Nofollow vs Dofollow: Which one do you want for SEO? | Varn


14 October 2021

Nofollow vs Dofollow: Which one do you want for SEO?

As the worlds of PR and SEO become more intertwined in a digital society, there will be an increased focus on getting good quality links from an SEO perspective within the scope of traditional PR campaigns. 


We have covered the basics of SEO outreach in previous blogs and the importance of link building when it comes to developing a backlink profile that positively impacts your site’s SEO, but did you know that there are different tagging types available for links and that these will impact on the SEO? 

Here we break down the two main link types, Nofollow and Dofollow, and which one you will want for your SEO? 

What is the difference between a Nofollow and Dofollow link

The main difference between a nofollow and ‘dofollow’ link is to do with the way they are tagged. Whilst there is not a specific ‘dofollow’ tag, any link without the rel = “nofollow” tag will likely be passing page rank or link equity to the site in question. Think of it as a vote that the linked web page is worthy of Google’s attention, and if it is optimised for relevant search terms, even better.

Nofollow links are a natural part of the link building process, and they can contribute a lot of traffic to your site if they are from a reputable source.

So are Nofollow links worthless? 

Many SEOs are not a big fan of Nofollow links, and whilst according to Google they will not provide direct SEO value, that is not to say they are not worth having. Think about it, a link from the Financial Times is still a great link to have in terms of coverage, even if it is marked as  rel = “nofollow”. If you want to find out if a link is tagged as nofollow, then right-click the inspect element on Google Chrome (our Financial Times link is marked as nofollow to show you!)

Nofollow links can provide great traffic and users to your site, they are also crawled by Google and will make up an important part of your backlink profile, helping to convey an organic profile that will add to the overall authority of your website. 

What other link tagging types are available? 

In addition to the rel = “nofollow”  tag there are also sponsored tags which indicate (rel = “sponsored”) where there is a paid collaboration between the link giver and receiver. These are important for SEO as they should be used when there is a paid partnership between two sites to indicate the paid partnership to Google. 

Paid links are a natural part of life on the web, but you should indicate where links are paid to Google to avoid potentially damaging penalties further down the line. 

If you would like advice on how to build a good quality backlink profile that incorporates both Nofollow and Dofollow links as part of a long term strategy then make sure you get in touch with the team at Varn to find out how we can drive links to deliver more value for your website. We are a Bristol based SEO agency that services a range of clients across the UK and beyond.

Article by: David, SEO Account Manager More articles by David

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