What are Follow Backlinks & Nofollow Links?

What are Follow Backlinks you ask? Well if you are interested in reading this, whoever you are; you can also read this 10 minute basic guide to SEO Backlinks or links in general can be follow or nofollow. This article will answer this query we contastly get bombarded with; what are dofollow backlinks? and will also expound on the nofollow link, and how to create them with a special code. Including the importance of follow backlinks. So what is a follow link?

A follow backlink is an anchor text (link) that is not blocked by some special HTML coding or a robots.txt file from being crawled by search engines. It is the opposite of a nofollow link.

What is a Nofollow Link?

A nofollow link is link that has been blocked from crawling by search engine bots. It is the exact opposite of a follow link.

This can be done by making a whole page nofollow or implementing a HTML code that commands search engine bots not to index or crawl a link.

Steps of Making a Link Nofollow

The are two methods that will achieve this result:

1. The On-Page Method

This method involves inserting a special HTML code on a web page that will make a particular link to be nofollow. You can do it in two ways;

(a) Using the "Nofollow Tag"

If you do not want a link to be visible to search engines. Just insert this nofollow code on the link


<a href="your-link.html" rel="nofollow"> some text here</a>

This will make search engines view the link as plain text and not a live link.

(b) Using the "Meta Robots Tag"

The meta robots tag is inserted in the head section of a web page. There are two sets of codes you can use here;


<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"/>

This instructs search engines to skip indexing your site but just to follow the page. Your page will be crawled but not indexed on SERPs

OR ALTERNATIVELY, you may use the code below in the head section


<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"/>

The latter instructs search engines not to index nor follow your page. Meaning search engines will totally not crawl your page

Warning: Don't ever use this tag.

The two sets of codes above will definitely make all your links "nofollow".

2. The Off-Page Method

This method simply requires you to upload a special robotx.txt file with a code that instructs search engines not to crawl or index your entire site. It will definitely make your entire site and links nofollow.

Every site needs a robots.txt file. See how to create a recommended one here.

So now you know the difference in follow and nofollow links.

NOTE: Only use method 1(a). It is simple and will not harm your SEO.

Uses of the "Nofollow Tag"

There are a couple of reasons a nofollow tag is used in a web page. The main reason being; "preserving link juice and pagerank".

1. Preserving PageRank

Google Pagerank, commonly abbreviated as PR is still an important ranking algorithm to search engines. It is measured on a scale of 0-10 with PR10 being the greatest and PR0 being the least. You can a href="pagerank-checker.html"check your pagerank here

2. Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are not meaningful to a page and mostly create a bad user experience. This in turn negatively impacts your search engine ranking. In fact, a site can be penalized and the page(s) or entire site removed from search results for using many affiliate links that are follow.

NOTE: Always use the "nofollow tag" on affiliate links.