Still, when it comes to search engine optimization, there is a big difference between nofollow and follow links.
And that difference has to do with:
Or, more precisely, with the transmission of the authority of that page, known as link juice.
Follow links are taken into account by search engines to transmit the authority of the page to the linked page and nofollow links are not.
Google is very clear about this:
According to the search engine, as a general rule, nofollow links do not convey any page authority.
And it is necessary to highlight this because, in theory, this type of link does not influence the positioning of your page and therefore has lesser importance in your link-building strategy.
But …. Beware! Because ignoring nofollow links is not good for you either, since Google sometimes takes them into account.
So… What to do?
When to use Nofollow links
There are two very different cases when using the rel nofollow attribute in our project:
1. Nofollow links on our website:
The truth is that it is convenient to use this rel attribute when the link in question contributes little to nothing to the user and/or to our project.
A clear example is affiliate links or links to our legal terms and privacy policies or cookies.
Another clear example is links from our site to competitors’ content that, although relevant, we are not interested in promoting.
2. Rel nofollow links in link building:
For a project, when we talk about link building, we prefer follow links because they will transmit the authority from the domain page that points to our website.
But be careful!
Links with the nofollow tag have great importance to:
- Develop a natural external linking profile.
- Capture referral traffic.
- Avoid purchased link penalties.
To keep it simple, nofollow links seem to have some SEO value… especially if those links are from related sites, bring qualified web traffic, and are well contextualized.
Exactly the same as if they were follow links.
Even if the weight of these links is lower in Google’s algorithm.
It is clear that it is preferable to focus link building efforts on the acquisition of follow links because they transmit all the link juice or pagerank to your project or URL in particular.
No one disputes that.
However, nofollow links also play a relevant role when it comes to SEO.
If they provide the right signals to Google, such as plenty of qualified traffic to your page, they will also help you rank better.
In addition to developing a natural link profile.
Important: Although Google states that this type of link is not generally taken into account for positioning purposes, it is proven that nofollow links that send the right signals (web traffic + appropriate semantic contextualization) help to improve the chances of ranking on the first page of the search engine.
Resources and recommended readings:
Frequently Asked Questions