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Google, Don’t Follow Me: Tips for Nofollow Links

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Links play a big role in search rankings, but sometimes, you may not want Google to follow them.  The search engine used to allow you to add a nofollow request for individual pages; now, however, webmasters and bloggers can decide link by link which will be followed and which will not be.  Here are some tips for using nofollows.

When?

Why wouldn’t you want Google to follow a link; they’re good, right? We all want link juice. But we want quality links, especially as negative SEO is increasingly in the spotlight.  If you want to link readers to a source, but cannot vouch for it, you may request Google doesn’t follow it. Some other instances:

  • To keep paid links from influencing Google rankings.
  • To keep Google from indexing it if you link to a blog’s comment section or other user-generated content.
  • To direct Google. They don’t need to follow your “Sign in here” or “Register here” links. With nofollows, you tell the search bots the links they can skip so they can focus on the others.

You almost never want to add the nofollow to links to your own site!

How?

Here is an example of a link:

<a href=”http://www.seofuel.uk” <Tips for Nofollow Links</a>

Another way of writing it is:

<a href=http://www.seofuel.uk” rel=”dofollow”<Tips for Nofollow Links</a>

They will create the same link. In the absence of the “rel=”dofollow” command, the default mode is to make it a dofollow.

Now, if you want to make it a nofollow, you simply make a quick adjustment:

<a href=http://www.seofuel.uk” rel=”nofollow”>Tips for Nofollow Links</a>

Again, nofollow is not the default setting, so if you want to ensure that Google does not index this particular link, you must put the rel=”nofollow” command in.

Why?

Nofollow links are not useless; they can, in fact, drive traffic. Say you drop a link to your site in a forum’s comment section. You add a nofollow so you are not penalised for spamming; you do not get the “link juice,” but you can drive a great deal of traffic to your site. It’s not link juice, but it still tastes pretty good.

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