Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links are an integral part of search engine optimisation (SEO) and could well be the most important Google ranking factor in 2023. But as you might know, not all links are equal, some links may skyrocket your rankings, other will have no impact at all.

What is a dofollow link?

A dofollow link is a standard hyperlink that allows search engines to follow the link and pass on authority or what SEO specialists might refer to as “link juice” from one website to another. In simpler terms, when a website links to another site with a dofollow link, it signals to search engines that the linked website is trusted and should be considered for higher search rankings.

Dofollow vs. nofollow links

To understand dofollow links better, it’s essential to distinguish them from nofollow links. Unlike dofollow links, which allow search engines to follow and pass authority, nofollow links include a rel=”nofollow” attribute that tells search engines not to follow the link or transfer any SEO benefits. Nofollow links are often used for sponsored content, user-generated content, or when website owners want to avoid passing authority to the linked website.

How to find out if a backlink is a nofollow link

To find out if a link is a dofollow, you can inspect the HTML code of the webpage where the link is placed. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the webpage containing the link in your web browser.
  2. Right-click on the link you want to check.
  3. Select “Inspect” or “Inspect Element” from the right click menu. This will open the browser’s developer tools panel.
  4. In the developer tools panel, you will see the HTML code of the webpage.
  5. Look for the anchor tag (<a>) that represents the link you want to check. It will typically start with <a href=”…”>.
  6. Examine the anchor tag and check if it contains the attribute rel=”nofollow”. If it does, the link is a nofollow link. If the rel attribute is not present or does not contain “nofollow,” then it is a dofollow link.

Here’s an example of a nofollow link

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Example Link</a>

In this example, the presence of rel=”nofollow” indicates that the link is a nofollow link.

So are nofollow links worthless to my SEO strategy?

Both dofollow and nofollow links play a vital role in improving search engine rankings, increasing organic traffic, and building domain authority. Google has not explicitly said that it doesn’t count nofollow links, in fact there have been many documented cases of nofollow links having great SEO benefits.

So the moral of the story: A nofollow link is better than no link at all!

Alistair Hinchliffe

SEO Specialist