The difference between a Follow and No Follow link and what it means to you.
In 2005 Google implemented an html code to combat all of the link spam that was taking place on blogs. It was called NoFollow and the coding looks like this:
<a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://YourWebsiteHere”>This is Your Anchor Text</a>
Google gives all websites a page rank (PR) from 0 – 10 and the higher the PR the more valuable a backlink is from that site. The nofollow code tells Google (Bing and Yahoo also use the code now) not to pass any of the page rank on to the site where the backlink is going.
Many of the Web 2.0 websites such as Twitter and Facebook strictly use nofollow on their backlinks so you do not get credit for having a backlink on their site. This helps prevent people from trying to spam their backlink over and over in an attempt to artificially gain in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
99% of all blogs use the no follow tag in their comments section as well which always makes me laugh that people spend so much time blog commenting trying to build backlinks because it really doesn’t do much to benefit you unless you are building relationships through your comment.
So now that you understand what the no follow tag means, you are probably wondering if it is beneficial to bother building backlinks on websites that use the no follow tag.
Well there is a lot of debate on whether these backlinks still give some juice to your website. Google claims that it doesn’t benefit you from a backlink perspective what so ever, however, what they say and what they do are often slightly different things.
If your website is showing up all over the Internet on high profile pages, even if they are no follow, that doesn’t mean Google doesn’t take the backlinks as a whole into consideration even if a single backlink may not directly matter.
It’s called “social proof” and from what I can tell, Google has been slowly leaning more and more towards it. It wouldn’t suprise me at all if Google took into consideration how many times your website was shared on Facebook by unique users as part of it’s calculation.
In addition to that, it is good to have a nice mix of no follow backlinks because it shows link diversification. If you had 1,000 backlinks and they were all do follow (just meaning they are not using the no follow code) that may raise a few red flags that you aren’t genuinely trying to grow your website but are trying to game the system instead.
So what should you do about it?
I don’t know what you should do but I’ll tell you what I do and that is I build backlinks everywhere. I won’t spend a lot of time blog commenting or any extra time building links on no follow websites, but if I read a post I like I will certainly leave a comment and my backlink along with it. A good comment can drive good traffic to your website even if it doesn’t single handedly benefit your ranking.
I also write articles primarily for the purpose of creating backlinks but they are quality articles and I don’t descriminate between directories that put no follow in their code such as BaseArticles.com and directories that give you great link juice such as EzineArticles.com
Why? Because my concentration lies in creating quality content as I believe in doing what is beneficial for everyone. I believe this is why I consistently rank at the top of the keywords I am targeting, even when I may not have as many backlinks as my competitors.
Stay Positive, Stay Focused!