We are very much aware that linking our website to a reputed one, help us to increase ranking in search engine result. But ranking can get down, if our website has some bad or spam links. So we should be very careful while adding link of other website on our site. But In case, you are linking any untrusted site with your website then use rel=”nofollow”, by using this attribute, your site ranking will be unaffected.
rel=”nofollow” is HTML attribute which is recognize by all web browsers and search engines. Initially this attribute is used at page-level. If you want search engine does not crawl a given page then add following meta tag in <head> section of your page.
<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />
If search engine find above mata tag in your page then it will not follow whole page as well as any outgoing link of that page. In some cases you might want that only some of outgoing links will not crawl by search engine instead whole page. In this case you can use rel=”nofollow” attribute with HREF tag to tell search engine that you want to search engine should ignore particular link.
Let’s take example where you don’t want search engine to follow contact us link, you can use follow code for this purpose.
<a href=”contactup.html” rel=”nofollow”>Contact Us</a>
How Google handles rel=”nofollow” links?
Google simply ignore these links that means it will not crawl link which have rel=”nofollow” attribute. And Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.
Where you should use nofollow attribute?
Simply, you should use nofollow attribute at all links which are untrusted and can brings bad reputation to your website. Some common examples are link in comment sections of your blog or website, Paid links etc.
Untrusted links: If you can’t or don’t want to vouch for the content of pages you link to from your site — for example, untrusted user comments or guestbook entries — you should nofollow those links. There are two benefits of using nofollow in comment links 1) Spammer’s only targets those websites which help then to improve their ranking and provides dofollow links. If your website provides only nofollow links in comment section then spammers will not target your website. 2) by using nofollow for comment links, your website will not pass PageRank and other linking properties to a untrusted website.
Paid Links: Peoples buy links on websites which have good ranking in search result and have high traffic. So it is advised to webmasters, always use nofollow at paid links. It is because site’s ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to it. In order to prevent paid links from influencing search results and negatively impacting users. Search engine guidelines require machine-readable disclosure of paid links in the same way that consumers online and offline appreciate disclosure of paid relationships.
Crawl prioritization: Search engine crawler (Bots) stayed on your website for few seconds and you don’t want that it should waste it’s time on crawling unimportant pages. For example, search engine robots can’t signup for your website or sign in at your website, there is no reason to invite google and other search engine bots on signup.html or login.html and you should use nofollow attribute on these links. It will help google crawler to given preference to other important pages of your website.
It is good practice to use nofollow meta tag for pages which are less important and you don’t want ranking for these pages and use nofollow attribute for links which are untrusted. By doing this, you will help search engine crawlers to focus more on important content and never pass reputation of your website to untrustworthy website. It will improve your SEO and reputation as well.
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