If you are a relatively new blogger, you may not have heard anything about do follow vs no follow links. Up until recently, I did not even know what a no follow or do follow link was. So, I wanted to share what I have learned with you.
First, let’s start with a quick overview of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The simplest way I can define SEO is that Google (and other search engines) have a “secret” algorithm as to how they rank webpages (including your blog). The better your SEO ranking, the higher up in the search results your blog will be. The higher up in the search results, the more views your blog is likely to get.
For example, if you search Google for “L’Oreal Pro Glow Foundation” my blog post *currently* appears on the first page. As a result, this blog post that I wrote 6 months ago continues to get hundreds of views every day. So, obviously SEO is very important!
I plan on writing an entire blog post on the basics of SEO but I wanted to start with one important topic that is not openly discussed. This is no follow vs do follow links. First, let me show you where you choose if your link is going to be a do follow or no follow link (in WordPress):
See the checkbox next to rel=”nofollow”? If you check this box, your link becomes a no follow link. If you leave this box unchecked, your link is a do follow link. As you can see, the default setting is that the box is unchecked and the link is a do follow link. Here is the difference between the two:
- Do Follow Links allow the Google bots (or other search engines) to follow the link. This helps boost the SEO of the linked website. This is because the more inbound links that your website has, the better Google ranks it. For example, if Google sees that thousands of people are linking to Sephora the Google algorithm determines that this is a high quality, legitimate website and gives it a higher ranking so that more visitors can see this website. So, if you are linking to a friend’s blog and want to HELP them, you should leave the link as a do follow link.
- No Follow Links – The Google bots ignore the link and your link has 0 effect on the linked website’s SEO.
So, why does this matter to YOU if Google “follows” your link to another website? Well, you should use NO FOLLOW links anytime you have been paid for a link, can earn money from a link, or you are linking a product that you received from a company for free. This is because Google does not want paid links to influence search engine results.
You should use no follow links in your blog posts that are either sponsored, contain affiliate links, or contain gifted products. This is because Google has a way to identify sites that are using paid links to boost their SEO ranking and anyone linking to those sites will be penalized and have their SEO score downgraded. This means that if you post an affiliate link, or a link to a company that has compensated you (either in cash or product) you will be penalized for Google if your link to their website is a do follow link.
The reason that I felt the need to bring this up in a blog post is that I have heard of multiple brands asking or requiring bloggers to use do follow links. These brands are engaging in “search engine manipulation” and YOU the blogger will be the one who is penalized by Google and other search engines. Luckily, I have never personally had a brand require me to use no-follow links but I wanted to share this information to my fellow bloggers!
Was this post helpful? Had you heard of no follow vs do follow links? Would you like to see a full blog post on Search Engine Optimization?