Definition of a Nofollow Tag

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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A nofollow tag, also called “no follow,” is a non-standard HTML attribute value that is used to tell search engines that when a specific hyperlink is clicked on, it should not affect the ranking of the website. Nofollow informs bots that they do no need to crawl links as no endorsement is implied.

The nofollow tag was created in 2005 by the head os’s webspam team. The idea was to reduce certain types of search engine spam. Nofollow tags (codes) help to improve the quality of links when a search is done by a user. Major search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo! recognize the nofollow code in the HTML of web pages. Smaller search engines may not recognize the nofollow tag, but as it is increasing in popularity, they are catching up.

What are some of the reasons a nofollow tag might be used? A nofollow tag can help to prevent spam. Spam can negatively affect your comment section. For comments that are well-intentioned and allow you to have a two-way dialogue with your visitors, use the UGC nofollow link. By using the nofollow tag you will avoid looking like spam yourself. If you use the same link a few times on one page, use dofollow for one, but nofollow for the rest. A very important reason to use the nofollow tag is to let Google that you are being paid for to promote a specific link. This can include sponsored content, image, and text advertising. If you mark such links as dofollow, Google can penalize your website, which will in turn hurt your ranking.

How do nofollow and dofollow differ when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)? Simply put, dofollow links help your search engine rankings while nofollow links do not. Only dofollow links count in Google’s algorithm. But as mentioned above, there are good reasons to use the nofollow tag, which will benefit your website.

Can you check if a link is nofollow? Yes, you can. All you need to do is right click on the browser page and select “view page source.” Search for the link in the HTML of the page and if you see a rel=”nofollow” attribute, the link is nofollow.

What types of links use the nofollow code? Any link can have a nofollow tag, but more often than not, these are the types of inbound links that will be nofollow:

• social media links
• links in forum posts
• blog comments
• links in news sites and some blogs
• links in press releases

Most popular websites automatically apply a no follow tag on outbound links as well.


Definition of NoFollow Tag Sources:

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