Why CEOs Should Know the Difference Between Follow and Nofollow Links
Do you obtain customers online, but are confused by all this talk about SEO or backlinks? Have you heard any chatter about “nofollow” and “follow” links. If not, get ready to because knowing the difference between a no-follow and a follow link can dramatically help improve sales.
Don’t be alarmed, or disheartened – everything is about to be explained. It’s not as complex as you may think. Plus, it increases sales or conversions as your Search Result position improves on Google!
Before we begin to examine the finer points of Follow and No-Follow Links, it is a good idea to go over links, and why they are important in the world of SEO.
A link is a connection between websites (and sometimes within websites) – it is usually blue and looks a little like this: Trust Rank and Authority with Link Building, which is a sight you’ve probably seen countless times on your internet adventures, particularly in news editorials. It is clickable link that takes you to another page or website. Links are a prime factor used by search engines such as Google to determine how “decent” or “trustworthy” a website is, which in turn determines your ad’s rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Think of links like the life-force of the internet biosphere.
“If your website is to flourish, you need Follow Links from reputable sites”
For a more detailed explanation of how links (sometimes called “backlinks”) work, check out Predikkta’s articles on how SEO and links are connected.
So, links provide to websites something that in the industry is called “juice”. Don’t worry, your computer or mobile device isn’t going to start leaking any time soon – link juice means how much “credit” your website is getting from the linking website. Google weighs websites differently, and individual links provide a different amount of juice depending on the credibility of the website, the relevance of the link, and a whole range of other factors.
It is this juice that helps google find the right match to a searchers query typed into google. Link juice is an integral part to how the internet ecosystem of websites works in our day and age. Without this nectar of internet life, our online experiences would be drastically different and, dare it be said, less useful/entertaining… at least, since the dawn of the search engines.
Follow Links – A Lush Jungle
Links can be divided into two types for this discussion the Follow and the No-Follow Link. Follow and No Follow links can look the same on an article but have a very different outcomes on helping you website rank.
Websites that have Follow Links are generous. Follow links let the link juice flow from the website with the link to the website it is clicking through to. Thus bringing with it the life of increased (if the juice is good) SERP rankings and references.
Follow Links that come from reputable websites are a positive force for your website,. They allow Google to determine that your site has merit and they ensure it ranks well for its terms. If you are linked to reputable websites you must be reputable as well!
CEO’s as key influencers have the power to “add” follow links into third party negotiations at no cost. Given the power of follow links often a CEO can look back on a a negotiation and the only long term beneficial aspect to the company was the follow link.
Follow links from reputable sources are hard to get.
From a coding perspective, Follow Links look like this: <a href=”http://example.com/sample” rel=”follow”></a>. On Google Chrome, if you want to see whether a website’s links are Follow Links, right click on the page and click on “Inspect Element”; for Firefox, do the same but with “View Element”. You’re looking for the “rel” tag and the word “follow” directly after it.
No-Follow Links – The Barren Desert
Of course, there are websites out there that do not allow the flow of link juice to pour through the internet. Although there are reasons for this (anti-scam and anti-spam mostly), these links do have a habit of not helping your website’s SEO. They are usually Ads. So, an Ad even though it clicks through to your website usually has a noFollow attribute – which means no juice flows.
No-Follow Links act as a kind of dam for link juice – they stop it essentially. And, like dams in the physical world, they simply stop the link from having any significant benefit to the site they link to.
From a coding perspective, No-Follow Links look similar to their Follow counterparts. Here’s an example: <a href=”http://example.com/sample” rel=”nofollow”></a>. Also like the Follow Links, you can find out whether a website’s link is a No-Follow Link by clicking on the “Inspect Element” or “View Element” buttons.
That is not to say there is no point to No-Follow Links – websites such as Wikipedia use them all the time to prevent spammy and scammy linkage. And, like a dam, they do let some things through – they still are links after all. Websites have been able to use No-Follow Links to draw in customers by having their links strategically placed, so it’s not a total lost cause if you have a few no-follow links.
But really, from an SEO perspective, no-follow links are not ideal and reputable follow links are the ones that you really want.
When it comes to backlinks for SEO, Follow Links are definitely what you want. Whilst it’s great to have some non-follow links, from an SEO perspective you really want that link juice from a reputable source so google determines your site is important.
Obtain follow links from reputable relevant websites and your site will flourish.
*Predikkta has sourced several external independent global tools to analyze websites.These tools do not reflect on occasion the internal website analytics, but are recognised global tools and provide accurate comparative results for measurement against competitors.
**The views in this article are those of the author