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Friday, August 1, 2014

Blog 101: Nofollow vs. Follow Links & Why it Matters


The new SEO has probably got you running around in circles, grabbing your hair. Chasing your tail and wondering what you’re doing. You’re probably thinking… what’s the difference? Why does it matter so much? How do I nofollow? Ugh.. frustrating, right?

Not any more! I’d been reading up on this ever since my PR flanked and dropped completely to a 0. I was completely astonished. I had been blogging for about 5 years and had over 1500 posts. I was stunned. I had went from a 3 to a 0! Holy Crap! I know.

SEO & All That

To be able to explain to you what the follow/nofollow links mean and how they work, I have to explain some SEO stuff to you.

When a site gets a link (link pointing to that web page) (from any website EVER) it gets a tiny PR boost. Each link that is sent to your website equals a higher PR rating. Think of it as a vote. Each site that links to you is a vote. Many votes=King (Well Queen, right?) of the web space (oh, and a higher ranking in Google Search Engines).

Google can see how many links you have and from what websites. Google thinks in the term of “if many people are linking to a site, it has to be a pretty popular website”.  So more links= higher popularity basically. Google only wants to give the best to its “searchers” so higher ranked websites show up first on a google search.

Say for instance you write a blog post on “20 Healthy Hair Tips.” Someone searches “healthy hair tips” and their results show. If you have a higher ranked blog, you’ll show up before a lower ranked blog would.

Follow Links

NOW, onto the actual links and what they mean. A follow link is a link that counts as a “vote” in your Search Engine popularity. If someone writes a blog post and includes a follow link to your “20 Healthy Hair Tips”, you’ll get a “vote.” PR ranking is also upped.

NoFollow Links

A Nofollow link is still a link placed to a website, it doesn’t doesn’t count as a “vote.” This link does not in NO way boost PR ranking.


*A no follow link is created with the nofollow link HTML tag, which looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>


The Nofollow tag basically tells googles web crawlers that you don’t want to place a “vote” for this particular website.

You cannot have too many nofollow links because Google will think you’re being paid for links. Then they will mark your website or blog as spammy and pull your Page Rank. So make sure you watch which websites and links you give your “vote” to.

This nofollow tag keeps spammers from blackballing the smaller guys by buying links from everybody and artificially boosting their PR. Like those pesky people who bombard online community boards and blogs with links trying to sneak in some SEO pull. No more of that.

Now there isn’t any worry that there will be 100s of nonsense posts posted everywhere. It isn’t going to get them anywhere anyway, so why waste their time?

When to USE Nofollow

  • Paid links (it wouldn’t be honest and fair to buy votes, now would it?)
  • Comments
  • Forums

Don’t think that Nofollows are completely worthless though. Even if someone gives you a nofollow link in their blog or post, it will still send traffic to your blog.

Don’t think about SEO when you’re writing. Think about bonding with the people who are reading your blog and building your brand.

SO- just make sure if you write a sponsored post or receive a review item (even if it’s an ebook) you have to make sure to add the nofollow link. Google has crawlers searching websites looking for links out of place (randomly inserted with no content to back the link up) and paid content.

Better to be safe than sorry they say. I know- because I started blogging BEFORE the nofollow tag and have to scour my blog and add in nofollow links to almost all my old posts. I know. Great. lol

Just another thing on the to-list I guess.


Til next time,




This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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