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Dofollow and nofollow links. How to make link building natural?

6 minutes of reading
Dofollow and nofollow links. How to make link building natural?
Category SEO

How you go about building links to your website can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Some links are better than others, and some will help you get ahead faster than others. In this article, We’ll explain the best link building strategies and how they can help you build up an effective and natural link-building plan that will work towards improving your rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! over time.


Link (hyperlink) is an HTML element that allows you to link to other pages on the internet. The link element can be placed in the head or body of your HTML document. When a user clicks on a link, they are taken to the page that the link is pointing to. The text that you click on is called the anchor text. The anchor text can be anything, but it’s often descriptive of the page you’re linking to.

Link building is one of the positioning strategies that allows you to increase the visibility of a website in organic search results. With its help, we build our authority and gain recognition. The goal of SEO is to get as many high-quality links as possible. For this purpose, catalogs, blogosphere, social media and sponsorship materials are used.

Types of links

When it comes to SEO, links are important. They help search engines understand what your website is about and can give your site a boost in the search engine rankings. But not all links are created equal. There are two types of links: dofollow and nofollow. Dofollow links are the kind that Google and other search engines follow when they’re crawling the web. These links pass along what’s called link juice and can help improve your site’s ranking. Let’s find out more about it!

Dofollow links

Dofollow links are the most common type of link and tell search engines to follow them. This means that when this link is clicked, the search engine will crawl to the linked page, indexing it and passing along any PageRank.

These are the most valuable links leading to the site. This attribute sends a clear message to Google crawlers that the page is worth visiting. The link does not need to contain the dofollow attribute as it is set by default. The robot treats both entries in the same way. They improve your site’s ranking because, if they are linked to authoritative sites, they give away some of their power, which is “link juice”. The more links of this type, the better the rating. The best way to get dofollow links is to create high-quality, original content that will be willingly shared.

The power of SEO – link juice

Link juice is the power or ranking ability that a website has. It’s based on many factors, but links are a big part of it. The more links pointing to a website, the more link juice it has. So, when it comes to link building, it’s important to get high-quality links from websites with a lot of link juice. That way, you can give your website a boost in the search engine rankings.

The transfer of power is such that it is shared among all links on a given page, e.g. if we have four pages, each of them gets 25% link juice, totaling 100%. In practice, however, Google often changes these proportions due to:

  • location of the hyperlink on the page (the main page has more power than the subpage or footer),
  • the number and quality of links,
  • thematic matching,
  • index and noindex attribute,
  • http (https) status of the page.

Nofollow links

In general, nofollow links are not as valuable as dofollow links when it comes to SEO. This is because search engines typically don’t follow or crawl nofollow links, which means they can’t pass along link juice or PageRank.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a nofollow link is part of an internal linking structure, it could still help improve your website’s overall link equity and PageRank. Another exception would be on blog comment sections, where the nofollow attribute tells bots that you’re not endorsing the site in question by using their URL in your comments. If you’re posting on someone else’s blog with a nofollow link back to your own site, make sure the content is relevant and high quality so you’re not just dropping low-quality links wherever you please.

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Remember that you should stay natural. A website with only dofollow links looks unnatural in the eyes of robots, and in extreme cases it may even be punished. So let’s use all possible attributes to have a positive impact on strong links. Then you can see that you are acting in accordance with Google’s rules.

If you want to check the type of link attribute, the easiest way to look at the source of the page is to use the CTRL + U shortcut. A plug from Google Chrome called “NoFollow” is also useful in tracing nofollow links, which marks this type of attribute in red.

What metrics are taken into account when evaluating a link?

  • website trust (Trust Flow),
  • popularity,
  • thematic matching,
  • link embedding place,
  • domain visibility,
  • Domain Rating,
  • Domain Authority,
  • the nature of the url
  • subpages.

When it comes to link building, naturalness refers to the idea of building links in a way that doesn’t look spammy or forced. In other words, you want your links to look like they belong there. This can be achieved by adding value with your content, using relevant keywords, and making sure your links are placed in contextually relevant places. What makes a link considered natural?

  1. It comes from a high-quality website (which is assessed in this case by the Panda Algorithm that cares about the originality of the content).
  2. Does not abuse keywords and anchor text.
  3. It thematically agrees with the site, it is its announcement.
  4. It is surrounded by content in a specific post or comment.
  5. It has no tracking parameters.
  6. It will not be included in sponsored content.
  7. It doesn’t redirect you to the wrong place.

Wrapping up

If you’re looking to improve your SEO, then you need to focus on building dofollow links. However, don’t forget about nofollow links either. Both types of links are important for a well-rounded link building strategy. With that said, always keep your audience in mind when building links. After all, the goal is to provide value to your readers, not just boost your search engine ranking.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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