A strong SEO score is comprised of many different elements, from strong written content to strategic keyword placement. One element that carries a lot of weight in determining how authoritative your site appears to Google is the number of authoritative backlinks you have pointing to your website. A backlink is simply an incoming link from another website; it means that someone else thought your content was valuable and linked to it. However, there is a catch. Before you get excited about the number of backlinks you have, you need to know the difference between follow links and no follow links.
Not All Links Are Equal
The bad news is that not all links carry equal weight. Some websites use a “no follow” attribute when they link to your site, which effectively neutralizes any positive uptick you might have gained from that link. No follow links offer a solution to the problem of people posting irrelevant links on blogs or contributory websites like Wikipedia solely for the purpose of getting a link back to their own website. They work well to prevent people from getting high page ranks based on paid ads, blog comments, forum posts, or other non-authoritative sources.
The good news, however, is that a follow link now carries more weight than it used to, because it most likely comes from a reputable source that found your website valuable. Follow links say to Google, “This website has valuable content, and other sites in this field consider it an authoritative source.”
How to Build Follow Links for Your Website
Google has cracked down on questionable link building practices like private blog networks, link swapping, and forum spam. Trying to build backlinks using methods like these will backfire. You’ll see a diminishing return on your efforts, and Google may penalize you.
But all is not lost. You can still build quality follow links for your website. Here’s how:
- Create strong content—Creating strong content is still the number one thing you can do to encourage other websites to link to you. By regularly posting well-researched, authoritative articles and blog posts, you position yourself as an authority in your field and other people will want to link to your content.
- Market your website—Host an online industry event, pitch ideas to news sites, or talk with local business owners about how you can help them.
- Network—Network with others in the field and let them know about the resources available on your home care website. Encourage people to visit and make it worth their while.
- Guest Post—Build relationships with other bloggers in your field and offer to do a guest post on their website. Not only will you get a link back to your website, but you’ll also gain access to referral traffic from a different audience than you normally speak to.
The Bottom Line About No Follow Links
No follow links offer no SEO benefit for your website. Posting a link at the end of your comment in a forum may send a few people to your site, but it won’t give you a boost in the SERPs. If your website has a lot of no follow links and few authoritative follow links, it’s time to focus more closely on marketing your website, networking with others in the industry, and building awesome content that will stand out as the best in your field. When you become known for helpful, informative, useful content, you’ll not only see an increase in your SEO ranking, but you’ll also benefit your business by drawing traffic to your website and keeping your visitors engaged.