Backlink Tracking Basics: NoFollow Links vs. DoFollow Links

Backlinks can help or hinder your SEO, depending on how you and other websites use them. It’s better for you if other websites link to your pages, but worse if you do vice-versa. Even so, you want to foster backlinking by creating camaraderie or establishing yourself as an expert in your field. We want to say links are links, but that is not true.

Google measures the value of these links using PageRank. PageRank is an algorithm that evaluates link quantity and quality. The idea is to reduce spammy content, though the algorithm isn’t perfect.

This evaluation determines how links affect where your website appears in a search engine. 10 is the highest score you can get to appear on the first page of search results. The lower the score, the later you show up on Google.

One hitch to new developments is that you cannot check your PageRank in public, or that of your competitor’s. Google has removed that option. Even so, a PageRank affects where you will appear in search results. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your backlinks.

You can improve your chances, however, using computer coding. NoFollow and DoFollow links can change the game. We will break down these terms and describe the ideal implementation.

NoFollow Links

A NoFollow link is one that you specify for Google not to track as a backlink. Google added this after SEO experts figured out they could game the PageRank system to increase their standing and spam ensued.

“Untrusted content” needs to have the NoFollow tag. Website ads, paid and sponsored links, are required to have this code. Online forums must have the same. WordPress automatically assigns the tag to user-submitted links in blog comments and such.

If you want to use NoFollow links for other purposes, they can provide good referrals. You can use links to build relationships with other websites and with your users. This action shows that you check your sources and can provide good references. This traffic while not counting in Google will at least keep people visiting your website and interacting, else relying on you for information.

DoFollow Links

DoFollow or follow links have HTML coding that allows search bots to find the links in question. Google does count these links towards your PageRank. You can either add the coding manually or see if your page receives it automatically.

Everyone wants their links to be DoFollow, but it’s not easy. Generally, established and reliable sources such as CNN get an automatic DoFollow because Google recognizes them.  

How to Identify Your Link

Identifying bad backlinks is important for preserving your SEO. Go to your page’s source code. You can do this by right-clicking on it and asking to “view page source” when the menu of options appears.

Some Google and Firefox extensions will help you identify links more readily, like SEMQuake, NofollowSimple, and NoDoFollow. One thing NofollowSimple only works on Google Chrome pages. WordPress plugins can help you identify NoFollow links in your comments, and if you want to keep them or not. By auditing your backlinks, you are helping search engines realize that your site is trustworthy and will rank higher.

How Backlink Patrol Can Help

Backlink Patrol can help you learn more about how PageRank works, and how to use NoFollow and DoFollow links to assist in SEO or site traffic.
Contact us today to find out more. We will help you navigate SEO and take advantage of your backlink potential.

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