Thursday 03 April, 2014
Backlinking is the SEO strategy of posting content on websites other than your own with a link back to your site. These links draw people to your site but they also tell the search engines that your site is worth bringing searches to. But there’s one important distinction to be made. Some links are ‘dofollow’ while others are ‘nofollow.’
A nofollow link tells the search engine that the link shouldn’t be used in indexing. It’s a link that doesn’t count. This is done to reduce spam. If a site is nofollow, spammers won’t bother with it because there’s no benefit for them.
The Basics of Backlinking.
This is how backlinking works. You post content on relevant, high-traffic sites. The Link back counts as a point for your site. If it’s a dofollow link, the search engine figures that your site offers value. Your site is worth sending searches to. Search engines use their complex and mysterious algorithms to figure out what keywords should send searches to your site.
Some clever marketers found a way to game the system. They posted spam links to websites just for the backlink. This practice used to be more widespread before the search engines cracked down. There were entire sites that were nothing but places to leave backlinks. This is why websites started using nofollow links.
Are Nofollow Links Useless?
If you’re using backlinking to increase your SEO, it may seem like there’s no point in bothering with nofollow links. After all, you don’t get that ‘point’ from them. They don’t help at all in indexing. However, lots of very popular sites only offer nofollow links. So what’s the point?
There is still great value in nofollow links. Although the search engines won’t crawl the link, real human site visitors will. If a site is popular, you’ll still get great exposure. Publishing an article on a popular website is like getting published in a magazine or taking out an ad in a major newspaper. Indirectly, you’ll get a boost in the search engines because more traffic will come to your site.
Is It Worth It?
Without the direct SEO benefits, is it worth it to build nofollow links? This is a tricky question and every marketer has to answer it for themselves. As with everything in online marketing, you have to try it and test it to see if it’s producing results. When backlinking with nofollow links it’s especially important that the site has a wide readership.
For many marketers, dofollow vs. nofollow is a non-issue. The reason is that the search engines appear to be always adjusting their algorithms to reward SEO strategies aimed at human beings rather than search engines. In other words, attempts to game the system will always get struck down when the algorithms change.