SEO strategy depends in part on links to your website to let Google know that others find your site useful and valuable. When someone else links to your site, it gives your SEO score a boost–usually. There are times when a link to your site doesn’t offer any benefit at all. These links are known as no-follow links.
A no-follow link tells the search engine not to consider that link in assessing SEO value for the destination website. Even if you have dozens of links pointing to your site, they won’t benefit you at all if they are no-follow links.
Why Do No Follow Links Exist?
You work hard to market your website, and that often includes commenting on blogs, networking with others in the industry, and paying for search advertisements. So why is it that so many of the links obtained through these methods aren’t contributing to your SEO score?
The no-follow attribute was originally designed to reduce spam in blog comments. Before no-follow links, a spammer could come along, leave irrelevant comments containing links in blog posts all across the web, and receive a significant SEO benefit from all those links pointing to his website. No-follow links eliminate the benefit of spamming. Some popular websites and blogging platforms (including WordPress and Wikipedia) automatically designate user-submitted links as no-follow links. The problem, however, is that legitimate commenters who are contributing to the discussion and offering useful information don’t benefit from including their links either.
No-follow links are also used for paid search and other places where websites could potentially inflate their SEO score using artificial means without developing the strong content Google is looking for.
How Can You Get Links That Benefit Your SEO Score?
If commenting on blogs, paying for ads, and contributing to online encyclopedia articles won’t help your SEO score, how can you get the vital backlinks that you need? The best way is to develop strong content for your website. Your home care website should contain content that gives the visitor useful information about your service, provides helpful information about a topic of interest, and thoroughly discusses the topic associated with your chosen keywords. It’s the kind of content that Google is looking for, and it benefits you in many ways:
- People will be more likely to link to a highly valuable website. As you develop useful, helpful information, other websites will be more likely to link to you organically. These are the best types of backlinks.
- Your SEO score will get a boost. Google’s algorithm is designed to identify the most useful websites in a given field. That’s why Google exists–to help their users find answers to their search queries. As you build strong content for your site, you’ll see an uptick in your SEO ranking. Those organic backlinks will play a helpful role in your SEO strategy as well.
- Visitors will stay on your site longer. The more useful your information is, the longer visitors will stick around and browse. The longer they browse, the more likely they are to remember your website later and to convert.
Are No Follow Links Ever Helpful?
While no follow links don’t provide any benefit for your SEO score, you may find them useful for other purposes. If you have a blog, you can design user-submitted links to be designated as no-follow links. As previously discussed, this helps prevent spammers from cluttering up your comment section. You may also want to use them to designate low priority links that you don’t want Google to crawl, such as the “sign in” button on your website or blog.
Learning the strengths and weaknesses of no follow links can help you create a more targeted SEO strategy. By building the right kind of links you can gain credibility for your site while attracting the attention both of Google and your target audience.