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When do you Nofollow?

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When do you Nofollow? by Market Action Research
(Last Modified: March 24, 2021, 8:33 p.m.)

Nofollow is an attribute that can be attached to hyperlinks you may not endorse or are primarily commercial in nature. This is a valuable tool that defines the relationship between the source and link. Nofollow will inform the search engine the link is commercial and will discourage comment spam placed by others, reducing the value of the link in search algorithms.

(It is used with the rel=” “ attribute in a link.) Does your audience understand this?

What a nofollow attribute might look like: <...rel=”nofollow”>Article Example

What you want: If multiple reputable sites are pointing to your site, then there is a good chance that your site is reputable as well.

What you don’t want: Spammers to artificially boost their clients’ search engine rankings by placing as many links as they can on websites, such as in the “comments” sections.

For example, WordPress automatically adds the nofollow attributes to comments on WordPress-powered sites, while Wikipedia places the nofollow attribute on all external links since its sheer size makes reviewing all content edited by the public nearly impossible. However, Reddit works a little differently by allowing the general public to endorse what they deem reputable. If enough users have voted for a certain external link, the link is moved to the front page of the site and the nofollow attribute is then removed.

About 10 years ago, the nofollow value was introduced to discourage spamming in the blogging communities. If their spam links yield no results, then hopefully they would be less likely to post. Today, the nofollow links are currently being used for commercial purposes, such as paid links, banner ads, sponsored content, etc. To prevent sites from buying their way into better search rankings, all paid advertisements published on a page should have a nofollow attribute.


Search engines will use an algorithm to decide if links may be low-quality or commercial, which in turn optimizes search results for users. Since this is the case, the nofollow links will benefit your site because you will be disclosing which links are paid-for, unverified, or haven’t been reviewed maintaining your website’s trustworthiness as a source for quality content.


Originally Published: March 23, 2021, 12:03 a.m.