Neil Patel

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Dofollow Backlinks vs. Nofollow Backlinks: Which Reigns Supreme for SEO?

dofollow backlinks vs. nofollow backlinks.

Dofollow backlinks and nofollow backlinks are like the yin and yang of SEO. They balance each other out, complementing and contrasting in a dance of symbiosis. While one whispers to the search engines, “Give this website the credit it deserves!” the other softly utters, “Hold on! No endorsements here.”

They might seem like insignificant details in the grand scheme of SEO, but I assure you, they hold the potential to influence your site’s credibility, its relationship with search engines, and, ultimately, its success.

So, what’s the real deal with these backlinks? They’re like the whispering voices of the internet, secretly sharing stories about your site, but what are they saying, and to whom? More importantly, which type of link—dofollow backlinks or nofollow backlinks—truly empowers your SEO strategy?

Nofollow vs dofollow links.

What Is A Dofollow Link?

Dofollow links are like the golden tickets of the SEO world. When a website links to another site with a dofollow link, it’s basically giving a shout-out, saying, “Hey, I trust this page. It’s got good stuff; go check it out!” This friendly shout-out, or endorsement, passes what we call “link juice” from one site to another, boosting the recipient’s authority and SEO ranking.

Here is what a dofollow link looks like:

<a href=””>anchor text here</a>

Search engines like Google view these dofollow backlinks as thumbs-ups from the web community. They are signals whispering to the algorithms, “This content is valuable, credible, and relevant.” The more dofollow backlinks a site accumulates, the more favor it gains in the eyes of search engines, potentially boosting its position on the results page.

It’s also important to understand the battle of backlinks vs. internal links. Backlinks are used on other websites to drive traffic to your website. Internal links are used within your content to link to other internal pages that hold value for the reader.

When Should You Use A Dofollow Link?

So, when is the right time to roll out the red carpet and grace a site with a dofollow backlink? Ideally, dofollow links should be used when you want to vouch for the credibility and value of the linked page. When you link to a high-quality, reliable source, you’re telling your audience—and search engines—that you trust the linked content, and it complements or enhances your own.

For example, if you’re crafting a piece on digital marketing trends and want to reference a credible study or article, a dofollow link is the way to go. It’s about building a community of trust and shared knowledge, allowing the link juice to flow seamlessly between quality content—creating a web of mutual growth and authenticity.

What Is A Nofollow Link?

In contrast, nofollow links are the discreet, discerning companions in our SEO journey. When you link to a site using a nofollow link, you’re saying, “I’m linking to this page, but I’m not endorsing it.” It’s like sharing a book but not necessarily agreeing with the author’s views. Essentially, nofollow links tell search engines not to pass link juice, withholding that seal of approval and endorsement.

Here is what a Nofollow link looks like:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text here</a>

Nofollow links are crucial because they allow you to link to other content without directly impacting your site’s SEO. They maintain the balance, preventing search engines from assuming that every link you create is a vote of confidence in the linked content. But it’s important to remember they are not bad links.

When Should You Use A Nofollow Link?

So, you’re probably wondering, “Neil, when is the right time to use a nofollow link?” You’d want to sprinkle in those nofollow links when referencing something but not giving it your stamp of approval. Imagine you’re writing about a spectrum of products or services—you’d want to give your readers the liberty to dive deeper without extending SEO benefits to those links.

Nofollow links become the unsung heroes in the world of user-generated content like comments and forum posts. With the millions of links floating around in these spaces, vouching for every link’s reliability isn’t feasible. Opting for nofollow in such situations is your safe bet, helping you sidestep any unwarranted search engine complications.

And when we traverse the realms of sponsored content and ads, wielding nofollow links is non-negotiable. It’s about upholding transparency and aligning with the rules of the SEO game, ensuring your website remains an epitome of credibility and trust in the meticulous gaze of search engines.

Remember, it’s all about striking the right chord between endorsing with clarity and sharing with discretion. The interplay between dofollow and nofollow backlinks crafts SEO’s intricate yet harmonious dance, each stepping in with its distinct role to elevate your digital presence.

Are Nofollow Links Bad?

Let’s clear the air right off the bat—nofollow links are not the bad guys in our SEO narrative. Sure, they don’t shower your site with that coveted SEO love in the same way dofollow links do, but what is their role? It’s pivotal. They work in the background, ensuring your link profile is diverse and natural, which is a subtle signal to the search engines that you’re playing a fair game, not trying to rig the system.

So, while nofollow links might not be passing direct SEO value, they’re indispensable when it comes to driving organic traffic. Imagine securing a nofollow link from a site that’s a heavy hitter in terms of traffic—this could usher in a wave of visitors, possibly translating to the leads and conversions that are the pulse of any digital entity.

Nofollow links are the silent architects of a well-rounded SEO strategy, guiding you clear of penalties and propelling you toward organic, genuine growth. They’re about generating authentic conversations, engagements, and, yes, conversions. So, the next time you find yourself thinking about the value of nofollow links, remember—they’re crafting a credible, balanced narrative for your brand in the sprawling landscape of the internet.

How To Check Nofollow and Dofollow Links

Wondering how to distinguish between dofollow and nofollow links? Here’s a quick guide.

Start with the basics: simply right-click on the link you’re curious about and choose ‘Inspect’ or ‘Inspect Element.’ You’ll be plunged into the elements panel of your browser. Here’s where the magic happens: if you spot rel=”nofollow”, bingo—you’ve uncovered a nofollow link! If that attribute is absent, congratulations, you’re looking at a dofollow link.

How to check nofollow and dofollow links.

For those who crave a smoother, more automated process, there are numerous tools available. Ubersuggest stands out as a key ally, helping you to navigate and categorize links quickly and efficiently. It’s not just about sorting out the link types—it’s about using these tools to pull valuable insights that can finely hone your SEO strategy with precision.

These tools go further than just sorting links. They enable a deeper understanding of the intricate network of links that span the online world, allowing you to build a more refined, responsive SEO strategy. It’s about shaping your SEO plan with precision, aligning each link to form a cohesive whole.

How To Use Dofollow and Nofollow Backlinks Together for SEO

Balancing the use of dofollow and nofollow backlinks is essential in crafting a robust SEO strategy that resonates with Google’s algorithms. Here’s how you can strategically leverage both types of links to enhance your SEO game:

  • Understand Their Roles: Dofollow links are the backbone, passing on link juice and bolstering your site’s authority, but nofollow links are equally significant, offering diversity and protecting you from potential penalties. Appreciate the distinct roles they play in building your online presence.
  • Diversify Your Profile: A natural and diverse link profile is SEO gold. By mixing dofollow and nofollow links, you project authenticity and stay clear of Google’s penalty radar. It’s about creating a varied tapestry of links that organically elevate your site’s standing. Use a link building checklist to ensure you have a good balancer and are checking all the boxes.
  • Harness the Traffic Potential: Nofollow links, especially from reputable sites, can be traffic magnets. Leverage them to drive quality traffic, focusing on user engagement and conversion, rather than just link juice. It’s a game of attracting and retaining, turning visitors into loyal followers.
  • Integrate with Content Strategy: Blend dofollow and nofollow links within high-quality, valuable content. A well-placed link within engaging content can maximize both user experience and SEO impact, creating a symbiotic relationship between content and links.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Use analytics tools like Ubersuggest to continually monitor the performance of your links. Assess their impact, adjust your strategy based on insights, and keep refining your approach, ensuring it’s aligned with SEO best practices and evolving algorithms.
  • Remember, It’s About Balance: Too many dofollow links can seem manipulative—too many nofollow links can hinder your growth. Strive for a balanced, organic approach, integrating both link types to build a holistic, resilient SEO strategy that stands the test of time.

In the end, it’s not about choosing one over the other—it’s about understanding how to use both dofollow and nofollow links in tandem to fuel your SEO journey. Be sure to use a backlink checker to see where your links live and what their backlink quality is across the internet.


What is a No Follow Link?

A nofollow link is a type of link that doesn’t transfer SEO equity or “link juice” to the linked site. It’s designated by the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the HTML code. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m linking to this site, but I’m not endorsing it.” Nofollow links are crucial for maintaining a balanced link profile and are typically used for user-generated content, sponsored content, or any content you don’t fully endorse.

Do Nofollow Links Help SEO?

Yes, nofollow links do have a role in SEO. While they don’t pass on link juice, they aid in creating a more natural and diverse link profile, which is a signal of authenticity and legitimacy to search engines. Also, they can drive substantial referral traffic, enhancing visibility and potentially leading to more organic, dofollow links.

What is a Dofollow Backlink?

A dofollow backlink is the standard link that passes on SEO equity or “link juice” to the linked site, effectively endorsing it and contributing to its search engine rankings. Unlike nofollow links, dofollow links don’t have a rel attribute signaling to exclude them from passing on link equity. They are pivotal for improving a site’s SEO and should ideally come from reputable, relevant sources.

When do I Use Nofollow Links?

Use nofollow links when you want to link to a resource but not endorse it or pass on SEO value, like in the case of user-generated content, comments, forums, and sponsored or advertising content. They are essential for maintaining transparency and compliance with search engine guidelines and preventing the potential repercussions of linking to low-quality or untrusted sites.

How to Check Dofollow and Nofollow Links?

Checking the type of link is quite straightforward. Simply right-click on the link and select ‘Inspect’ to view the HTML code. If you see rel=”nofollow”, it’s a nofollow link—if there’s no rel attribute, it’s dofollow. For an in-depth analysis and to check links in bulk, tools like Ubersuggest or AnswerThePublic can provide comprehensive insights, helping you refine your SEO strategy effectively.


Alright, so we’ve dived deep into the realm of dofollow and nofollow links, uncovering the unique roles each plays in your SEO journey. Dofollow backlinks are your go-to for building authority and climbing the SEO ladder, whereas nofollow backlinks are your allies in maintaining a clean and ethical link profile.

It’s never about picking sides in the SEO game—it’s about melding the strengths of both to carve out a robust, unshakable SEO strategy. By harnessing the power of dofollow for authority building and deploying nofollow for risk mitigation and ethical SEO practices, you set the stage for a symphony of balanced growth and sustained credibility.

How do you strike a balance between nofollow and dofollow links?

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