A “nofollow” link is just the opposite of a “dofollow” link. They have a similar physical appearance, except they include a small HTML coding piece that informs search engine crawl bots not to follow the link. A typical “nofollow” link will look something like this:
It’s that little piece of coding, “rel=”nofollow,” that tells search engines that, despite linking to it, the external site doesn’t trust your website.
Now, what exactly does that mean for you? It doesn’t mean that these links are harmful. In fact, according to Google, these types of links simply won’t affect your site’s position in search engine results. That means you won’t garner any ranking points, but it won’t hurt your score either. It simply shows the search engine that the external site doesn’t want to associate a relationship with your website.
So, does that mean that “nofollow” links are otherwise bad for you? Absolutely not. While search engines may not crawl these links and associate them with your website’s authority, they are still clickable links that will bring people to your website. These links can be beneficial for:Generating traffic to your website.Building brand/business awareness.Encouraging customer engagement.Why Other Links Matter as Well
Backlinking is a crucial contributor to your website’s success. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect internal and outbound links, as they also play a vital role in your website’s overall authority and can significantly impact your overall trustworthiness and authoritative voice.Internal Links –
These links play a vital role in your on-page SEO, because they help search engine crawl bots to navigate and index your pages.Outbound Links –
These links are essential in helping you build that trustworthy, authoritative voice you need to be considered an expert in your given industry/niche. Link to other strong sites that help you prove a point or back up a claim you’ve made. Pay careful attention to the website domain authority and choose those with a higher-ranking score, as those have been vetted by Google as authoritative/trustworthy brands.
The key to genuine website success is a well-thought-out mixture of backlinking, internal, and external/outbound links, which is why it takes time to craft a successful link-building strategy.Does it Really Matter if These Links are Followed?
This is something of a loaded question. While links are a crucial part of your website’s success, that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be physically clicked on for you to see success.
For example, Google crawl bots don’t physically click on your links, and they don’t contribute to your page analytics. They simply “crawl” from page to page to see what’s good and what’s functioning as it should, and then use that information to determine if your content is worth ranking.
However, if you are looking to increase your website traffic, lead generation, or analytic numbers (clicks, click-throughs, etc.), you need visitors to physically click on those links.
So – yes, you want your links followed. However, as long as they are being appropriately utilized, Google crawl bots will still consider them useful for ranking purposes even if they’re not clicked on.5 Types of Backlinks to Consider
Most brands take the time to consider their internal/external linking needs during the content creation stage. Backlinking, however, tends to get put on the backburner, with approximately 66.31% of pages having no backlinks whatsoever, despite the fact that Google states that backlinks are one of their top ranking factors.
If you’re looking to start building upon or initiating a backlinking strategy for your website, then you’ll want to make sure you are considering the many different types of backlinks available to you, including:Business Profile Backlinks
This is a brilliant backlinking opportunity that doesn’t often get enough attention. Business profile backlinks can come in several different formats. One of the most basic is filling out your business’s online listings on sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, and others. To make this a genuine backlink, you need to make sure you include a link to your brand’s website homepage.
Another excellent way to build business profile backlinks is by having brands that work with you, or otherwise mention you on social media, use your social media tag and/or insert a link directly into their post that leads them to your site. While a direct website link is easiest when it comes to getting people to your website, at least having a link to your social media pages gives potential leads a quick reference as to who you are and what you do.Editorial Backlinks
An editorial backlink is one of the most frequently utilized forms of backlinking because it’s so simple. These instances involve a website linking to your content/website from within a piece of high-quality content. In most cases, this type of link will be shared as part of a blog talking about something relative to your industry/niche. The link to your website serves as a piece of evidence to help the external site prove a point or back up a claim that they’ve made.Free Tool Backlinks
Another excellent example of a backlink is sharing a free tool you’ve created that may be useful to another site’s audience. You’ll often see these types of links included in “best of” articles.Guest Blogging Backlinks
If you’re looking to get your name out there and want to take your backlinking up a notch, then you can work on your outreach and approach like-minded blogs about opportunities to guest blog on their site. While many blogs will have strict guidelines on linking to your own website, they’ll at least allow you to link back to your main website as part of an author blurb at the end of the post. Even limited to a single link back to your website, though, if you’re providing high-quality, authoritative content to readers, that one link could be more than enough to encourage them to visit your site and explore your brand at length.Webinar Backlinks
As video content continues to gain popularity, consider the many ways you can repurpose your online webinars into content that continues to bring in quality traffic. One way to do that is to turn your webinar into an informational resource (if it’s not a part of a paid series or the like, of course).
You can upload a webinar to your website as an evergreen piece of content, and if you include a transcript of the webinar, your resource will become that much easier to find. Once people find it, they will be more inclined to create/share a backlink to your video content because it helps them prove a point and/or gives their audience some additional insights.How Can You Get Links Back to Your Website?
Unlike internal and external linking, backlinking takes a bit more effort than simply inserting links into your own content. There are several ways you can approach others in hopes of collaboration. However, you must do the outreach first.
The good news? Outreach is simpler than ever with so many available channels to work with, such as email and social media. Keep in mind that you can’t expect everyone to be open to collaboration right off the bat. You’ll need to network and build real relationships with those you want to work with.
Strategic backlinking takes time and effort, and only once you’ve built a relationship with like-minded individuals in your industry/niche will you be able to start proposing collaborative backlinking opportunities. Just remember, if the other party doesn’t see what’s in it for them, they are less likely to agree to the collaboration.
Need some help getting started with the outreach process? Here are a few helpful tips:Create high-quality, authoritative content
This is crucial because you want those on your outreach list to see that you don’t just talk the talk, but can walk the Backlink walk. You can also build a library of content ideas to cater future messages to specific content ideation discussions.Identify relevant prospects
These are the individuals you want to approach with your collaboration proposal. They can be people who have mentioned you in the past without your prior knowledge, or those within your industry/niche who lack important information that you could provide them or their audience with.Have your incentives at the ready