Nofollow links are links that have the HTML rel=” nofollow” tag attached (<a rel= “nofollow” href= “”>hyperlinked text</a>) and are not typically used by Google to determine the search engine rankings. Often, Google ignores a Nofollow directive, and this link is not counted in page rankings. As you can understand, they can not help your web page position in the SERPs.

<a rel= "nofollow" href= "">hyperlinked text</a>

However, these links can still be used as any other links on your page, and users can click them anytime they visit your website. So, why do nofollow links exist?

Nofollow links play a significant role in preventing spam, and in this way, they help SEO better understand your website. If nofollow never existed and we would have only do-follow links, spammers would have the most backlinks. Google would not have liked this, that’s for sure! Not only that but no follow links drive traffic to your page and increase your brand awareness as they can increase the number of online mentions for your website. Plus, Nofollow links can also lead to dofollow links. Therefore, you can not talk about nofollow links without addressing nofollow links.

But, what’s the difference between a nofollow and a dofollow link?

As we mentioned earlier, a nofollow link’s purpose is not to pass PageRank, so their PageRank value for SEO is low. To add more, they may or may not be crawled and are not always used for indexing. In contrast, dofollow links are essential to pass PageRank and significantly impact SEO (positive). A dofollow link is constantly crawled and be used for indexing. Dofollow links have the best backlink ratio (75% or more), whereas nofollow links have only 25% or less. But keep in mind that they are both useful if you use them properly.

Anyway, here are some of the benefits of nofollow links:

  1. You can get more traffic on your website because nofollow links drive it from other sites.
  2. Nofollow links can also increase the number of mentions online, and by that, they can increase brand awareness of your business.
  3. Your backlink profile looks so natural, thanks to nofollow links. Imagine having only dofollow links – well, that would look weird and suspicious to the ranking algorithms.
  4. Nofollow links help webmasters find your content easier as they can lead to dofollow links.
  5. Another advantage of nofollow links is that they can improve your web page’s domain authority, credibility, and trustworthiness.

How can we notice nofollow links – types?

  • Rel=” sponsored” – used for advertisements/paid placements.
  • Rel=” ugc” –  are added to user-generated/sponsored content links (UGC) like blog comments & forum posts.
  • Rel=” nofollow” is used when you don’t want Google to associate your site with that linked page (usually, it is a popular website). This happens when other values don’t apply (space, comma, etc.).
  • Multiple rel values: you can specify rel values, e.g., rel-“nofollow sponsored,” rel=” ugcnofollow”.

What to consider a nofollow link?

You can quickly notice whether a link is nofollow or not. You just have to right-click on the link in your browser and select “Inspect.” After that, if you see rel=” nofollow” in the anchor tag element, you know that you have to do with a nofollow link.

Down below, we will show you a step-by-step guide on how to check for this type of link:

  • Right-click on the link in the browser
  • Then, click “Inspect” element
  • Inspect the anchor element tag (look for the “rel” attribute in the HTML source code)
  • Check the rel detail – if they have “nofollow,” “sponsored,” or “UGC,” then they are no-follow links.

The rel attribute defines the relationship thru the current document and the linked one. SEO uses this HTML attribute to get detailed information about a specific link. In this way, SEO receives directives to not use the link for any website ranking calculation.

You should know that a nofollow link can not hurt your website. That’s because links associated with a nofollowrel attribute are not counted in page rankings algorithms. But, you have to be vigilant because many nofollow links on high-quality web pages can worsen your PageRank value and negatively impact web page ranking calculations.


About the Author

Nardi Doda

CEO & SEO Expert

I am one of the creators of I have been fascinated by SEO since 2013, spending most of my time reading and practicing the latest methods in line with the professional guidelines of search engines. My goal is to share with you the necessary information in this area by explaining it in a simple and practical way.

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