Guidelines to Follow
Developing a website along with a linking strategy is an important part of reaching your target audience. Yet links can be a dangerous SEO practice if not done well. In this post we’ll share some nofollow links guidelines as you travel on the path of informing others about your products or services.
What are NoFollow Links?
Before you can understand how to use nofollow links, let’s first explain the two different kinds of links:
1. Traditional Link. It appears on another website, ideally related to your business or industry. Such a link is a vote of confidence from the referring website; it’s a signal to Google that you are a reputable source of information. When you get a link from a highly-respected website, it can boost where your pages appear on a SERP. We call this link love; in SEO-parlance it can referred to as “Link juice.”
2. NoFollow Link. While the link can still bring visitors to your website, there’s a little coding behind it. As the name suggests, it’s labeled as “nofollow.” It tells the analytics system of a search engine not to pick up the link as a point of interest for page rankings.
Why Use One?
Before we get into the NoFollow Links guidelines, let’s first explain when you’d want to use it. Here are a couple of examples:
- Linking to another website where you can’t verify the quality of the content. For example, you may refer to a site of what not to do.
- You don’t want to send the wrong signal to Google or Bing… basically giving a vote of confidence to another entity you are unsure of.
- A paid link
- Comments on a blog or forum
By using the NoFollow linking structure, you can still refer to the source without passing on any of your website’s hard-earned reputation.
Avoid Mass-Scale Links
Even though the links are not picked up by the analytics software due to the way it is tagged, Matt Cutts from Google notes that there are cases where it can be problematic. Cases of mass-scale nofollow links are not appropriate. Generally, we suggest that you only place a link if it makes sense. As White Hat SEOs we always recommend erring to the side of the human visitor. Don’t try game the algorithm; it will bite back (eventually).
Links Should Make Sense. Avoid putting up several links on websites, social media pages or similar locations when it does not make sense. Focus on logical linking that relates to the website that you are promoting. You’ve probably received a blog comment from some random business. It’s obviously a mass-scale attempt at getting links. Not only is it an old practice, it’s a spammy practice that’s now flagged.
Widgets & Infographics. Another old SEO practice was to put a traditional link in a widget or infographic. The idea here was to artificially get links when others shared your code or graphic. Google has cracked down on this as it was abused. Not only will it NOT get your SEO love, it’s a red flag. If you accumulate enough red flags your site could be penalized.
There are a variety of ways to drive traffic to your website. Nofollow links guidelines can make it easier to gain interest via word-of-mouth and personal interest rather than attempting to drive up page SERP rankings without improving traffic.
How do you use NoFollow Links?
How can we help?
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