If you’re trying to climb the search engine rankings, you’ve likely come across the concepts of Nofollow and DoFollow links. 

It’s not an easy terrain to navigate, with each type of link seemingly pulling you in different directions. 

You want to accumulate backlinks to boost your SEO, but you fear overstepping the line and facing a search engine penalty. Moreover, understanding the impact of Nofollow tags on SEO is crucial for developing a sound strategy.

You’re also wrestling with understanding how Nofollow and DoFollow links differ and the implications they hold for your SEO strategy.

What if there was a way to employ both Nofollow and DoFollow links to your advantage, enhancing your SEO without falling foul of the search engines?

Imagine your website steadily rising through the ranks, powered by a balanced backlink strategy that optimises SEO impact.

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Nofollow and DoFollow links and share insights on how to strike a perfect balance between them, effectively dodging potential penalties and driving your SEO strategy forward.

The Importance of Nofollow and DoFollow Links in SEO

In the world of SEO, links are not just links. They carry different weights and serve unique purposes. Understanding the value of different link attributes like Nofollow, DoFollow, Sponsored, and UGC is vital for SEO optimization.

The two major types are Nofollow and DoFollow links, and striking a balance between them can be the trick to the best SEO results.

Apart from these, there are other link attributes like UGC and Sponsored (explained in detail in this guide on Nofollow, Sponsored and UGC tags).

Understanding the impact of these link attributes in terms of Google’s algorithms is critical. To dive into this, you can read this comprehensive article on decoding Google’s algorithm and its perception of nofollow, sponsored, and UGC tags.

Implementing Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC Tags

After understanding the distinct roles of different link attributes in SEO, it is equally important to learn how to implement these tags effectively.

For this, you might want to read this helpful step-by-step guide to implementing nofollow, sponsored, and UGC tags.

This guide provides a clear and comprehensive approach to tag implementation, which could enhance your SEO efforts.

Understanding the Difference Between Nofollow and DoFollow Links

How DoFollow Links Affect SEO

DoFollow links are the golden children of the SEO world. These are the links that pass ‘link juice’, thus potentially boosting your website’s authority and SERP rankings.

When a website with a high domain authority links to your site without adding a ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ attribute, it’s essentially giving a nod of approval to your content, which search engines tend to favour.

The Role of Nofollow Links in SEO

On the other hand, Nofollow links are those with the ‘rel=”nofollow“‘ attribute in their HTML code. They’re like the silent supporters that don’t shout out their love for your website but still provide some benefit.

Essentially, they tell the search engines, “Here’s a link, but don’t factor it into your ranking algorithms.” Nofollow links are crucial for maintaining a balanced and natural link profile.

How to Strike the Right Balance Between Nofollow and DoFollow Links

Tips for a Balanced Backlink Strategy

Creating a balance between Nofollow and DoFollow links requires some strategic thinking. You don’t want to tip the scale too heavily in either direction, as that could potentially raise red flags with search engines.

To maintain equilibrium, consider diversifying your link sources, aim for high-quality, relevant links, and never be tempted to buy links.

Remember, quality over quantity!

Avoiding Search Engine Penalties with Proper Link Balance

One of the penalties websites can face is having too many low-quality or paid DoFollow links. 

That’s where the ‘rel=”nofollow“‘ attribute can be a lifesaver, subtly informing search engines about the nature of the link. 

For a broader perspective, check out the evolution of Sponsored tags, which will help you understand how SEO practices have changed over time.

The Consequences of an Unbalanced Link Strategy

An unbalanced link strategy can lead to search engine penalties, harming your SEO efforts. Too many low-quality or purchased DoFollow links can make your link profile appear unnatural, leading to possible penalties.

How to Use Nofollow Links to Avoid Penalties

By adding the ‘rel=”nofollow”‘ attribute to low-quality or purchased links, you can mitigate potential penalties. This practice indicates to search engines that you’re aware of the quality of your links and are taking steps to maintain a balanced link profile.

Using nofollow links properly can help you avoid penalties that affect your SEO rankings. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Understand the role of nofollow links: Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. The nofollow tag tells search engines to ignore that link, and they do not pass PageRank or influence search engine rankings.
  2. Use nofollow links to avoid penalties: Search engines may penalise websites with many low-quality or paid links tagged as dofollow. Adding nofollow attributes can help you avoid these penalties by indicating the nature of the link to search engines.
  3. Use nofollow links for user-generated content: Search engines may penalise websites that allow nofollow links in user-generated content. Adding nofollow attributes to these links can help you avoid penalties.
  4. Use a balance of nofollow and dofollow links: A natural link profile consists of both nofollow and dofollow backlinks. Using a balance of both types of links can help you avoid penalties and improve your SEO rankings.
  5. Use nofollow links for sponsored content: If a piece of content on your website is an advertisement or paid placement, any links are seen as sponsored or paid links. Using nofollow links for sponsored content can help you avoid penalties.

By using nofollow links properly, you can avoid penalties and improve your SEO rankings. 

Understanding the role of nofollow links, using them for user-generated content and sponsored content, and using a balance of nofollow and dofollow links can help you optimise your link profile and improve your SEO strategy.

Assessing Your Current Link Profile

Before you can begin to balance your Nofollow and DoFollow links, it’s essential to understand the current state of your link profile.

There are several SEO tools available that can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your backlinks.

These tools can give you insights into the number of DoFollow and Nofollow links you currently have, allowing you to determine whether you need to adjust your strategy.

Start by running a backlink analysis on your website. Note the ratio of Nofollow to DoFollow links. Ideally, you want a mix of both, but the exact ratio can vary depending on your specific industry and the nature of your website.

If you notice a disproportionate number of either Nofollow or DoFollow links, it might be time to adjust your backlink strategy.

Remember, the goal isn’t to achieve a perfect 50:50 ratio but rather to ensure your link profile appears natural and diverse. If you have a large number of low-quality or irrelevant DoFollow links, consider reaching out to these sites and requesting they change the link to a Nofollow.

Conversely, if you notice high-quality, relevant sites linking to you with a Nofollow attribute, it might be worth reaching out to see if they’d be willing to change it to a DoFollow.

Balancing your Nofollow and DoFollow links isn’t a one-and-done task. It requires continuous monitoring and adjustments as you earn new backlinks.

With a balanced link profile, you’ll be well on your way to creating an SEO strategy that drives traffic and improves your SERP rankings.

Enhancing SEO with User-Generated Content

As you continue to refine your SEO strategy, you may want to consider the potential of User-Generated Content (UGC). 

UGC can not only enrich your content offering but can also contribute to your backlink profile. 

To understand how to get started with User-Generated Content, check out this comprehensive UGC guide

Moreover, learn how to utilise UGC effectively in your UK social media marketing and learn about the crucial role of UGC tags in modern SEO practices.

In Summary

To wrap up, striking a balance between Nofollow and DoFollow links is key to an effective SEO strategy. 

We’ve journeyed through understanding both link types’ crucial roles in SEO, how to avoid search engine penalties by maintaining a healthy link balance, and how to assess and fine-tune your current link profile.

Our FAQ section also addressed some common queries related to this topic.

Striking the right balance isn’t about reaching an exact 50:50 ratio but rather making your link profile appear as natural and diverse as possible.

A well-structured backlink strategy that harnesses the power of both Nofollow and DoFollow links can help drive traffic, enhance brand visibility, and improve SERP rankings, propelling your website towards greater success in the digital realm.


Are Nofollow links useless since they don’t pass ‘link juice’?

Despite not passing ‘link juice’, Nofollow links are far from useless. They can drive traffic to your site from high-traffic web pages, increase brand exposure, and potentially lead to more DoFollow links down the line. Google has also indicated that they view Nofollow links as ‘hints’, meaning they may still factor into the ranking algorithm to some degree.

Are there other types of link attributes besides Nofollow and DoFollow?

Yes, besides Nofollow and DoFollow, Google introduced other link attributes. These include “UGC” (User Generated Content) and “Sponsored”. The UGC attribute is recommended for links within user-generated content, such as comments and forum posts, while the Sponsored attribute should be used for links that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.

Is there an optimal Nofollow to DoFollow ratio for my link profile?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all optimal ratio between Nofollow and DoFollow links, as it can vary depending on various factors like your industry, website nature, and specific SEO strategy. However, having a diverse link profile that appears natural and organic is crucial. Striving for a healthy mix of high-quality Nofollow and DoFollow links is typically a sound approach.

About the Author

Des Dreckett

Des Dreckett is the eCommerce and growth Marketing Director of XenMediamarketing.co.uk: a writer, blogger and a paid media specialist.

Writing content to help you grow and build your business.

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