Understanding how to Use No Follow Links
An important aspect of SEO is the integration of links in blogs and articles. Be it a hyperlink or a reference section, linking to other sources can help raise your website’s ranking in Google search results. There are times, however, when this can backfire. To help prevent some of these times, you can utilize the nofollow tag. This tag lets search engines know not to follow links that could negatively impact the SEO of your site. It’s beneficial because you can then implant what you feel are needed URLs in your blog without affecting site exposure.
The Best Times to Use Nofollow Links
There are multiple reasons to use this tag, like for user-generated content. Links to forums and comments come from places that can very well contain spam. Spam can be contagious; you don’t want your site to be infected. Other reasons to use nofollow links include:
links you don’t want your site to endorse
preventing Googlebot from crawling unnecessary pages
in press releases
How to Integrate Nofollow Links
This tag can simply be added within the HTML code for the link. The tag reads as such: re=”nofollow”. It goes in between the quotes following the link and the right-angle bracket while also being preceded by a space. This is how you enter the code manually. Some web-making programs allow you to put it in with just the push of a button. You can ask your webmaster for more details.
Links are Like Endorsement
Whether or not you intend this, search engine bots see the links you post as an endorsement. This is because you are directing more traffic to that link by integrating it to your blog. It’s pretty much seen as an “upvote” by search engine bots. That is unless you employ the nofollow tag. You don’t want your website to “endorse” other websites that are deemed inappropriate. They might be necessary when talking about certain strong topics and politics but don’t forget to add that nofollow tag.
Prevent Googlebot from Crawling Unnecessary Pages
Google knows that new websites can easily be buried under tons of other websites, which is why they implement crawling. Crawling is when the Googlebot analyzes all of the content on a web page. It also analyzes the code, including any inbound links you have. Some of these links may lead to a page requiring the user to register an account or sign in. A Googlebot can do neither of these things. Putting these as no follow links allows the bot to pass over them and prioritize their crawling.
Links with Paid Content
It’s standard for blogs to get paid by and promote sponsored content. In order for the blog to remain partners with the sponsors, they’ll have to inevitably post promotion URLs to their site. Google will lower your ranking for these links unless you use the nofollow tag. Sponsored links aren’t the only kind of paid links. There are also the URLs that lead to product pages. The nofollow tag should apply to these links as well.
Infographics and Widgets
Infographics have become common for use in various blogs. You could make your own, but sometimes the one you need has already been made and been made well. If you embed them on your site, however, you must use a nofollow tag for it because it wasn’t made by you. The same could go for widgets. Many sites typically embed widgets, like the ones that tell the weather, as a convenience for the visitors. If you didn’t make these widgets, however, then they should also contain a nofollow tag. Another reason to put these tags on infographics and widgets is that posting it on your site can also be seen as an endorsement.
Press releases aren’t necessarily made for an audience but, rather, the news media. With the help of the internet, more and more new outlets can access press releases easily. It’s natural for these pieces of writing to utilize links to back up claims. However, this is considered overly common. That’s why most press releases nowadays use no follow links. This is because press releases are less considered as SEO material like blogs and more like advertisements.
Determining which links in your article should be no follow links might feel tedious. However, it’s worth the extra time to keep up your ranking in search results. It’s not too difficult to integrate the nofollow tag, be it manual or automatic. Keep in mind of what you think search engine bots will count as good links that help you or links that, if taken out of context, make that page look bad. What is your site “endorsing?”