SEO glossary: Nofollow link

In a nutshell: What is a Nofollow Link?

The Nofollow link is an important HTML attribute for the search engine optimization. If desired, it is added to a link in order not to pass on any link popularity to the linked page.


What is a Nofollow Link?

It is common practice on websites to link pages and documents. It is possible to insert a Nofollow link.


This is also known as the nofollow attribute (rel="nofollow" and content="nofollow").


If a Nofollow link is set, this has an effect on the linkjuice (also known as link power). Because in this case it is not passed on, since search engines no longer follow the link.


Thus, webmasters and SEOs have the opportunity, LINKJUICE-flows in a better and more targeted way.


Originally, the Nofollow Link was created by Google in 2005. The goal here was to prevent masses of links from being set in guest books, forums and blog comments, for example. Because these are sometimes even generated automatically and do not provide much added value.


Some SEOs specifically exploited this possibility at that time by driving many links to their projects and their subpages. But with the introduction of the Nofollow attribute, this became a thing of the past.


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How do Nofollow links work?

To set a Nofollow link, the corresponding attribute is set normally.




<a href=“””“ rel=“”nofollow”“>Linktext</a>


If webmasters would like to Nofollow not only individual links, but all links within a page, this is also possible:


<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />


For example, forum operators can place this attribute directly in the header so that it has an effect on all subpages.


But what effect do Nofollow links actually have?


If the Nofollow attribute is set in a link, search engine crawlers do not follow the linked content.
In addition, no link juice, i.e. no link power, is passed on to the linked page.


When and where is the Nofollow attribute useful?

  • Links to untrustworthy pages: If you don't want to take responsibility for linked content, Nofollow makes sense. For example, if guests can place a link in a comment.
  • Control of linkjuice: If SEOs do not want to send valuable linkjuice to insignificant pages (e.g. imprint and privacy policy), the Nofollow tag makes sense here as well.
  • Purchased links: Is a link a purchased link? Then it should be marked accordingly. Additionally, affiliate links, guest posts, paid advertising and press releases should be marked accordingly.


What influence do Nofollow links have on the search engine?

Whether and what influence Nofollow links have on search engine optimization is controversial among SEOs. While some say that the links have no effect at all, for others they are an important component.


The fact is: Nofollow links are part of a natural link profile and should not be neglected under any circumstances. This becomes clear at the very latest when a backlink profile analysis of the competition is carried out.


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Conclusion: What are nofollow links?

In certain situations and cases such as affiliate links or press releases, a Nofollow link makes perfect sense. Because with this there is the possibility to control link power sensibly or not to take responsibility for untrustworthy links in guest posts. Nofollow links simply belong to a natural link profile!

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