The Difference Between DoFollow and NoFollow links

DoFollow, NoFollow, PageRankWhile adding a link to an anchor text, you have the option of either using a DoFollow link or a NoFollow link. Most webmasters know the different between the DoFollow and NoFollow links but there are still many that don't. To many, the difference is very insignificant while to others it is very important. So how are these two different types of links different? What's their importance to Search Engine Optimisation? Lets start with some background info about Google PageRank.

Google PageRank
As you all know, Google has its own very famous ranking system called PageRank. This ranking system is used by several webmasters to determine the price of websites when buying or selling. But how is Google PageRank determined? Mainly, if your website has a good number of backlinks then you will have a high PR. Backlinks are links to your website from another site. Google consider each backlink as a vote from other webmasters to you. The more votes you have, the higher the PageRank you will receive.

The Difference
In 2005, Google's head of webspam team Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen came up with the concept of NoFollow.

nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place.

By Wikipedia
When other webmasters place a link on your site they can do it in two different ways. They can place either a DoFollow link or a NoFollow link. If they choose to place a DoFollow link to your site then you will receive their vote and that will improve your ranking. But if they use the NoFollow link then you will not receive any vote and your ranking will stay the same. Remember, it will not decrease your ranking but the backlink will simply not count.

Sometimes it is easy to manipulate Google PageRank. If you have a big budget then you can easily buy links on high PageRank websites and thus increase the chances of getting a good PageRank for your own website. Google does not like this and has been working hard to punish all those webmasters that sell and buy links by decreasing their websites' PageRank. Google does not have any problem with webmasters selling and buying links but Google asks them to use the NoFollow links when doing so in order to prevent PageRank manipulation.

Does that mean that you are not allowed to post DoFollow links on your websites? You are allowed but one thing that I find confusing is the process through which Google knows if a link is bought or not. How can Google tell if Webmsters are buying links or not?

How to put NoFollow and DoFollow links
By default all natural links are DoFollow so you don't have to do anything different to place a DoFollow link. Just place a link like you usually do and it will be a DoFollow link.

Here is how the code should look for each link:

DoFollow
DoFollow, PageRankNoFollowNoFollow, PageRank
Hopefully, this post has helped you understand the difference between two types of HTML attribute values: DoFollow and NoFollow. If you are buying links then you might want to check if a link is DoFollow or NoFollow before getting into any deal.

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Useful Links:

Ragogmakan (Google) goes to the Amazon - Google Blog
Knol is open to everyone - Google Blog
We knew the web was big... - Google Blog
Easy as 1-2-3 - Adsense Blog
Web Analytics by the Bay - Analytics Blog

115 comments:

Guardian Angel said...

I have not read any kind of explanation as clear as this one.

However, I hope you can educate me more about two things.

1.0 How can I check whether a site or forum is a do-follow site?

2.0 As I have understood, blogs with a lot of paid posts experience reduced PR, is it true?

Thanks for sharing this and expect me to share the word.

admin said...

1. There are several tools online that all you to do so. Right now I am using a firefox plugin which tells you whether a link is dofollow or nofollow. I will find the link for you to download the plug in and write a post here about it. :)

2. Yes if you write paid reviews through websites such as PPP then you will see your PR go down but I think if you do it privately with advertisers than Google won't find out.

I hope I answered your questions well. Let me know if there is something else you would like to know.

webtrafficroi said...

i wanna know which is the best for the beginners blog ..bcoz i just started my blog will it good to start with do follow?

Dan said...

@webtrafficroi - Stick with nofollow all the way because you don't want people to comment only because your blog is dofollow. Write good articles and people will comment.

Andrew Green said...

Dan - U made my doubt clear ...and its very good article ...

I am new and i cant write much articles can u people write articles for my blog linking to ur site ..?

-Andrew

Dan said...

@Andrew - People can write articles for you for a link. It's called guest blogging. I am not sure I can do that right now since I am really busy these day but you can try asking other bloggers and they will definitely help you out.

Abdullah Mahmood said...

Hey....my blog is dofollow....use it to create linkjuice for yourself !

Anonymous said...

If you have a big budget then you can easily buy links on high PageRank websites and thus increase the chances of getting a good PageRank for your own website. Google does not like this and has been working hard to punish all those webmasters that sell and buy links by decreasing their websites' PageRank. Google does not have any problem with webmasters selling and buying links but Google asks them to use the NoFollow links when doing so in order to prevent PageRank manipulation.
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terrina
SEO

saleel said...

Hi, Good information. It would also be good if you mention how many backlinks are considered for a pagerank. I think its been calculated by the quality of backlinks which points to a site.

Sanjay said...

Hey Dan! This is really a nice and helpful article. Usually, I don't take much care of do-follow and no-follow links. But, after reading this post, it pulled my attention and made me clear about "what they are and their impacts on SE ranking".

Thanks once again.

Steve - Integrated Marketing said...

Well-written and succinct explanation of dofollow, if I ever get a question about it, this is the article I'll forward them. Great read.

Jacques said...

Thank you for the excellent explanation of these two terms and how to identify.

Kampanye Damai Pemilu Indonesia 2009 said...

is it okay to make my blog do follow?

Jay said...

thank you for great article long time i was seeking for this answer...

Faisal latif said...

I am really satisfied to read the detailed answer of an important question before i read this answer i am very confused about the difference between both do follow and no follow. I also do not understand if new site having zero page rank how increase good backlinks quickly

suntuu said...

Earlier I had difficulties with getting backlinks as i was not knowing that the backlink I am getting is a dofollow blog or not,wasted lot of time in this.
But here you provided nice info and a trick to tell whether the blog is dofollow or not.
It will help me a lot.

text ad exchange said...

Very helpful post. While I think nofollow is a good idea, I believe that you will see more and more websites using it. Eventually such a large chunk portion of websites will use them & the big G might need to come up with an alternative.

baby shower ideas said...

Well written post. I hear that Google is still actually cralwing through no follow links though.

Marble Host said...

Hi,

I want say thanks for the beautiful article which is great.

Reliable Hosting Service said...

Thanks for a great tip. Nofollow in effect stifles the incentive to comment and socialise. I noticed you have a 'u comment, I follow' banner. I think that it is great to advertise the fact that you have this enabled to encourage dicsussion. Would appreciate where to get this.

Altesino - DoFollow said...

It's also important to clearly state your commenting rules so everyone is clear what you expect.

Kanishka said...

This article was helpful.

Thanks , also i noticed that this Site is also do follow site.

Mahesh said...

Thanx for the information!

Dan said...

@kanishka - you are welcome and yes I made my blog DOFOLLOW few weeks ago when I got a new template. :)

finance said...

I loved the article. Thanks :)

highstar said...

Good information. It would also be good if you mention how many backlinks are considered for a pagerank. I think its been calculated by the quality of backlinks which points to a site.

Almir said...

great blog it was really informational

Faisal said...

Interesting and very helpfull article mostly for those who newly launched there site and wanted new links.

David - Link Building said...

Not sure if you already wrote a post about it but I use Search Status to highlight NoFollow links.

Dan said...

@ David - I haven't used that addon before...will give it a try.

Tnomeralc Web Design Toys said...

@Dan, so many firefox addons are available for easy identification of nofollow blogs.

This is a great move of yours, I mean, I do seen many blogs and sites that after they move to be a dofollow blog, PR and Traffic increased.

Web design company india said...

hey Dan,

Useful insights, i didn't much care about dofollow and nofollow as of almost high pr sites are using nofollow in their comment section. if your comment is useful to readers then they'll approve your comments and infect they will give you dofollow link as well traffic also.. as what i believe..

Lisa Krempasky said...

Very good clear explanation. Thanks for your help.

Work At Home said...

I always use search status nofollow highlight to detect nofollow links faster. Other than that, properties on the links (right click on the link) shows too. The last choice is to look at the source code.

PHPlist Hosting said...

Hi, I have gone through various post which is discussed about do follow and no follow,but they just stick to basic. But here you have discussed something more than that from its origin. Thanks a lot now I got the history of no follow.

Annuity Ratings said...

Awesome posting and informative contents you have in this blog. I am sure people will get benefit from this post who is seeking to increase knowledge.

vaibhav said...

very good article thakns

pagerank said...

Very good explanation. I regret that many sites like blogs and forums use nofollow policy.

Ebooks and Money Maker said...

Yes your explanation really clear for me. Now I understand why google don't like do follow. But i still understand with your answer to other comment at July 27, 2008 8:40 AM. On point 2, you said: ....but I think if you do it privately with advertisers than Google won't find out."

What do you mean do it privately? Please advise.
Thanks.

Online Shopping said...

Thats indeed great explanation. Do you think the nofollow tag is recognized by other search engines as well apart from Google?

internet currency day trading said...

There is no 'dofollow' or 'follow' value proposed for rel attribute, however nofollow is used when you want to link to someone but don't want to vouch for their legitimacy. It was introduced to prevent spammers from buying links, advertisers are advised to use rel="nofollow" for paid links.rel attribute can have multiple values and they are separated by space.rel="external nofollow" or ref="me bookmark" etc. You can write a simple script to ensure that all rel external open in new window though I prefer leaving that to user's discretion. ref="me" can be used to tell search engine that the page being linked belongs to you.

Free Webmaster Tools said...

Thaks for sharing , Difference is very clear in this article , most of webmaster like to put nofollow to stop spam

Eriuqs Spires Healthy Recreation said...

This is indeed a helpful and eyeopener post. Some people use to add rel="dofollow" to their links hoping to get a dofollow one, which is indeed, very very wrong.

Free Banner Maker said...

Thanks for this article and thanks for sharing this information about the significant differences between nofollow and dofollow. This information is very useful to me.

Ankit said...

Hi thanks, I was looking for that for last 2 hours so it means only the link count as back link which is do follow.........Right?

SEO Services said...

Great post! Thanks for giving such a valuable difference between dofollow and nofollow. It will help me a lot.

Thomas said...

So frm an SEO perspective is it a total waste to even comment on no follow blogs?

Download Software said...

Thanks for this great post! I have been wondering for some time now what are the difference between dofollow and nofollow. Thanks for this info.

bradchawla said...

Thnx for sharing ur wonderful and great information it is very useful information i have never seen that type of information about the difference between dofollow and nofollow links....

http://www.magnetmarketing.in/

Joseph Moore said...

Well, a nice article with great & live theory. Is my comment DO-FOLLOW, ha haa... ..
Thnx Dude, 4 sharing, and riting a such wonderful article. LOL

Star Alliances said...

Nofollow will not be followed any more

auto club said...

Since you have a big no. of visitors I recommend you to make a list that any of your visitor have dofollow blog can add it. appreciate that

Roadside Assistance said...

Look at Matt Cutts blog at mattcutts.com for more on this subject...He is Google's SEO guy.

Auto Body Repair said...

Actually, Just found the "No follow" video from Matt Cutts at Google http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4UJS-LFRTU

james said...

Very well written article. The concepts on the difference are explained in a very concise way. But I have commented in some nofollow blogs and have seen backlinks for my site from those blogs in yahoo search explorer. So i don't believe them in giving backlinks,but i just go and comment on any interesting posts like this one.
Thanks for sharing nice resources here.

linkmoko said...

It is very useful indeed especially to those newbies alike that doesn't know what are those nofollow and dofollow thing. Though they can actually search it on google but your post was also useful when a visitors stumble upon on your blog. Some webmasters use nofollow to prevent people from putting unrelated and useless comments in their posts (called spam comments). This method were used to prevent spammers. But for some webmasters used dofollow (commentLuv) into their blog as long as those visitors really read the posts and make some useful comments. All they have to do is to moderate it first before they publish the comment.

seo expert said...

great information its dive me the usefull knowledge thank for that post.....:)

logo designs said...

Great article it is very informative i will apply these on my own site thank for given great information about do follow and no follow....:)

quality control in china said...

Such a very good and informative article. its really very useful. thanks for sharing the very great post....

quality control in china said...

Its really very great and informative article. Though they can actually search it on google but your post was also useful when a visitors stumble upon on your blog. thanks for sharing with us.

ayurvedic medicine said...

Yeah its really very informative post. Thanks for giving such a valuable difference between do follow and no follow. And i like it.

Alamin said...

Hi. This is my first visit on your blog. I really like it. I also use Blogger like you. So there are much better Blogger out there using Blogger platform. Thanks

Keystone Rv said...

This is perfect explanation of what is do-follow & no-follow & what is the importance of this according to Google.
Thanks for great sharing.

Custom Logo Design said...

Thanks for this comparison between do follow and no follow. This would really help others to know about the difference.

Ani said...

Really nice and easy to understand.

business startup loans said...

Thanks for explaining difference in such a nice way, why you dont make your blog dofollow?

Indiana Dental Plans said...

No one really knows for sure how much value is lost from one to the other if any. The algorithms change so much that it's any one's guess.

Key said...

Nice post.

Elderly Help said...

I am new to this and your post has helped me to understand much better. Thank you very much. I have bookmarked your blog.

Benivolent | Seo services said...

Thanks for great comprehensive Article.Easy to understand Everyone.
1.Load the website in our browser view to source page and search the no follow attribute.
2.And use firefox addons tools.
Only I know these two methods to find out the Do Follow and No Follow links.If you have any other method send to me

improve search engine rankings said...

very good explanation, dofollow rocks!

Used Heavy Equipments said...

Do follow links are the ones you want for your site so your site can rank in search engines for seo purposes. No follow back links are links where your site will be linked but it wont affect seo ranking so there's not much use linking to these sites. However there is a discussion as to whether they help your site rank or not.

SEO Services said...

great explanation about do follow & no follow attribute thats old post but still it's helpful for beginners.....

air conditioning florida said...

hi nice info

outsource SEO said...

This is a joint effort by the major players in the search and blog space to curtail and/or prevent what is referred to as Comment Spam. When Google sees the attribute rel="nofollow" on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.

nyxem said...

by reading this article I so know the difference between dofollow and nofollow ..

custom logo designs said...

Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and comprehensive information you provide! I’ll bookmark your weblog and have my children check up here frequently. Thumbs up!

Internet Marketing said...

We need to reach millions of customers each day and internet marketing is the best way to make this happen. Internet Marketing not only drives traffic to our site and increases our revenues, but what is important, is to share to people that we have great services that they can use or tools that can help improve themselves and their lives.

Trading in Binary Options said...

nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index.

boilers online said...

Do follow links are the ones we want for our site so our site can rank in search engines for seo purposes. No follow back links are links where your site will be linked but it wont affect seo ranking your post has helped me to understand much better. Thank you very much.

Fan Page Promotions said...

Now the concept of dofollow and nofollow is clear in my mind.

ISOL Systems Pvt. Ltd. said...

Hi..very informative post!you have explained everything very well..Thanx for sharing.

Dan said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I am glad so many people found this post useful.

italiensk restaurant kĂžbenhavn said...

Thanks for clarifying this issue about noFollow and dofollow links, Great help - Thanks

fx trading robots said...

Nice Info . Do you mind if I talk about this post in my blog. You and your blog will surely get the credit

deals hyderabad said...

I am really confused between do follow and no follow, but you just sort out my doubts. Thanks for sharing

Top Gear Fred said...

These are some of the clearest explantions that I have found. Thanks very much to all.

Robert said...

Great article. I've been adding my link everywhere with the hope that my Google PR goes up. So far it's still at 0/10. Now I know that I must look for 'do follow' sites.

Robert Bies said...

Well it looks like I spent a lot of money and time buying useless "no follow" links. At least I now know what I'm doing wrong.

joomla website development said...

Really very interesting post on Dofollow and Nofollow. I understood the different between Dofollow and Nofollow. This would help us a lot to get higher SERP in search engine. Thanks for sharing this information.

SEO SEM Services said...

Great information about do follow and no follow link

Custom Facebook Fan Page Design said...

With the new change in Google Algorithm, I guess the value of no-follow has been altered. We'll have to wait and check it out.

Saif said...

I was confused about DoFollow and NoFollow. I would like to hear more on this subject like how to find whether a blog or a website is dofollow or nofollow tag. I have subscribed to comments on this post and would love to hear from you.

Domain name registration said...

This one of the best explanation about do follow and no follow blogs. Thanks for sharing this information.

prem @ premslog said...

Nice Information, A Blogspot blog Tops For Google Result Difference B/W Dofollow follow Links...Hey dats Awesome

buy domain said...

I am a new blogger. This is useful for me. And You have explained this in easy method and this we can understand easily.

register a website said...

This is very nice information i have book mark this website for the further reading.

Reiki said...

This is the nice Post..and the contents are really nice..Good to post here..good thinking to share here..nice article..thanks for sharing here with us.

website hosting india said...

Before reading your articles i confused about dofollow and nofollow. after reading i cleared idea about this topic.

India Travel said...

very well explained......thanks.....

Online Seo Tips said...

Thanks for bringing a descriptive analysis and difference between the two. Today I understood this matter clearly.

Gabriel Ryan said...

I like the way you explained each and every thing in a clear manner. So keep on posting articles like this.

California Web Design said...

Blog commenting and posting has become pretty popular as it is "thought" that it will help your Google rankings. Honestly, it doesn't help your Google rankings as much as it does help your PR which eventually will benefit your web design and development site.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such auseful information. The details are very informative and exclusive. I have got a clear cut idea regarding the nofollow and dofollow links after reading this blog.

Business Logo Design said...

This is an excellent written article, Thanks for yet another insightful post, as always.

YOGYAKARTA said...

wow this really good blog content

Lornajane said...

This is definitely a good article for new website owners like me. I just had a travel blog www.ouriloilo.com and I was wondering how to increase my webtraffic by using links. The difference between do follow and no follow is written clearly here.

Shaili said...

Thanks for making it that clear. I hope you would answer my following doubt:

why we put a no follow backlink. just a mattter of ettiquetes or this also effects our PR(in terms of google seeing it as the website is being honest).?

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Charles said...

I've now got the plug-in read your info and understand what the hell is going on. So thank you.

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very nice explanation about no follow and dofollow links.

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