Importance of NoFollow Tags in SEO Strategy
Nofollow tags let website owners inform the search engines that they should not count some outbound links as “votes” to other websites that can help them rank better. The correct technical term is NoFollow attribute.
How to Add it?
Normally, most of the sites have Nofollow tag enabled already and this is how your post’s URL would look like with this tag:
<a href=”http://www.domainname.com” rel=”nofollow”>Link to a page</a>
Notice, how adding rel=”nofollow” tag makes the URL no follow and sends out the message to search engines not to count this link for rankings. So, normally you don’t have to add a nofollow tag to your posts or website but adding it manually is not a difficult job either. Most of the WordPress, Blogger and other CMS based sites have these tags enabled.
Removing the tag will tell the search engines to count the outbound links as “votes” and makes those links “DoFollow”. This might not be a great idea, why? More on this below.
Why Use it?
When someone leaves a comment on any of your posts and the ranking of that person’s site is not good or if someone is simply spamming then that outbound link might help them to get better ranking but as a result your site’s ranking would drop and there are plenty of spammers out there – so it’s always better (and safe) to use nofollow tags. This is why Dofollow tags should be avoided which are automatically active if your site is not a nofollow.
When to Use it?
Paid Links: It is recommended by Google to add the nofollow tag to Paid links or any text ads otherwise you can get penalised by the search engine giant.
Comments: The comments section is the most abused one by spammers and if your site allows people to comment without any moderation then you’ll be amazed by the high amount of spamming. So, nofollow links would discredit any vote to those sites and save you trouble from Google as well.
User-Generated Content: Similar to comments if your site allows users to contribute posts to your site then adding a nofollow tag would eliminate the threat of you being seen as ‘voting’ for links in the content, links that can be good or pretty bad.
Embeds: If you intend to use any widgets or info graphics from other sites then it is better to add the nofollow tag so that it does not appear as if you’re endorsing those, especially if you’re behind that content.
Others: If there’s any site, content etc. that you don’t want to ‘vouch’ for then you can add this tag to prevent any damage to your site’s rankings.
So, this nofollow attribute is not a rocket science but it can play some important role when it comes to rankings as well as repute of your site and as we know that sometimes even the smallest of things can create some big problems – better to be cautious then sorry later on. Therefore, for a good SEO strategy it’s important to know the use of the tag as well as how and when it should be used.