Dofollow vs Nofollow Links – Keys to Understanding Them

May 22, 2024

In the world of SEO strategies, there are many tools, layers, and things that need to be known to make a company succeed. Two terms stand out: Dofollow vs Nofollow links.

Understanding what these two terms mean is paramount to constructing a successful site. They influence the search rankings of linked pages, so their weight on attracting new users and visibility to a page is very relevant.

Understanding the Basics

Before exploring the world of Dofollow vs Nofollow links, it’s vital to understand the basic foundations behind them: backlinks. Also known as inbound or incoming links, backlinks are links that originate from one site and direct to another.

Search engines use them as ranking factors, with Google employing them as a measure of a site’s potential to rank high within SERPs.

These backlinks are essential for any SEO strategy. They indicate to websites that certain content is trustworthy, valuable, and relevant. When a site has many high-quality backlinks, Google detects it as authoritative and credible, climbing up the visibility ladder.

What Are Dofollow Links?

A Dofollow link allows Google and every other search engine to point back to your blog, website, or desired URL. Every time one of these links is inserted, it can point back, strengthening your authority by showing engines which sites are using it.

Some people call these links “Link juice” due to Google’s PageRank metric. When inserting external links on your blog, experts must always make sure that they come from a place with high authority to grow the site’s content.

Basically, Dofollow links help websites become more trustable in the eyes of search engines. The more Dofollow links a site gets, the better its SEO strategy results will be (unless the links come from spam websites).

When to Use Dofollow Links

When it comes to external links from reputable sites that lead back to your site, using Dofollow links is the ideal option. Every link that leads to your site should be Dofollow only if it is reputable and relevant.

There is a list of criteria that every SEO specialist must follow to know if the links can be used as Dofollow links or not:

  • When it comes from authoritative sites and well-maintained sites, it’s recommended to use it.
  • If it comes from a website that doesn’t give Dofollow links to many websites, experts are encouraged to use them.
  • If the website comes from the same niche, has a label similar to the keyword your content wants to target or hasn’t used a do-follow link to your site before, it’s a good link to use.

If the links follow the previous criteria, it means that they’re available and trustworthy enough for specialists to use Dofollow links.

How to Make a Dofollow Link

In almost every case, creating and using a Dofollow link requires no action. If your site is linked to another site and they decide not to use a Dofollow tag, every search engine will naturally arrive at your site as the destination. This will increase the page rankings.

In case another page asks your site to include links or they are moderating blog comments, experts will have to turn on automatic Nofollow tags to ensure it makes sense to follow the link back.

When to Avoid Using Dofollow Links

Since the use and creation of Dofollow links are relatively simple, the reasons why they should be avoided are pretty straightforward to specialists. Quality always trumps quantity when it comes to this class of links.

It’s way better to have only a few high-quality links than many low-quality Dofollow links that could be considered spam and don’t provide any real use to your site. These links only hurt your rankings, and they can even lead to search engine penalties for your web.

What Are Nofollow Links?

Nofollow links are hyperlinks that are followed by the attribute rel=”nofollow” in the HTML code. This value tells search engines like Google that they must not be crawled to the linked page to pass link equity to it (also known as ranking strength).

Receiving Nofollow links is very beneficial for many reasons, such as increasing referral traffic. They can drive users from popular sites to your domain, targeting larger audiences that can click such links and land on your webpage.

A good Nofollow link can also drastically increase exposure. Getting mentioned on different popular sites can increase brand awareness, leading to more backlinks to your site. This improves organic rankings, which, with a good SEO strategy from a hired agency, will help.

When to Use Nofollow Links

There’s a list of common uses for websites that specialists must know about before employing Nofollow links. These are such cases:

  • Linking to pages that you don’t want to endorse: if you don’t want to be associated with the linked page, specialists can use the rel=”nofollow” attribute to indicate search engines to avoid it.
  • Including sponsored and/or paid links: in case the used link is sponsored or has been purchased, using the attribute rel=”sponsored” is a possibility. This applies to both links pointing to each site. It must be made sure that these links are done correctly.
  • Using affiliate links: using the same attribute as sponsored links, affiliate ones can be pointed from your site to another, or vice versa.
  • Incorporating user-generated content: when a link is created by users within your site, using the attribute rel=”ugc” is essential. This applies to comments and posts and avoids the attempt of people trying to improve their rankings by spamming in yours.

Using all of these correct attributes is very important to ensure that every Nofollow link is correctly placed and working.

When to Avoid Using Nofollow Links

Time ago, Nofollow links and their attributes were commonly used outside of their primary purpose to influence how link equity passes from your page. This technique, known as Page Rank sculpting, hasn’t worked since Google changed how it works.

Even with all these changes through the years, many still think of Nofollow links the wrong way, with bad practices prevailing. These are two of the most common ways that every specialist must avoid using these links:

  • Using Nofollow links for every external link: using them for every link that is pointing outside of your site is entirely wrong. It doesn’t help your site at all, providing no real value. Even worse, it can hurt your rankings.
  • Using Nofollow links for internal links: these attributes aren’t made for being linked to internal links either. If you don’t want a specific page to be crawled or indexed, there are other more successful methods to employ, like robot meta tags.

Keeping this in mind is essential to avoid committing errors that can potentially harm your site’s rankings and to ensure the correct use of Nofollow links.

How to Know Which One My Site Needs

Some points must be taken into account when comparing Dofollow vs. Nofollow links and knowing which one your site needs. First of all, find out which sites you want your content to be mentioned on and which ones can point you back with Dofollow.

Experts must make sure that these links are relevant to your post and that they’re not there simply because of the link. If this is the case, search engines like Google can consider it spam, and your site could end up penalized.

When information isn’t that relevant or highly needed, Nofollow links might be the best option, especially regarding ads, promotions, or affiliates. As for every other important link, a dofollow one will always be more appreciated and important, being the go-to option.

If your main objective is to enhance the website’s search engine ranking and authority, acquiring high-quality Dofollow links is the right choice and top priority. They can have a significant impact on SEO strategies, helping establish a site that is reputable to search engines.

As for Nofollow links, their main focus is to protect your site from being associated with low-quality content, leveraging relevant and strategic content, which, used in the proper context, can increase a site’s credibility.

How to Balance Both Properly?

While Dofollow backlinks hold much more value than Nofollow ones for SEO, it’s crucial to strike a balance between both to increase visibility and success. A natural backlink profile must be made with a mix of Dofollow and Nofollow links, which appear organic to engines.

A diverse link profile demonstrates that a website is trusted and respected not only by users but also by search engines. Acquiring the services of a company like Kala Agency can potentially increase the success of these strategies and attract more views in the long term.


Comprehending the differences between Dofollow vs Nofollow links is essential for anyone looking forward to understanding the digital marketing world and SEO.

Dofollow links are the primary currency of online authority, passing link equity and directly influencing search engine rankings. While nofollow links do not directly impact SEO, they still hold value in diversifying backlink profiles and driving traffic.

Understanding when and how to utilize each type of link can empower marketers to develop more effective strategies, expanding branding and traffic goals.

Experts who are able to leverage both types of links judiciously can cultivate a robust online presence that not only enhances visibility but also fosters credibility, authority, and engagement within their target audience.

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