking.  Create a link profile that includes both follow and nofollow to have the best SEO success. Though the ratio doesn’t have to be 50 nofollow links for every 50 dofollow links, it’s to your benefit to keep it fairly even. For example, 40 nofollow links for every 60 dofollow links. It helps you create a more natural link profile to keep the ratios close to even.

While nofollow links also have the benefit of referring people to your site who may later add an additional link to your profile, they shouldn’t be your main priority. Since dofollow links are a stronger positive signal for your site ranking in general, aim to have more dofollow links. Just remember that nofollow links aren’t to be ignored either. In fact, they may demonstrate to Google that you’re building a solid, organic profile.


5 Ways to Get the Most from Your Nofollow Links


Not all nofollow links are created equal. The trick to getting the most from nofollow links is to engage your viewers and keep them coming back. Get the most from your nofollow links by incorporating these tips as you link build.

  1. Make your link interesting and relevant. If you’re the one developing the content, make sure the link is in a place that will encourage people to visit it. If someone else is developing the content on their own site, you may not have control over this—but you can always request that the link is higher on the page or in a certain topic area.
  2. Develop interesting content. This is essential for every area of SEO optimization and marketing, and the same is true for nofollow links. To get the most benefit from a nofollow link, you need excellent contents. For example, content that keeps people on the page is essential. Equally important is content that encourages them to return to your site and establishes you as an expert on the topic.
  3. Create a blend of link types. Make sure your strategy includes a blend of nofollow and dofollow links. Focusing solely on one will hamper your ability to improve your SEO. This is because they both work to reach people and boost your rank in different ways. Experiment with which links work on which sites. Then adjust your ratio accordingly as you see what’s working best for your brand.
  4. Use giveaways and other types of enticements to lead people to click on your nofollow link. One of the challenges of working with nofollow links is finding ways to lure people to click on the link. One way is using giveaways so that the person who wants to enter has to view your page. If you’re offering a product that interests your targeted user base, you’ll be able to pull more of them in when you offer material benefits. For example, if you have someone advertising your product with nofollow links, make those links lead to a contest. If someone is interested in the content, they’ll likely be interested in getting something relating to it for free.
  5. Encourage visitors to share your link on their own pages. Make sure the way to share your page with others is easy to see. This is one of the best ways to transform one nofollow link to several organic dofollow links. Create an even larger organic reach by asking viewers to share your page for an entry into a contest.


Here’s an infographic from on the nofollow tag and when & how to use it.


Search Engine Land writes about the basics of the nofollow tag on their site.

How to Tell Whether a Link is Nofollow or Dofollow?


To check whether a link is dofollow or nofollow, right-click on the page in question and select “View page source”. Search the page for the url of your website, and check whether the nofollow attribute is included after the link. If it is, the link is nofollow. When no extra attribute is present, it’s dofollow.

An example of each type of link.

For times when you’re checking a lot of links, check our browser extensions to automatically mark nofollow links. For Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox, NoFollow outlines links and detects nofollow and noindex meta tags.


Nofollow links have been around since 2005 and were a response to blog comment spam that artificially inflated SEO. Nofollow links are a valuable way to increase your organic reach and get your website seen by more people. While many have painted them as pointless, it’s an unfair portrait. They both help manage spam and offer a different way to boost your SEO.


If you haven’t been trying to use nofollow links, start now. The nofollow links you sprinkle across the Web may surprise you with the traffic they generate in the future.

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