What Are No Follow & Do Follow Links: A Beginner’s Guide


Reader Interactions


  1. Emmerey Rose says:

    Awesome post! Definitely No-follow for paid or sponsored links. But I’m very curious. How does Google exactly know when a link is paid or sponsored?

    • Jill Caren - 2Dogs Media says:

      Hi Emmerey,

      No one knows for sure with 100% certainty how they know — but there are several thoughts running around in the SEO community including an algorithm that specifically targets patterns that blogger or website owners leave that indicate they are a “review” blog – or manual reviews done by Google personnel. Remember, Google could probably tell you more about your website than you could based on the imprint you leave on the web! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Emmerey Rose says:

        Interesting. Thanks Jill! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Maxine Trotter says:

    Excellent Post – thanks for this. I develop software and for each product I have a seperate site on a seperate domain. I am considering creating a blog (on a separate domain) to blog about software development in general (but obviously with some links to my software product sites when it makes sense to do so) and an overarching “brand” site (which would feature all the products with links to the product sites). I had been worried about what this may do to my rankings, but I think I finally have an answer if I understand your post correctly. Simply make all the outbound links to the product and blog site nofollow. However, one element is still unclear – I was going to show the blog feeds from the product sites (product updates etc.) in the brand site – will that have a negative impact given I can’t (at least I don’t think I can) put no follow on an RSS feed?

    • Jill Caren - 2Dogs Media says:

      Hi Maxine, thanks for the kind words. It seems you have a lot going on so I do not want to give too much in terms of advice because there are a lot of variables going on here. But honestly — not sure why you have separate sites for each product — you are then diluting your brand. It would be much more beneficial to build ONE site with all of your brands — then have the existing domains link to the pages on the site with that specific product. That would help you much more from an SEO and branding perspective. Assuming these software products are all under one brand name. If you do it the way you noted above – then YES no follow would be best on the posts to your websites…..as far as the RSS feed, we are not sure on that one, but that is something we should probably look into! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Maxine Trotter says:

        Thanks Jill, I’ll take some time and give this some more thought.

        • Jill Caren - 2Dogs Media says:

          Remember I do not know your business — but for clients in the past who had multiple websites for whatever reasons, we consolidated them and it worked wonders for their authority and rank — and of course maintenance on those websites! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Neeraj Dewangan says:

    Thanks for sharing this write up on dofollow and nofollow. Its a very important point. But I am still confused. I want the search engines to follow the links of my website, but which links I should keep no follow because I dont want to give dofollow backlink to other users. What should I do?

    • Jill Caren says:

      Any external links to other websites you can make nofollow. Internal links stay dofollow.

  4. Mia says:

    The problem with testing it is that you need nofollows from great sites – Wikipedia is just one example ๐Ÿ‘ – and you can’t really get those without earning follow links as well. Still, my guess is that a link from a Wikipedia article will boost rankings.

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