October 14, 2020

When You Should Use Nofollow on Links and When You Shouldn’t

By Sona Mathews

What is Dofollow and Nofollow? When You Should Use Nofollow on Links and When You Shouldn’t.

Since 2005, Nofollow is the part of websites. In the beginning, it was there to fight spam comments.

When You Should Use Nofollow on Links and When You Shouldn’t: eAskme
When You Should Use Nofollow on Links and When You Shouldn’t: eAskme


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But, SEO experts have manipulated many things to impact Google Pagerank. Nofollow is helping Google to understand that they should not vouch for this link.

Earlier SEO’s were using it at the page level, but later they started using it for particular links.

What is Nofollow?

Nofollow is a rel attribute that tells the relationship between a link and the page where it is published. People are using it as <rel=”nofollw”>.

Example of Nofollow link:
<a href=”https://www.example.com”>hello!</a>

According to Google, Links will not be followed if marked by these attributes.

But the truth is, there is no guarantee that Google will not find the nofollow page.

In 2009, Matt Cutts announced that PageRank sculpting using nofollow would not work anymore.
Earlier, Pagerank was only considering dofollow links.

But after that announcement, Google has started counting the total number of links no matter they are dofollow or nofollow.

Here is what Matt Cutts has said:

Matt Cutts about Nofollow links: eAskme


Nofollow is a Hint Now:

In March 2020, Google has clearly stated that they use nofollow as a hint.

Bing also announced that they always used nofollow as a hint.

Google has also announced the two more rel attributes:

  • rel=”sponsored”
  • rel=“ugc”


You can use rel=”sponsored” for the paid links or paid content.

For example; Brand paid to write about <a href=”https://example.com” rel=”sponsored nofollow”>product</a> review.


You should use rel=“ugc” attribute for the user-generated content. Most commonly this attributed can be used in comments and forums posts.

You can also use the attributes with nofollow.

When should you use Nofollow Attribute?

When should you use Nofollow Attribute: eAskme


Earlier the primary use of Nofollow attribute was to identify links that you do not want to pass link juice. Now you are supposed to use nofollow along with UGC or Sponsored attributes.

What Is a Paid Link?

According to Google, the paid link is the link that is built but paying money or exchanging links or paying goods and services for free to make them write about the product or service with link placement.

Link Schemes:

According to Google, a link scheme is;

  • Buying and selling links to manipulate Google search.
  • Mass link exchange
  • Mass Guest posting
  • Auto-generated links
  • Link in exchange of product or service
  • Text ads
  • Press releases
  • Bookmarking sites
  • Web directories
  • Widgets
  • Footer links
  • Template links
  • Forum comments

When you shouldn’t use Nofollow attribute:

If you are adding link because you think its is essential for your readers or you think that it will add more value to your post then you should not add nofollow.

If the link you are adding will not manipulate SEO of the website, then there is no need to use nofollow.

There is no need to set all outbound links as nofollow.

What is Dofollow?

Dofollow is everything that is not nofollow.

If you are not using nofollow attribute, then link automatically becomes dofollow.

Does Nofollow add any value?

Nofollow may not work to boost your ranking, but they are still the part of a natural link profile.

There is no such site that does not have any nofollow link.

Most importantly, Nofollow links also help you to attract more traffic and add more value to the readers.

How to track Nofollow links?

All the popular SEO tools offer a feature where you can check the total number of nofollow links.

ahrefs-nofollow: eAskme

How to track Nofollow links?: eAskme

How to Find out If the link is Nofollowed or DoFollowed?

Just go to the code and check for the nofollow attribute. If nofollow is there, that means the link is nofollow and if not follow is missing this means the link is dofollow.

Here are the plugins to highlight nofollow links:

  • https://detailed.com/extension/
  • https://ahrefs.com/seo-toolbar
  • https://www.igorware.com/extensions/nofollow?referrer-ver=chrome-ext-manager

When to Nofollow and when not to Nofollow?


  • When you trust the source
  • Very few guest post
  • Social media profiles.


  • When you sell a link
  • When you get paid to add a link
  • If you want to be on the safe side
  • All the sitewide outbound links
  • Widgets

Nofollow and the reality:

SEO professional does not always play by the rules.

They manipulate everything that works as long as it is not useless.

What rules do you follow?

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