Dofollow vs Nofollow Backlink

To the naked eye, both dofollow and nofollow backlinks may appear the same. In reality, they are worlds apart. And although they both link one site to another; they tell totally different things to search engines.

To understand which one to use and when you first need to understand the differences between dofollow vs nofollow backlinks.

Dofollow vs Nofollow Backlink

What is Dofollow Backlinks?

A dofollow backlink is a link that points toward your site. Google and other search engines crawl for dofollow links. The important attribute to remember here is that the dofollow link can pass the Page Rank and Page Authority of the origin website to the destination website.

The good news is, you don’t need to do anything extra to create a dofollow link, no extra coding is necessary. Because, when you create a link in a website’s HTML editor, it is by default, created as a dofollow link.

Different Types of Dofollow Links

You can embed dofollow links in different types of content. Such as:

What Are Nofollow Backlinks?

Typically, nofollow links are not used to rank pages. It’s a way for publishers to use links without Google counting them as ranking points. So essentially, it’s a way to add links without affecting SERP.

However, starting in March 2020, Google started treating nofollow links differently. Now, they use nofollow links to crawl and index thorough pages, just as they do with dofollow links. So, even nofollow links can pass on some SEO value, if the search engine deems the link useful for indexing and ranking.

Different Types of Nofollow Links

Nofollow links require different tags, as opposed to dofollow links, depending on their purposes.

Dofollow vs Nofollow Backlinks

The most important difference between the dofollow and nofollow backlink is that the former passes the SEO juice to the website it’s directing to. On the other hand, the latter one does not pass any SEO juice and hence plays little to no role in PageRank signals. So, while dofollow links pass on page authority, domain ranking, etc., nofollow links only pass indirect SEO value, sometimes.

Before getting into a more in-depth discussion on which one to use in what scenarios, here’s a side-by-side comparison between these two.

What for?To pass Page RankNot to pass Page Rank
When crawled?AlwaysNot always
Used for indexing?AlwaysNot always
Requires anchor tag?Not requiredAlways required (mostly rel=”nofollow)”
Backlink Ratio?75% or more dofollow25% or less nofollow
SEO value?HighLow

When to Use Dofollow and Nofollow Backlinks

When content is credible, trustworthy, and above all, high-quality, you should use dofollow link to pass the page rank from that website to yours. However, when the content is untrustworthy, user-generated, or sponsored, use nofollow link.

Nofollow backlinks got recognized by search engines for the first time in 2005. At that time, comment spamming was a big deal, people used the comment section to build backlinks. so, by making the comment section nofollow, webmasters were able to make sure that people didn’t get benefitted by spam commenting.

Even though you don’t get the full SEO benefit from nofollow links, they too can generate traffic as well. Also, you can use them to diversify or dilute your backlinking profile, making it look like a more balanced one.

The Best Ratio for Dofollow and Nofollow

Most people believe that there’s no specific ratio for dofollow and nofollow. However, based on ranking data from the most successful websites around the world, dofollow should outnumber nofollow.

According to most experts, the ratio you should aim for is 75% dofollow and 25% nofollow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the linking ratio?

The linking ratio is the total number of incoming links to your homepage vs every other page on your website.

Do nofollow links help SEO?

No. As nofollow links are not a ranking factor, they don’t help SEO. Sometimes Google may crawl and index a nofollow link, but that’s about it. It won’t affect your SEO.

Which backlink is least important in SEO?

The least important backlink for SEO would be a tier-3 backlink. These include comments, paid links, link directories, etc.

Can backlinks hurt SEO?

Yes, ethically, backlinks should be earned, not made or built. So, any backlink that looks unnatural, pushed, or paid, can eventually get you penalized.

Final Thoughts

There’s no other way to increase your site’s credibility and authority other than backlink building, dofollow links to be precise. However, it’s equally important that you pay attention to the type of links you are generating. For links you aren’t too sure about, always stay safe and use nofollow links. Good luck and thanks for reading.