No Follow

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As soon as a document or a link is marked with the “nofollow” attribute, Google will not follow this link or document. This influences the so-called linkjuice. In 2005, the two attributes “follow” and “nofollow” were introduced by Google. They are there to give the website operator the opportunity to control its linkjuice.

Development of “nofollow”

The idea behind the principle of the nofollow attribute is to mark links that do not correspond to the editorial nature. One speaks of an editorial link as soon as it is placed within an informational article or refers to such articles.

Google wanted to use the nofollow attribute to prevent the creation of mass links in blog comments. Automatic links often have a significant impact on search engine rankings. Before the nofollow attribute, it was possible to achieve a high ranking as soon as you achieved a high number of links from websites with a high PageRank.

Function of the nofollow attribute

The following HTML code shows how such a NoFollow marking can look like:

Further information

It is possible to mark not only a single link with “nofollow”. It is also possible to mark all links within the header with “nofollow”. This method is often used to exclude follow links in forums.

The NoFollow tag ensures that the linked website does not receive any advantages in the ranking, as no linkjuice is passed on. It does not ensure that robots do not follow this link.

Google recommends using the tags in the following situations:

  1. Purchased links
  2. Linking to untrustworthy content
  3. Controlling the linkjuice on your own site

1. purchased links:

Since the links do not correspond to the natural intention, but to a recommendation, they should not influence the search result. This means that the user is more or less deceived by the purchased link, as this is not a natural link after all.

Labeling is therefore required in the following cases:

  • Guest contributions
  • Affiliate Link
  • Press releases
  • Paid Advertising

2. linking to untrustworthy content:

The NoFollow tag should be used as soon as the website operator does not want to take responsibility for its content that refers to another page. One example of this is the comment function for users.

3. control of the linkjuice on your own site:

In this situation, the imprint or the registration pages should be excluded for the search engines. In practice, however, this approach has no advantages. Google points out that the use of resources for user-friendly navigation and URL structure is much more effective. The crawling process is influenced by the NoFollow tag.

Connection with SEO

The impact of NoFollow links on SEO is not clear, as there are many different opinions on this topic. Some are of the opinion that a backlink profile with a high proportion of NoFollow links has no disadvantages and others say exactly the opposite. It is therefore not clear whether these attributes ultimately have an influence on the ranking or not.

In the example of “Wikipedia”, there is also disagreement as to whether the links from the encyclopedia marked with NoFollow have an influence on the ranking. Google, however, continues to deny this theory.

However, SEOs agree on one point: NoFollow links are part of a natural link profile.