It is no secret that the link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. If a website can generate a good number of backlinks, then typically they will gain rankings on a SERP. As you might already know, there are two types of backlink attributes; follow & nofollow. Almost all link builders tend to only focus on building followed backlinks. However, what many do not realize is that nofollow links can still have some value. In fact, nofollow links can actually serve an important purpose when it comes to a website’s SEO efforts and overall linking strategy.

How Nofollow Links Work

Every webmaster has the power to either include nofollow or dofollow link attributes each time a link is put on his/her website. The reason that nofollow links exist in the first place: spammers. It was tough for spammers to get links in the copy of an article because that involves hacking into the website, but putting spammy links in the comments of an article was simple. For this reason, Google created nofollow links so that Google bots would not follow and “count” these spammy links.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to nofollow links for a Webmaster is to setup nofollow links wherever a visitor can add in a link on his/her own (the comments being the most obvious example). This helps a Webmaster keep his/her site clean. However, nofollow links are not only great for Webmasters—they are also great for the websites where the nofollow link points.

Why Nofollow Links Are Still Beneficial in Terms of Traffic

The natural reaction for many business owners is the all-too-common phrase “why bother?” Linking is about improving a ranking on a SERP, right? It makes sense to not bother with adding in a link in a blog post comment if a Google bot can’t even find it to give you credit.

The truth is—adding in your own nofollow links can still help the overall linking power by bringing traffic to your website. There are a few reasons that nofollow links will help bring traffic despite the fact that Google bots do not follow these links:

  • Users Can Still Click – Just because Google bots cannot follow the link back to your website does not mean that users cannot click on the link. It’s important to remember that SEO is about users first and search engines second.
  • You’re Able to Help Readers – If you see that there is a great conversation going on about a specific topic and you either have an article that could further the discussion or a webpage that can help, you’re likely to get a few clicks and improve your reputation. Any opportunity to help your audience should be taken, and including nofollow links in discussions is a great way to do just that.
  • Can Help You Get In Front of the Eyes of Many – There are many very authoritative websites that make it difficult to obtain a dofollow link, but a nofollow link will still help your link get in front of the eyes of a huge audience. Although Google bots won’t see this link, users will.

Why Nofollow Links are Still Beneficial in Terms of Rankings

Nofollow links are typically seen for their value in improving site traffic, but there is evidence that nofollow links can help a page’s ranking. Here’s how:

  • Link Diversification – If you only have followed links, that doesn’t look to natural does it? Your link building strategy should include a good mix of both follow & nofollow links to help diversify your backlink profile.
  • Autority of Domain – Nofollow links that are found on an authoritative domain may not pass actual link juice to improve your PageRank but it does seem to have a benefit in improving your overall authority.
  • Anchor Text – Having the right anchor text will also help your nofollow links improve ranking. Anchor text works the same way as it works when working with dofollow links—try to stay specific and focus on the keywords for which you’d like to rank.

Putting a nofollow link on a website is quick and easy. Although dofollow links typically hold more value than a nofollow link in terms of ranking, nofollow links can still help improve your SEO and SERP position. The greatest thing about nofollow links is the fact that you really have control over where these links occur. Putting a link back to your website in a comment is easy, and although the Webmaster of the site may have set these links to nofollow, you’re still in control over when and where these nofollow links occur. Working to get a dofollow link within an article can be tough, so it’s important to never let your nofollow efforts fall by the wayside.