Nofollow vs. Dofollow Links: What is the Difference?

The nofollow tag was originally created by Google to combat blog comment spam As the popularity of blogs grew, so did comment spam. Specifically, spammers would leave links back to their site in the comments.

In September 2019, Google announced two new link attributes that offered webmasters additional ways to help Google identify the nature of different links.

For certain links on your site, you might want to tell Google your relationship with the linked page.

In order to do that, you should use  “nofollow” – “dofollow” attribute values to tell Google if a linked page has relevant value or not for your site, page or post.

For example, some of this article’s PageRank flows to the other pages on our site via hyperlinks like this one.

However, PageRank only gets transferred via followed links, not nofollowed links.

What is a No Follow Link?

A no follow link is a link that does not count as a point in the page’s favor, does not boost PageRank, and doesn’t help a page’s placement in the SERPs. No follow links get no love. 

These links do not influence the search engine rankings of the destination URL because Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across them. In fact, Google doesn’t even crawl nofollowed links. 

Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. 

What type of links are nofollow?

  • Links from forum posts 
  • Blog comments 
  • Links in press releases. 
  • Links from social media channels.

Why Did Search Engines Create the Nofollow Tag?

In 2005, Google helped develop the nofollow tag… and rolled it into their algorithm.

The nofollow tag was originally created by Google to combat blog comment spam As the popularity of blogs grew, so did comment spam. Specifically, spammers would leave links back to their site in the comments.

If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either, and we’ve been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=“nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn’t a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it’s just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. (

The tag was ultimately adopted by other search engines (like Bing and Yahoo).

nofollow links

How Do You Check If a Link is Nofollow?

  • Right-click on your browser and click “Inspect”.
  • Look for the link in the HTML of the page.
  • If you see a rel=”nofollow” attribute, that link is nofollowed. Otherwise, the link is dofollow. 
No follow links.

What is a Follow Link?

Google created a metric called PageRank to calculate the link points. Many SEO folks refer to link points as “link juice.” The link juice flows through sites and into new sites through hyperlinks. The more reputable the site, the bigger boost of link juice the linked-to site gets.

Google takes note of these points, watching how many inbound links a page has and from what sites. Google figures, hey, if a lot of people are linking to a certain page, it must be an excellent page! Let’s give preference in our search engines to that page over others of a similar topic, so we can easily deliver the very best pages to our search engine users. 

Getting a link from the New York Times or BBC is pure gold! 

Now we can define a follow link – Follow links are links that count as points, pushing SEO link juice and boosting the page rank of the linked-to sites, helping them go higher in the SERPs as a result. (

How to Get Follow Links?

The best ways to get dofollow links is the honest way: creating awesome, original content that gets shared and linked to naturally.

Other approaches include Social Media, VBlogs and guest blogging, particularly on a site relevant to your site, so that you can build referral traffic in addition to getting an SEO assist.

Do nofollow links hold any value?

Although nofollow links may not directly increase your website’s PageRank, they can still contribute value in several ways. 

Since nofollow links do nothing to stop people from clicking on them, one of the best benefits of them is the potential for additional traffic to your website.

Social media accounts can help build your SEO?

In SEO terms, it’s called social signals. 

And Google uses social signals to determine how updated your website is, how popular it is, and how active it is. 

Signals are talking about how often you should post on which platform and why that is going to build your audience, brand awareness, and even drive traffic, leads, and conversions to your website. (


  • According to Ahrefs, 8% of their links are nofollow. 
  • 99.2% of all top 50 results in the SERP have at least one backlink pointing to their own website. 
  • 100% “dofollow” links on a website are clear signs of manipulation.