What’s The Difference Between Do Follow and No Follow Links?

If you’re like most bloggers you may be a bit confused about the whole do follow versus no follow debate. Understanding what each term means and the benefits or drawbacks of each linking strategy will help you to make the right decision when linking through your blog.

Before we dive into the definitions, think about this: what is your blogging intent? Why are you blogging?

Getting crystal clear on why you’re blogging and who you’re specifically blogging for clues you in to whether or not you should be using do follow or no follow to benefit your blog and your readership.

Do Follow or No Follow LinksPhoto Source: Denis Salmon, Flickr

Do Follow Links

A do follow link, or simply a follow link, is a link that offers maximum link juice to a blogger you’re linking to. For example, if you create a link on your blog, point it to your buddy’s blog, and make it a do follow link, Google will give your buddy greater SEO benefits, because you gave the link a seal of approval with your do follow choice.

If many bloggers or website owners link to a page freely with the do follow attribute in place Google feels the site is good money. Or, the site being linked to will gradually move up search engine pages to score coveted targeted traffic and of course, can generate steady sales by hauling some serious rank with Google.

Follow links boost the page rank of the site being linked to. As you can see, if a site is an authority site and you feel it’s relevant to your niche you would do your fellow blogger a favor by making the link do follow.

No Follow Links

No follow links garner no link juice. Google views no follow links with no favoritism in mind. No page rank boost, no link juice, and no real SEO benefits for the site being linked to other than increased traffic and more eye balls focused on the website.

By default, publisher generated links are do follow. So as a blogger, the links in your posts are automatically do follow. Changing links to no follow requires a bit of simple coding.

Here’s how to create no follow links: <a href=http://www.site.com rel=”nofollow” >Link Text</a> The no follow tag is easy to add. With a little note you’re telling search engines not to count the link, or not to give it any SEO value.

Why No Follow?

The question is probably jogging through your mind: Why in the heck would you want to do that to anybody?

Why no follow their links?

It may seem mean or a bit spiteful to no follow but checking the value and relevance of the site being linked to can create a clearer picture.

If a spammy website attempts to link to your site with a spammy comment the value of your site, and it’s reputation can take a hit. This is why WordPress assigns no follow links automatically to any user-generated content like comments and forum postings, to smack down spammers greedily grabbing for link juice.

As a blogger you’d only want to link to reputable, relevant sites. It’s OK to make these links do follow as they are trustworthy, relevant and will be seen in a positive light by Google.

If a site rocks and the content is top shelf but it’s totally irrelevant to your blog or site you can consider making the links no follow, if you’re super SEO conscious. You’ll be offering sweet referral traffic to a fellow blogger but need relevance on your website; hence the no follow.

Blog Commenting

Don’t fret, blog commentors; even though your comment links are labeled no follow you can see a deluge of referral traffic by posting in-depth, thorough comments on relevant, authority blogs.

Remember to over deliver and build bonds. Comment to develop friendships and you’ll position yourself to receive prospering, do follow links on authority blogs through the guest post and interview features offered to you.  This can all come from being a generous commentor.

Your Turn:

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What’s your take on no follow versus do follow links?

Are you careful about what blogs you link to?

Please share your thoughts below.


Written by

Catherine Holt is the founder of Blogging Tips 101. She has been an internet marketer since 2012. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest.

4 Responses to “What’s The Difference Between Do Follow and No Follow Links?”

written by Sarah J On 29 October 2014 Reply

Popping over from Read, Share, Help on G+! I was pulling my hair out about follow/no follow links when I first started blogging. I had a post bookmarked similar to yours to help me with the no follow coding to add to each of my links. thank goodness for a no follow plugin =) huge time saver! thanks for sharing!

written by Catherine Holt On 30 October 2014 Reply

Welcome Sarah, awesome to see you here.

You are certainly not alone with this headache. I can certainly say I was also one of those bloggers that would pull my hair out getting my head around the concept. Plugins are awesome arn’t they!!

I appreciate you stopping by and sharing with us :-)

written by Osho Garg On 1 November 2014 Reply

Hello Catherine Holt,

There is a great difference between do follow & no follow links. But new bloggers never think of that. You pointed all very descriptively. sometimes we publish guest post. At that time we need to be careful what type of links we need to add.

Thanks for share & Happy Blogging :)

written by Catherine Holt On 5 November 2014 Reply

Thanks Osho. The whole ‘do follow’ and ‘no follow’ can be quite mind boggling to new bloggers, but they are important to be aware of. Hopefully this has simplified it for everyone.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us :-)

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