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Understanding the Concept of “Nofollow” in SEO

In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), “nofollow” is a term that is often used. But what exactly does it mean? In this article, we will explore the concept of nofollow and how it can impact your website’s SEO.

What is Nofollow?

Nofollow is an HTML attribute that is used to instruct search engines not to follow a specific link. This means that if a website has a nofollow tag on a link, search engines will not consider that link as a ranking factor when determining search engine results pages (SERPs).

The nofollow attribute was first introduced by Google in 2005 as a way to combat spammy and irrelevant links. By adding the nofollow tag to a link, website owners could indicate to search engines that they did not endorse the content on the linked page.

Why Use Nofollow?

There are several reasons why website owners may choose to use the nofollow attribute on their links. One of the most common reasons is to prevent spam comments on blog posts. By adding the nofollow tag to links in comments, website owners can discourage spammers from leaving irrelevant or spammy links in the comments section.

Another reason to use nofollow is to avoid penalties from search engines. If a website has too many spammy or irrelevant links, search engines may view it as a low-quality site and penalize it in the SERPs. By using the nofollow attribute, website owners can ensure that only high-quality links are counted as ranking factors.

When to Use Nofollow?

It is important to note that not all links require the nofollow attribute. In fact, using nofollow on all links can actually harm your website’s SEO. Instead, website owners should only use nofollow on links that they do not endorse or that may be spammy or irrelevant.

For example, if a website owner is linking to a page that they do not necessarily endorse, they may choose to add the nofollow attribute to that link. On the other hand, if a website owner is linking to a page that they fully endorse and believe is relevant to their content, they should not add the nofollow attribute.


In conclusion, the nofollow attribute is an important tool in the world of SEO. By using nofollow on links that are spammy or irrelevant, website owners can ensure that their site is viewed as high-quality by search engines. However, it is important to use nofollow judiciously and only on links that are truly spammy or irrelevant. By doing so, website owners can help to improve their site’s SEO and avoid penalties from search engines.

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How to Implement Nofollow on Your Website

Now that we understand what nofollow is and why it is important, let’s take a look at how to implement it on your website.

Adding Nofollow to Links

Adding the nofollow attribute to a link is relatively simple. To do so, simply add the following code to the HTML of the link:

Link Text

In this code, replace “http://example.com” with the URL of the page you are linking to, and replace “Link Text” with the text you want to use for your link.

By adding the “rel=nofollow” attribute to the link, you are telling search engines not to follow the link.

Using Plugins and Tools

If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, there are several plugins available that can help you to implement nofollow on your links. Some popular plugins include “All in One SEO Pack” and “Yoast SEO”.

Additionally, there are several online tools available that can help you to identify which links on your website are dofollow and which are nofollow. One such tool is the “NoFollow Chrome Extension”, which allows you to highlight nofollow links on any webpage.

Best Practices for Using Nofollow

When using nofollow on your website, it is important to follow some best practices to ensure that you are using it effectively:

1. Use nofollow only on links that are truly spammy or irrelevant.
2. Do not use nofollow on all links, as this can harm your website’s SEO.
3. Regularly check your website for spammy or irrelevant links and add the nofollow attribute as needed.
4. Do not use nofollow on internal links, as this can harm your website’s internal linking structure.


In conclusion, implementing nofollow on your website is an important part of maintaining a high-quality site. By using nofollow judiciously and following best practices, you can ensure that your site is viewed as a trustworthy source of information by both users and search engines.

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