Follow vs. No Follow Links: What You Need to Know

By Jenna Kahle

4 min read

Links play a critical role in driving traffic to a website and boosting its search engine rankings. Two types are commonly used: follow and no-follow links. Not sure of the difference between the two? Understanding how each kind works will help you in your SEO strategy.

Keep reading to learn about the differences between follow vs. no follow links and how they can impact your digital marketing efforts.

What are Follow Links?

Dofollow links impact SEO scores by passing authority from one website to another. When you link to another site, it signals to search engines that its content is relevant and useful. As a result, the linked-to site gains authority and improves its search engine ranking. The same is true if someone links to your website. For example, if someone links to a blog post on your site, Google will take note of this, and the post will receive more link juice and a slight SEO boost.

illustration of a person looking at SEO rankings
Follow links are valuable because they help search engines understand the relationship between websites and the content they contain. They also help engines determine which pages are relevant and should be shown to users.

What are No-Follow Links?

Unlike follow links, no-follow links don’t pass along any authority. If you link your website to another using a no-follow link, it tells search engines that the linked-to content is not necessarily relevant to yours. However, just because they don’t directly pass you any authority doesn’t mean they have no power and you should avoid them. You can use no-follow links to avoid being penalized for links to sites that Google may deem spammy or low-quality.

an illustration portraying spam on a website

Google originally introduced no-follow links to combat link spam. As blogs started to grow in popularity, spammers quickly learned they could easily comment on blogs to gain authority and rank highly in search results. Google then developed no-follow links to ensure those ranking at the top of search results were legit.

How to Use Follow and No-Follow Links

When deciding which type of link to use, it’s important to understand the best option based on your webpage and its content. While follow links are great for SEO purposes, you need to ensure the ones you’re creating are natural and relevant. Linking to low-quality sites using follow links can result in penalties and a drop in search engine rankings, but high-quality links can add valuable SEO points to your webpage.

No-follow links can help protect your website’s search engine ranking and ensure that your links aren’t perceived as spammy or manipulative. No-follow tags are commonly used for:

  • Sponsored or paid links
  • Forums
  • Blog comments or other comment sections
  • User-generated content
  • Untrusted or low-quality sites

Both follow and no-follow links play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your website. It’s essential to strike the right balance between the two to maximize the impact of your digital marketing efforts. Not sure where to start? Reach out to the team at Front Porch Solutions! We have a team of SEO experts ready to help you create a successful link-building strategy. Get in touch with us today to get started!

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