image - Stop Following Me

Why No-Follow Links Are Still Worth It

Should Your Blog Be No-Follow Or Do-Follow?

image - Stop Following MeMany companies put a great deal of emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) and dofollow links in order to gain visibility for the company website. If many different websites across the Internet have dofollow links back to your website, the Google bots see this as a sign of a website with great content. After all, why would so many website be linking back to your website if it isn’t in reference to great content or because you offered great content? This will help your company website shoot (or eventually make its way) straight to the top of a search engine results page (SERP). This makes dofollow links extremely important; so important in fact that many companies have hired an expert or a team of experts just to make sure these dofollow links happen.

However, there is another type of link that isn’t quite as popular—nofollow links. For many businesses, these links are useless and often frustrating. A nofollow link is a value that is placed on a link that prevents Google bots to follow the link to its destination, your site. Many can’t help but wonder: What’s the point?

History of Nofollow Links

On the surface it seems that these links are nothing but negative, but they actually serve an important purpose for both a website owner allowing links on his/her website who gets a nofollow link somewhere along the line. The history of why these nofollow links exist in the first place is where the answer lies:

Nofollow links began in 2005 as a way to deter spammers from ruining the top content on a SERP. It was around this time that spammers realized they could put spam links in the comment section of a blog post for the sole purpose of boosting their website’s PageRank and SERP position. Google then created the nofollow feature to make sure that Google bots were not following these links and sending spammers to the top of SERPs. Google has now required all paid links to have a nofollow attribute.

Why Nofollow Links Still Matter

A nofollow link should be added wherever a user can add a link themselves, such as in the comments. This is not only a positive rule for those who own a website, but also for those who get a nofollow link on a website. Consider how a nofollow link can benefit the companies on both sides of the nofollow link:

  • Site publishing the Nofollow link – Having a nofollow attribute on a link does not affect the site that is publishing that link. In fact, many websites include a nofollow attribute on their entire site so as to make sure that no spammer is coming to the site and trying to somehow get free link juice. It is a way for a site to make sure they are following the rules of Google and keeping the search engine honest and valuable.
  • Site where the Nofollow link points– This is where most people immediately assume that a nofollow link is a waste. However, it’s important to realize that just because one of your links is a nofollow does not mean that users cannot click on that link and be taken to your page. Although this may not help your PageRank or SERP ranking, it is a way to get your company in front of the eyes of users. This link is free, so it is absolutely better than nothing. If you can get a nofollow link on a website with tons of traffic and active visitors, you’re bound to get a few clicks.

The most important thing to remember is that your website does not revolve around search engines only. You are writing for your readers, and creating a loyal reader following will help you do well when it comes time for a search engine to crawl your page. Do what you can do get your website and your content in front of readers first and worry about whether it’s a nofollow or dofollow link second.

About Amanda-DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to starting a business. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory,
Follow Amanda on Twitter.


  1. Awesome article Amanda. We’re a do-follow blog here but you do offer some great advice and guidance on when to use the no-follow tag. I add the tag to things like ad and affiliate links but I do agree that allowing blog comments to remain do-follow isn’t helping our SEO. Like you said, we’re here for the readers and subscribers.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I will admit that before I really got into the research, I never really put much thought into links in the comments. It makes sense to set these as no-follow because after all–who wants to be helping spammers?

      • Hi Amanda,nice post,thanks for sharing.

        I have set “nofollow” in links within comments,
        and I use CommentLuv with KeywordLuv,
        with “SMu Manual DoFollow” plugin, to set my blog DoFollow,
        but only to NON spammers commenters and giving benefit to 5 comments approved users.

        I manually check the comments.

        Giving benefits to readers will attract visitors and commenters,
        but you have to face against SPAM. It is just a part of the game.

  2. I completely agree with you Amanda that dofollow or nofollow is not terribly important when leaving comments either to start a conversation or to generate links. 1. As you say one’s primary focus should be to start a conversation and to put yourself in front of people who might then want to visit your site. 2. Even from an SEO point of view nofollow links are important, if you only have dofollow links pointing at your site it doesn’t look terrible natural, and not appearing natural will get you penalised in the SERPs.
    However on the flip side, users commenting on a site benefit that site; the more people comment, the more vibrant the community, the more attention and love you are going to get from search engines. So users should be encouraged to comment and rewarded for loyalty, for boasting a sites community. That’s why I like products like commentluv (which allow site owners to specify criteria, eg ‘leave 10 comments’, before allowing users to have a dofollow link). Real, honest, repeat users are rewarded for the benefit they bring your site, while spammers are kept at bay.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I think that is a great point to make! I didn’t discuss CommentLuv at all, and it is a really great idea. It isn’t the worst thing in the world if someone gets rewarded for posting great comments. Thanks for reading!

  3. DoFollow links are very helpful. (Thank you by the way). It is necessary to have DoFollow links coming to your site. However, most people just focus on the DoFollow and have no idea how important the no follow links are as well. People need to include no follow in their SEO strategy as much as they do the DoFollow links. Great informative post!

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      Thanks so much. I think commenting should just be about starting a conversation. I know that when I am reading comments people wrote for any of my articles I always look to see if he/she has a Twitter, so it’s not a “waste!”

      • Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

        Amanda some people comment for backlinks and other comment for traffic. I’m one of those peopel who go after both at the matter if its nofollow or dofollow. My goal is always the same..which is to engage and gain some link love..this is just part of online marketing.

        “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  4. Nice points Amanda,

    Well no follow links are waste for you, if you’re only looking to spam any website… but it’s useful if you’re looking to build relationship and attract traffic.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      And after all, who isn’t looking to build relationships and attract traffic, right? Thanks for reading!

  5. I also think that no-follow links carry some weight, as many sites which used to give do-follow outbound links don’t use this attribute anymore. Therefore, I think that no-follow back-links from authority sites are still important.

  6. I totally agree with you. No follow links are still worth it to a blog owner. At least you could maintain a balance of links for your website. Given that fact, at least Google wouldn’t think that you’re doing link building just for the sake of getting links which are all dofollow.

  7. Thanks for the thoughtful post. As a new blogger, I have to check to see what I’m even using. I’m seeing great traffic, and so it doesn’t seem to matter much (at least in these early days).

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I would have to agree with you. In the early days, this may not need to be the first thing on your priority list. However, you want to avoid spam as much as possible, so the sooner the better. Once your site is up and running and you are really getting the hang of it, this is something to look into. Good luck!

  8. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    Hi Amanda,

    This is really a great article about the difference between Do-Follow and No-Follow links, and why both of them are important and when to use each of them. At the end a backlinks is a way to drive traffic to your website, however the difference is that if this backlink will be counted toward your website ranking, As you have said Google introduced No-Follow backlinks to help fight spammers, Google wants the ranking to be as natural as possible, therefore Google instruct Bloggers whom want to sell backlinks on their blogs to use No-Follow tags, this will help bloggers maintain their earnings without manipulating websites ranking.

    Thanks for the great tips, will share this article through my social media channels.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I greatly appreciate it! Nofollow links actually make quite a bit of sense when you look at their history and why they exist today, so I’m glad you found that interesting too. Thanks for reading 🙂

  9. It is very true that Nofollow links are still worth it. Because it may stop any Search Engine Bot to follow that link but it never stops any reader to click and checkout what interesting content is on that link. 😉

    Great share.. 🙂

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I think you said it perfectly–it never stops any reader from clicking on the link and checking out the site. This is really the root of it all!

  10. Sara Lublas says

    However I like DoFollows the most, I do get that NoFollow links can be useful as well.
    In the end it’s all about traffic. So if you get a visitor – thanks to the nofollow link – he might link to you, (Even perhaps DoFOllow) which will help you out even more.
    NoFollow tags may look a bit less attractive, but they still can get you DoFollow links!

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      Good point to make. Dofollow links, for someone who is trying to get a link on another website, really are better. It’s not that nofollow links should be preferred over dofollow, but i dofollow isn’t an option nofollow is better than nothing!

  11. Mohsin Ali says

    I personally think think that generally your blog should be nofollow with some dofollow links to the reputable websites.

  12. dien dan seo says

    DoFollow links are very helpful with SEOer and Link buiding to SEO, I think that!

  13. Charles Daniels says

    Good points. I think there is more emphasis put on nofollow links than some may think. If not they still help you in having a more natural looking link profile. Having 100% dofollow links all with the same anchor text looks a tad fishy!

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      Good way to put it! And I think you’re right–many people do understand no-follow links. However, those that aren’t aware are usually very surprised to hear that no-follow it an option!

  14. I’m not completely understanding the reasoning behind not using DoFollow. As you said, it helps prevent spammers, but they’re easy enough to stop. I don’t even have to check my spam filters and they’re automatically sifted – I have multiple anti-spam measures.

    What, then, happens to those who aren’t spammers? They get the traffic, but they don’t get the juice. They’d get the traffic either way. But with NoFollow, it’s just traffic. Shouldn’t we be working towards rewarding commentators with both?

    • “Shouldn’t we be working towards rewarding commentators with both?”

      totally agree Joe, there are other, better ways of preventing spam, commentluv for one. I particularly dislike it when I see sites which are nofollow, ‘to deter spammers’ aparently, but then let through all the ‘great post, keep up the good work’ comments, which add no value to the post or the conversation and are blatently spam. The blog looks busy, they get an artificial SERP boast but they’re not willing to give anything back to people leaving real comments.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I do see your point, and it is so great that your spam gets filtered with no problem! It’s a good point to make that spam detectors do exist, many of which are really great.

      What I would say in response to this comment is that there is nothing wrong with allowing do-follow links on your blog. If you want to reward your commentators and aren’t afraid of spam, more power to you! I would be concerned that you would get a huge amount of comments that are not helpful and only there for the link juice (the two types of commentators are very different in my opinion), but it’s something you can experiment with. Thanks for bringing this issue to light!

  15. Heck, any link is better than no link which is one of the reasons why I don’t check whether a blog is dofollow or nofollow. Naturally I’d prefer a dofollow link but it’s not as important as getting my comment published as every comment helps to build my brand and as long as every comment I leave is of good quality then I am bound to get some traffic.

    As far as I’m concerned I’d much prefer the traffic than PR because the more traffic I get the greater the chance to build my list, increase my readership and build a possible customer base.

  16. Lennart Heleander says

    today there are so many good and interesting blogs to follow and I can not keep up with everyone, I do not have time to write comments sometimes, if I have time so choose I those that have dofollow in the first reliable alternative.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      Interesting take. I would hope that you comment on articles where you really have something to say, but if you have something to say about everything then I suppose that makes sense!

  17. My site is and has always been Do Follow. I can’t say I really gave it much thought other than the fact that allot of blogs are Do Follow. Once I got the real meaning behind it, I knew I made the right choice for my blog. You have to do what is right for your blog and if its not for you then so be it.

  18. Amanda DiSilvestro says

    That’s also a good point to make. It’s all about understanding do-follow versus no-follow and then making a decision that is right for you!

  19. Joseph Mills says

    Is is possible if do-follow and non-follow goes together in one site? Im just wondering.. 🙂

    • tom buck says

      sure is, either by hard coding or, if wordpress, through plugins. If you have some other type of CMS you will have to find your own method but of course it’s possible.

      • Amanda DiSilvestro says

        Thanks for answering! I would actually recommend that you do have both dofollow and nofollow links–I like nofollow links in the comments, but dofollow links everywhere else. I will take a guess here and say that if your entire blog was nofollow you wouldn’t get many guest writers. For many, those dofollow links pay the bills!

  20. Krishna says

    Nice move to take a nice decision about dofollow links. Both the links have importance in SEPR and nofollow have something than dofollow.Made a right choice to move further. I apply it for my blog as well.

  21. Well it depends, My Blog is Dofollow because I think Bloggers should be helping each other, if the comments thing gets too much then simply disable the comments for a particular post.

  22. The benefit of No-Follow links would be that you can reach interested people (ie. the people reading the article where you’ve commented), like you said! But if your page doesn’t reach toward the top of Google, you’re never going to reach searchers en masse. It’s quite a conundrum.

  23. Hey Amanda,

    Great Post. Nofollow links are indeed better than nothing. It can also give you targeted traffic if done wisely. Some webmasters are overlooking these facts.

    Thanks for reminding us regarding nofollow links.


  24. Praveen says

    why to go always for the do-follow. links..
    no follow may be not helping in the way to get more SERP
    but if you have really nice words to say about the post
    the reader is definitely going to read that. and surely once going to check your link. dosnt matter its do-follow or no-follow. it will drive the traffic. to you.. and may cause you the real subscriber for your blog.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      You’re exactly right–if you have a great comment and offer some great insight, someone probably WILL click on your link. That’s what you want when you rank on a SERP anyway–CLICKS!! Thanks for reading.

  25. Bhavesh Sondagar says

    I totally agree with your points.To maintain a balance of links for your website,Nofollow links are still worth.So Search Engine will not think that we are building links for our blog just for the sake of getting links which are all dofollow.
    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  26. I do believe that sites should be dofollow. Whether the comments are approved are up to the discretion of the site owner. I don’t really see the benefits of nofollow sites personally!

  27. Isabel Singh says

    I believe that too. No follow links still helps and needed on page rank and alexa rank as they all came from do follow.

  28. sai krishna says

    well explained , Actually i’m thinking that nofollow links was useless . Thanks for let me know the value of nofollow links 🙂

  29. Louise Chrystal says

    What about finding out that some of the reciprocal links you worked hard to get are actually nofollow, whereas you have dutifully (and perhaps naively)allowed dofollow. It’s dishonest and could really affect working relationships within sectors. (I only recently found out about nofollow/dofollow) BTW is it only the Google spiders that take notice of dofollow/nofollow?

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      I think you bring up a great point. Sites should be totally and completely honest when it comes to nofollow versus dofollow. If you work hard to get what you think is a dofollow link and it’s a nofollow, you’ll probably regret sending that article to the specific site. In other words, an editor should be clear about whether links will be dofollow versus nofollow, and a writer should ask if this information is not made clear.

      To answer your second question, other search engines (such as Bing) also take notice of dofollow and nofollow. Thanks for reading!

  30. Its True. No follow links though does not help you in getting search engine ranking, but atleast a viral post with good comments can help you have visitors hitting on your site.
    I personally feel No follow links better than the reciprocal links.

  31. A “No Follow” link is still clickable even if it doesn´t pass any juice.I have made the decision of “no following” blog comment links on my blog because of the spam problem.Links inside the content is always “do follow” unless the link is to an affiliate site.

  32. A nofollow backlink will not give you the pageranj boost, but it is counted by google in indexing. We can say, google does not pass PR juice form these links, but index the links through it.
    So, nofollow links are also good to have.

  33. This is really interesting. I now understand that nofollow still helps your website traffic, though not giving much page rank. And also, I agree that it’s more important to give attention to your readers because if you’re in a blog with No-Follow Links but you put comments of good information, people or readers by nature will be more likely to know more about you and who you are and that will generate good traffic as well.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro says

      Exactly. I think it is important that you noted that your comments and content should put out good information. This is really the route of all success. Thanks for reading!

  34. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    I completely agree with you. Even though do-follow links may be of more importance than no-follow ones, the latter still gives your website visibility all across the web. Blogs are usually no-follow and this should not discourage us and not leave comments because even no-follow links are still important.

  35. I much rather have a no-follow link coming from a website that gets 200k visitors a day than a do-follow link coming from a website that gets few hundred a day. Assuming that you are linked to a related niche website, having a link on a heavy traffic website can give you hundreds of free visitors per day as long as the link is placed where it gets enough exposure. I think people devalue no-follow way too much on the basis of PR juice.

  36. Amanda DiSilvestro says

    I think you make a great point when you really put the two numbers side by side. People do often devalue no-follow and that is a mistake!

  37. It really does’t matter whether it is do follow or no follow if the blog has nice page rank, you will get traffic from there. thanks for sharing this informative information.

  38. Rita Dawson says

    The doubt of No-Follow and Do-Follow links is certain in 5/10 SEO workers. I was also one among them till I read your article.

    After reading your article I got to know that No-Follow links are also worthy. Thanks for sharing such informative article.

    Its nice to know that Google is honest and the no-follow attribute reflects the site publishing the attribute.

  39. Mark Ben says

    I agree with you Amanda. It is not important whether you have do-follow or no-follow blogs. The basic thing which you need to keep in mind is whether you are commenting on the blog to get links or communicate.

  40. Felicia Corrine says

    I did not really know that the links in no follow sites can be accessed by viewers. This makes Nofollow comments worthwhile. Thanks for sharing this information.

  41. Angelina Anthony says

    My opinion in the debate “Should we keep our blog nofollow” always favors nofollow as it helps us retain link juice towards our inner pages which if leaked may cause drop in SERP’s

    • Hi Angelina, I can respect that but the notion of “retaining link juice” is a myth and has been addressed by Google directly several times. In fact, they want to see natural linking out.

  42. No follow are very important for promoting your website on the search engine for the reason that Google demands a certain follow to no-follow ratio. My team made an experiment: We added 10 do-follow links every days. The website went up in the search engine position and after a while started going down. After we added a couple of no-follow links it went up again…

  43. Thank you for sharing your insights about no follow links. Although most people are obsess about do follow, like you, I still believe that no follow links are still valuable.

  44. Good article, thanks for that! I always have my sites nofollow to reduce spam and avoid losing PR juice. I certainly prefer dofollow links (obviously) however, find nofollow links better than nothing, as they bring human traffic, and can still pass trust rank!

  45. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    So true there, Brian. I absolutely love to get links however, I fear the spamming. And as a new blogger myself, I am keen on building links through blogs that allow it. But in this frenzy, many people including me may be mistaken for spammers. I used to have dofollow on my previous blog, but had to take it down due to actual comment spamming. good article.

  46. Most of my backlinks indicated in my Google Webmaster Tools metrics are ‘no follow’. I have to assume the presence of these links in GWT means they are factored into the Google ranking algorithm. My websites with such ‘no follow’ backlinks have page rank as well as visibility in Google search results.

  47. Still it is quite hard to find the blogs related to one’s own niche having a decent traffic. Unless that happens, no follow links are useless in my opinion.

    • Hi Apoorv, I know how tough it is to find blogs in some tough niches, I’ve been there. With that said, even do-follow links aren’t good if it’s an unrelated topic, for the most part. By building a ton of do-follow links (sculpting) from unrelated and irrelevant sites you could be doing serious harm to your search positions and ranking.

  48. I like the picture you used to represent do follow and no follow 😀 Good sense of humor and of course awesome insight!

  49. In my opinion. other than the purpose of bringing visitor to the website, no-follow also helps in making your link building look natural. If Google finds all do follow links for your website, and almost no no-follow links, it might take your backlinks as paid backlinks.

  50. No doubt in my mind no follow are worth it. It’s hard to imagine with so many sites becoming no follow overnight that Google wouldn’t take that into account. I believe they do pass SOME juice. How much is not certain. Only Google know but I can say that the majority of my links are no follow and I still rank higher than alot of other similar sites.

  51. Amanda, thanks for such an informative article. I have been building no-follow links for one year commenting on many different blogs, always trying to give value to the threads with relevant comments, and I have not seen any variation in the SERP’s. Of course I have been able to get visits to my website from these no-follow links, but this is only one side of the equation.

    In my opinion, no-follow links are taken into consideration by Google, but I think that those links must be counted by the thousands in order to have an impact on the SERP’s.

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