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Nofollow : Friend In Disguise For Your SEO Campaign

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Why The Nofollow Tag Is Underrated?

This is the tag that needs no formal introduction in blogosphere , people and especially link building experts dread this word like the monster in their nightmare .That has led an entire big chunk of community in the bloggosphere look at it as something very eveil without looking the pros and the main reason why it was invented in the first place and why their unlimited quest to follow the dofollow blogs for commenting purposes is not going to land them anywhere in SEO heaven.
Having said that, lets have a look at what the nofollow attribute has in store for a blog from the SEO point of view.

1)Google is not the only search engine !

I need to remind people a lot of times that google is not the only search engine out there (yet) ! lets have a look at what the nofollow is and how the other search engines treat it.

Nofollow and other search engines .

The nofollow is a tag that is , simply put – Google specific! yes , the rest of the search engines and was made a measure to let the blog owner have power on whether to pass on link juice and authority to the links appearing on their sites or not . The move was a purely defensive move and had nothing to do with PR at that time. But with the advent of comment spammers bloggers needed to use it to protect spam on their blog. As is said before , its google spaeicif and is ,in no way a universal standard , which means the rest of the search engines value links irrespective of the nofollow attribute .
Lets see how the rest of the search engines treat the tag in this diagram

So What Are The Advantages Of Nofollow?

Apart from controlling outbound link spam as mentioned above the nofollow serves a lot of other purposes

1) Preventing the bots from passing the PR value to useless text.

Useless? You might be wondering why on earth will a blogger upload content to the site if he does not want it to get valued . But there are a lot of pages that slip out mind that get followed and dilute your keywords as listed by the search engines and make you lose on the ‘relevance’ score in the search results if you are targeting a particular keyword. the best example would be the ‘About Us’ , ‘Contact Form’ , and similar pages , also profile pages and day and month pages.

2)Prevent Comment Spam

This is why the nofollow was basically made for . to prevent link spam and to give more power and coontrol to the blog owner on what he should credit and what should be ignored by the search engines. A lot of webmasters are realizing this slowly but surely that dofollow comments do more harm than good and take away complete control from the blog owner. I have myself made my blog a self proclaimed nofollow blog and it will be that way forever . This is both from a technical and an ethical point of view . I dont find it wise to lure people with a backlink to comment on a good article . Not to mention i have been successful in keeping away a lot of  ‘thank you/nice post’ comments right from the inception of my blog .

3)Preferred Exclusion .

Say you have to make a big list of blogs or bloggers where you need to use a large number of outbound links that you think will harm your PR , please use the nofollow tag and control your outbound link (OBL) . while i have always maintained that you should never shy from linking out to good content in my guidelines for business blogs , but there are situations when you want to mention the blog permalink but dont want to credit it (not out of selfishness mind you) . Say you have a blog about SEO and you are making a list of ‘Best looking thesis themes’ , and a lot of them are not from your niche , then a dofollow link might look like a reciprocal link to search engines anf raise a red flag.


Dont hate the nofollow attribute, as a blogger, infact be thankful to google for handing over the power of choice to you. Use the nofollow decisively and i guarantee you will not only end up in a good Pagerank but also a good google keyword placement (yes both are very different).

Let me know if you have had any bad experiences with OBL spam or how you have employed the ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute as an effective SEO strategy , i would like to here from you.

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12 comments… add one
  • Yes , nofollow was primarily designed to aid webmasters for the same . The thing about using nofollow in the article body and comment body is, if we have nofollow in the article body it can still bet indexed if it has another link pointing to it ,since there are many ways leading to an article and you cant guarantee every one has nofollow , so the bots get an open door from another dofollow link then they will index it (since we never assigned the noindex) but still it will ensure that PR juice is not passed even if its indexed. Its the nofollow(for the link) that saves our PR leakage , no-indexing the post will defeat out purpose of making the post .

  • Please check your first point (Preventing bot from indexing — ). Nofollow cannot prevent bots from indexing the linked page. It allow spider traffic and it will let the destination page get indexed. (If nofollow prevent indexing no one(at-least SEOs) will bookmark their pages in Digg.

    • You are indeed right sir! With reference to the context , it should have been ‘nofollow’ and not ‘noindex’ and it got used alternately . My mistake ! Thanks for pointing it out , will be corrected asap .

    • UPDATE : Corrected Now 🙂

  • I have read a lot about this subject of DoFollow and NoFollow and there are people that swear by their lives that commenting in NoFollow blogs will be as good for building your PageRank as in DoFollow blogs. This, according to them, will show to search engines that your links are more ‘natural’.
    What do you think?

    • Yes indeed! Infact you must try to make your link building as diverse as possible and have a good mix of variable PR links , both Dofollow and Nofollow . If you have all high PR incoming links and your blog does not even link out to any external source , it looks like an engineered move or paid links since high PR sites wont link back to a new blog easily otherwise . On a different note, the nofollow tag is just Google specific and not an universal web standard. Your links will still be valued and shown in yahoo inlinks and you can check the above diagram for the relation of the exclusion tags with other search engines . The bottom line is, try to make your link building diverse in quality , quantity and also in time . Spread it evenly . Too many high PR links in very short time definitely looks engineered.

  • Google is not the only search engine.but to be frank 99% of search engine traffic to my blog is coming from google.Actually it is not strange to call google as google GOD….

  • No follow is not just nightmare as you said. I understand! Who will make Google understand? I suppose no one! Many thanks for your nice try to clarify these two most confusing words in blogosphere. I would be much happy to build nofolow links nowonwards.. who tells one day I may find Google changes algorithm and indexes such nofollow links..:)

  • Thank You

    🙂 I’m just kidding. Soo nofollow links help your blog rank up in search engines?

  • Thanks for the explanation about NoFollow links Rohan. If a site has many OBL, will it be good to nofollow them. I mean comments and links from bios.

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