SEO Myth: No-Follow or Do-Follow

Google doesn’t follow “no-follow” links, but no-follow links are still valuable for search engine optimization. Both no-follow and do-follow links are important to build a natural backlinks profile. Anyway, Google does index some no-follow links.

There are many SEO professionals who would argue with me about this but here are my facts-

Wikipedia, Quora-like site offers no-follow links but Google still does index them.

How To Choose The Right Type of BackLinks?

According to Google Support,

In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.

Important point:

“The target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap.”

Let’s say,

Anchor/Target URL- A

Backlink Source URL-B

3rd Party URL-C

Google will index those links If:

  • Target links “A” got a backlink from another site for example, this Wikipedia page (B). Google will index this backlink from that wiki page if “B” got a Do-Follow link from “C”. This Wikipedia page surely got many do-follow links from other sources. In case of reputed website like Wikipedia, Quora, and some edu., govt. sites Google treat those special.

According to search quality evaluator guidelines:

A note about Wikipedia: in general, the website has a good reputation and is an extremely popular resource that is generally valued for accuracy. However, there is no single author or organization that vouches for the accuracy of Wikipedia articles, and the quality of pages varies.

Same for Quora, Yahoo Answers, and so many others.

  • “A” get clicks from “B”
  • “B” get shares

On September 9, 2013 – Matt Cutts said that

Typically, No Follow links cannot hurt your site.”

This means, No Follow links can hurt your website in some cases.

I found an interesting stat on LinkResearchTools (LRT) by Christoph C. Cemper, 

Google have checked a total of 4,649 spam link examples for 854 domains could be collected from the period between August 16, 2013, and July 2, 2014. with the Link Check Tool (LCT) to measure the status of the links as of July 2, 2014. The result shows an amazing stats-

why it's worth looking at NoFollow links
Why it’s worth looking at NoFollow links


From that study, we learn too many do-follows is not good for site backlinks health.

Clearly, too many do-follows links with Exact Keyword Matched anchor text signal Google of Unnatural behavior. And this leads to punishment.

Few more points on How No-Follow Links Can Actually Bring Value-

On Moz, Nicole Kohler Wrote,

“one nofollow link directly led to profit.

                                     a + e = p

                                             Awareness + engagement = profit.”

Read More On Moz- The Hidden Power of Nofollow Links

I would highly recommend that do not build just do-follow links. It may trigger unnatural spammy links which is certainly not good. SEOs shouldn’t focus only on No-Follow & Do-Follow Links. Again, I want to remind of this article on LinkedIn- How Buyer’s Perspective Can Be The Difference!

It will help you understand better about building strategy for any challenge.

I would also recommend every SEOs to forget about exact matched anchor text. Google wants your site to contribute something for users on the web.

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Comments (2)

  1. Good write-up. I definitely love this website. Continue
    the good work!

  2. What a great article you have compiled! I do see some of my friends on it. It is pretty useful for those who want to keep this and hit.

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