What Is A No Follow Link? (5 Benefits)

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Jordan Alexo

If you’re a blogger or a marketer, you certainly have heard of “do follow” and “no follow” links.

So basically, a “no follow” link is a hyperlink that won’t really impact how well the website ranks on search engines because it has this rel=”nofollow” tag.

However, these links are still important for other reasons.

In this guide, you’ll discover three applications for no follow links, their benefits, and when to use them.

Key Takeaways

  • No follow links, identified by the “rel=nofollow” attribute, do not directly impact search rankings but offer other valuable benefits. They can drive traffic, enhance brand exposure, and contribute to a diversified link profile.
  • Examples of no follow links include user-generated content on websites, social media platforms, and paid advertisements. Understanding where and why these links are used helps you make informed decisions about your link-building strategies.
  • While no-follow links may not directly impact SEO, they still play a crucial role in a holistic SEO strategy. They provide social signals, help build relationships, and contribute to your website’s overall credibility and visibility.

What Is A No Follow Link?

In search engine optimization (SEO), you have several techniques and strategies to improve website visibility and increase organic traffic.

One such technique involves using hyperlinks, which connect different web pages.

While most links are straightforward and follow a traditional format, a specific type known as a “no follow” link operates differently.

A no follow link is essentially a hyperlink with a special HTML attribute known as “rel=”nofollow.”

rel=nofollow example

When this attribute is added to a link, search engine crawlers should not pass on any authority or “link juice” to the destination page.

In other words, search engines are told to ignore the link when ranking websites.

This attribute was introduced by major search engines, including Google, to combat spammy link-building practices and ensure more accurate search results.

3 Examples of No Follow Links

To better understand how no-follow links are used, let’s explore a few examples:

1 – User-Generated Content

Many websites allow users to contribute content through comments, forums, or blog posts.

comment section no follow

To prevent spam and potentially harmful links, these platforms often automatically add the no follow attribute to all user-generated links.

This means that any link a user adds will not impact the target page’s search engine rankings, even if it is relevant and high-quality.

2 – SocialMedia Platforms

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram use no-follow links extensively.

social media no follow links

Whenever a user shares a link on these platforms, the no-follow attribute is added automatically to prevent spammers from taking advantage of popular social media sites for link-building purposes.

3 – Paid Advertisements

In online advertising, sponsored content often contains hyperlinks that lead to the advertiser’s website.

To follow search engine rules, these sponsored links are usually tagged with the “no follow” attribute.

By doing so, search engines understand that the link is part of a paid promotional campaign and should not contribute to the website’s organic search rankings.

5 Benefits Of No Follow Links

While no-follow links may not directly impact search rankings, they still offer several valuable benefits:

1 – Traffic Generation

Even though search engines don’t consider no-follow links for ranking purposes, they can still drive valuable traffic to your website.

When someone comes across a no follow link on a trusted platform, they may click on it out of curiosity or interest.

This click-through traffic can increase visibility, engagement, and potential conversions.

2 – Brand Exposure

No follow links can help improve your brand’s visibility and reach a bigger audience.

When your website or content is mentioned on high-traffic platforms or influential websites, it increases brand awareness and establishes credibility within your niche.

This exposure can result in indirect SEO benefits, such as more natural backlinks and improved search rankings over time.

3 – Social Signals

While social media platforms often add the no follow attribute to external links, they still play a crucial role in social signals.

When your content is shared, liked, or commented on, it generates social buzz and signals to search engines that your website is relevant and engaging.

This can indirectly influence your SEO efforts by enhancing your website’s authority and visibility.

Also, this can help your website’s rankings by making it more well-known and visible.

4 – Relationship Building

Engaging with other websites and communities through no-follow links can help build valuable relationships and partnerships.

You can become an industry expert and gain recognition within your niche by sharing helpful insights through comments, guest posts, or forum discussions.

These connections can result in working together, invites to guest posts on each other’s blogs, and other beneficial opportunities like collaborations or sponsorships.

5 – Diversified Link Profile

A well-rounded link profile consists of both follow and no follow links. Mixing both types of backlinks creates a well-rounded and organic profile.

It doesn’t look natural for a website that only has do-follow links. This may cause Google problems and result in penalties or lower search rankings.

This diversity can demonstrate to search engines that your website is not solely focused on manipulating search rankings. But rather on providing valuable content and engaging with various platforms.


You should always use no-follow links when necessary. For example, on the comment section of your blog or linking to affiliate products or ads from your website.

What’s The Difference Between A No Follow And Normal Link?

The key distinction between a no follow link and a normal link lies in how search engines treat them.

A regular or follow link doesn’t have the no follow tag. This kind of link is considered an endorsement or recommendation by the website providing it.

Search engines consider normal links when calculating the authority and relevance of a webpage, which can impact its search rankings.

On the other hand, no follow links explicitly tell search engines not to follow or credit the link for ranking purposes.

They are often used to designate untrusted or user-generated content, paid advertisements, or external links on social media platforms.

While no-follow links may not directly boost search rankings, they still offer indirect benefits, as discussed earlier.

Last Thoughts

While no-follow links may not directly impact search rankings like normal links, they offer several valuable benefits for your website.

To have a complete SEO strategy, your site needs no follow links. Otherwise, it will look scammy if all your links are follow links.

Also, they help you diversify your link profile and improve traffic, engagement, and relationships with other websites.

In summary, a no follow link tells search engines not to index or give credit for ranking purposes.

If you have any comments, leave them below. Thanks for reading!

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