A “nofollow” link is a type of HTML link attribute that instructs search engines not to follow or pass any link equity (ranking power) to the linked webpage. In other words, when you add the “nofollow” attribute to a link, it tells search engines that you do not endorse or vouch for the linked page, and it should not influence the linked page’s search engine rankings.
What is NoFollow Links ? The “nofollow” attribute was introduced by major search engines, including Google, in 2005 as a way to combat spammy and manipulative link-building practices. When webmasters and content creators use “nofollow” links, they typically have specific reasons for doing so:
- User-Generated Content: “Nofollow” links are often applied to user-generated content, such as comments on blogs and forums, to prevent spammy or irrelevant links from passing authority to external websites.
- Paid Links: If you have paid for a link placement or if you are involved in sponsored content, disclosing the nature of the link and using “nofollow” is important to comply with search engine guidelines and avoid penalties.
- Untrusted or Unverified Links: When linking to websites or pages whose authenticity and trustworthiness are uncertain, using “nofollow” can mitigate the risk of associating your site with potentially harmful or spammy content.
- Advertisement and Affiliate Links: Many websites use “nofollow” links for advertisements and affiliate links to distinguish them from organic, editorial content. This is both a transparency measure and a way to comply with advertising disclosure rules.
- Unvetted User-Generated Links: In certain cases, if your website allows users to submit links, using “nofollow” can prevent your website from inadvertently passing authority to low-quality or malicious sites.
Here’s an example of how to create a “nofollow” link in HTML:
<a href="https://example.com" rel="nofollow">Visit Example.com</a>
In this example, the
rel="nofollow" attribute is added to the
<a> (anchor) element, indicating that the link to “example.com” should be treated as a “nofollow” link.
It’s important to note that while “nofollow” links do not directly influence search engine rankings, they can still be valuable for directing users to relevant external resources and for maintaining transparency in link relationships, which can build trust with your audience and comply with search engine guidelines.