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Definition: What is a nofollow backlink?
A nofollow backlink, as its name suggests, is a hypertext link that points to a page on a website, coded so that search engine robots do not explore this page by falling on the backlink. . Concretely, the nofollow attribute of a link tells search engines not to take this link into account.
To be nofollow, a link must either be coded as is or be in a nofollow zone. For example, the comment space of a site is usually a nofollow zone, i.e. any link placed in this space will automatically be nofollow.
Structure of a nofollow backlink
To transform a normal link, also called a dofollow link, into a nofollow link, simply add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the HTML code of this link . By crawling your page, search engines will read this tag, and not go to the site to which the nofollow backlink points.
Moreover, turning a nofollow link into a dofollow link is just as easy as the reverse action. You just need to remove this attribute from the link.
Interest of nofollow backlinks
While dofollow backlinks bring link juice to your site, nofollow backlinks bring nothing to the page they point to. Thus, one might think that such links have no interest in terms of SEO. Still, nofollow backlinks have some use in your SEO strategy.
Here are the advantages that nofollow backlinks can have for your website and it’s natural referencing:
- Make your netlinking strategy natural: Having nofollow backlinks pointing to your site makes your netlinking strategy more natural in the eyes of Google. Indeed, nofollow links will make search engines believe that your site is only cited in other articles because of its quality, and not because you have implemented a netlinking strategy.
- Prevent your page from referring to unreliable sites: Some webmasters carry out an aggressive netlinking strategy by placing their links in the comments space of blogs, for example. However, there is no guarantee that these sites have good SEO metrics. Thus, making your comment space a nofollow zone protects you from such unreliable links that would negatively impact your natural referencing.
- Prevent the indexing of certain pages and prioritize the indexing of others: The nofollow attribute makes it possible to prevent the exploration of certain pages by search engines, and thus their indexing. This is useful when you don’t want some of your pages to be indexed. Google will then focus on your other pages whose indexing is more strategic.
How to optimize its use?
Place your nofollow backlinks on strategic sites
Even if your link is nofollow, it is strategic to place it on a trusted site, popular in the eyes of Google. Indeed, placing nofollow links pointing to your site in the comments of pages of sites with low SEO metrics has no interest in your SEO. It won’t penalize you, but it won’t make you more credible in the eyes of Google. On the contrary, succeeding in getting nofollow backlinks on authority sites will increase your credibility in the eyes of search engines.
Place your nofollow backlinks in strategic places in an article
As with dofollow backlinks, there are strategic places to place your links in an article. Indeed, to optimize the impact of a nofollow link on your site, it should be placed in the first paragraph of an article. Additionally, you need to make sure that the topic of the article your link is in is consistent with the topic your site is about.
Exploit social networks
“Social noise”, the frequency with which your site is cited on social networks, is important to Google, which uses it to rank sites in the SERP. It is therefore essential that you have links on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, even if these links are nofollow.
Having a lot of links on such platforms helps to redirect more people to your content. Plus, search engines will take your content much more seriously than if you don’t appear on any social media.