Do Nofollow Links Help In SEO: When Should I Use Nofollow Links?

Website owners spend a lot of effort, and sometimes money, on SEO link building expecting that strategy to greatly pay off. Naturally, you would want to focus on links that will give you a return of your investment and not on ones that have no value. Case in point: Nofollow links. In this article, we argue that they are not as bad as they seem.  Do nofollow links help in SEO? Read on to find out.

backlinks in seo

Link Building for SEO

It is no secret that link popularity is a very important ranking factor on Google and other search engines. In fact, expert in SEO in Sydney estimate the following:

  • More than 9 out of 10 of the top 50 search results have at least one external link that points back to the website.
  • Almost 8 out of 10 of top results have at least one external link that points back to the specific page.

How does this happen? Simply put, when a web page gets an inbound link from another web page, it gets an SEO boost. This is because Google and other search engines think that if a page is linked to by other pages, people must really like that page. That page is then given preference in the search results ranking.

That is why search engine optimisation practitioners pay a lot of attention to link building and why the link building process can sometimes hike up your SEO price. It is an investment that is worth making.

The Stigma Around Nofollow Links

Google has this metric called PageRank. They use PageRank to calculate link points. Follow links count positively toward your web page’s points. This, in turn, boosts your rank and help you go higher on the results page.

Now, do nofollow links help in SEO? Those working in search engine optimisation and digital marketing would say no. After all, they have been primed for years to believe that nofollow links have absolutely no value whatsoever. They do not count as points which means they do nothing to boost your rank on search engines’ results page.

Search engines do not even crawl nofollow links. Nofollow links live a sad existence. The least we can do is understand them and hopefully, in the end, realise that they are not really as bad as they seem.

Nofollow Links for Seo

What are Nofollow Links?

First, let us define a follow link. A follow link is your standard normal backlink. Another website links back to your website or page. It is just like a citation. As already mentioned, they count as points, increases SEO link juice, and boosts your web page’s rank.

Nofollow links are the exact opposite. They have no effect on your ranking. A nofollow link is created to tell Google and other search engines to not count the link. Nofollow links are usually found in:

  • Paid links
  • Blog Comments
  • Discussions on forums
  • “Untrusted Content”

A nofollow link is tagged as such because there are bad people out there trying to dupe search engines into giving them good page rankings by using with unethical black-hat optimization methods. Nofollow links are the answer to the crisis of the spam mentality.

Nofollow Links are NOT as Bad as They Sound

They might not get you some much needed link juice but they have helped us in one way or another. After all, even the crookedest spammer would not bother posting unrelated links to forums or blogs if they knew that website administrators will just assign it as a nofollow link.  They have not completely eliminated comment spam but they have definitely minimized it.


Here are the other reasons why nofollow links can be quite beneficial.

  1. Increased traffic potential – Just not in the traditional sense. Nofollow links are only for search engines. They do not stop users from clicking on the link. If it is well placed and in a relevant blog or forum, a nofollow link can still send traffic down your way. Nofollow links do not give you any link but they still have the potential to generate as much traffic as a follow link.
  2. SEO boost – Google’s algorithms are complicated. They say that nofollow links do not give you link juice but no one really knows whether that is 100% true. In fact, there are case studies that show a correlation between nofollow links and page rankings. However small, there is still a chance that nofollow links boost your page’s ranking.
  3. Social media signals – Social media directly impacts your page rankings by telling search engines how popular and active your website is. Nevertheless, links on social media are considered nofollow. But the more mentions, the more links you receive to your website, the more shares, you build a nofollow link that directly benefit your SEO.
  4. Influencer marketing – Influencers are really good at driving traffic and leads and turning it into conversions. Nevertheless, the backlinks of generated by influencer marketing campaigns are nofollow but not useless. You still get access to their audience.
  5. Build it and they will come – Backlinks help people find you, whether they are follow or nofollow links.

Do Nofollow Links Help In SEO: When Should I Use Nofollow Links?

  1. Links in comments – Use a nofollow to prevent scammers and spammers from getting that valuable link juice. There is another benefit to it, you can also facilitate a legit, productive, relevant discussion in your comments section.
  2. Inevitable linking to an undesirable source – Ideally, you would not want to link to an untrusted source or an undesirable website. However, there would come a time when you can’t avoid linking to them. Tag it as nofollow to prevent them from gaining any SEO
  3. Avoid penalties – If you add content in your website that is unrelated to to your niche, your website might be penalized by Google and other search engines. If you add a nofollow meta tag, you can avoid the penalty while keeping the content there.
  4. Paid links – If there are any sponsored or paid content on your blog, all the links must be nofollow links. You are getting paid for referrals and not link juice, after all.
  5. Multiple appearance – If there is a link that appears many times and in the same location, you must mark it as nofollow because this could lead to Google penalizing you.

Final Thoughts

Link building is a crucial factor in search engine optimization. Link building is not all about link juice, though. After all, the goal of search engine optimization is to increase traffic, drive leads, and help your website convert. And nofollow links can help you achieve those goals just as well as follow links do. So do nofollow Links Help In SEO? The answer is yes.