A nofollow link is an HTML attribute website owners use to instruct search engines not to pass any SEO value or “link juice” from their site to the linked page. When a search engine crawler encounters a nofollow link, it essentially ignores it and does not consider it as a ranking factor. This means that nofollow links do not contribute to the linked page’s authority, visibility, or search engine ranking.
Such links were introduced by Google in 2005 as a way to combat spammy practices and prevent search engine manipulation. Website owners can add the HTML attribute to a link by adding the rel=”nofollow” tag in the HTML code. This tag tells search engine crawlers not to follow the link and not to attribute any authority or ranking signals to the linked page.
So why would website owners want to use nofollow links? There are several reasons for this. Firstly, such links are commonly used when linking to user-generated content, such as comments, forums, or social media posts. By adding the HTML attribute to these links, website owners can protect themselves from any potential spammy or low-quality content that may be linked from their site.
Secondly, nofollow links are often used in sponsored or paid content. When a website publishes an article or blog post that includes paid links, it is required by search engines to mark those links as nofollow to ensure transparency and compliance with search engine guidelines. This helps maintain search results’ integrity and prevent paid links from influencing organic search rankings.
It’s important to note that while nofollow links don’t directly contribute to a website’s SEO efforts, they still have their value. Nofollow links can drive traffic to your site, increase brand exposure, and contribute to a well-rounded link profile. Additionally, they can help search engine crawlers discover and index new pages on your website, even though they don’t pass any link juice.