Are Nofollow Links Worth Anything? Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Them

May 27, 2020
Are nofollow links worth anything? Contrary to popular opinions, nofollow links can actually be valuable to SEO. Read more about why you need nofollow links

This is a question we often get from marketers and blog owners alike: are nofollow links worth anything? Well, had they been useless, we wouldn't have written this piece of article, would we? The easy answer is yes, they are worthy of your attention.

are nofollow links worth anything infographics

Moving on to the long answer. Stick with us and we will tell you why your nofollow links are more important than you think.

Nofollow Links vs Dofollow Links

Nofollow links are literally what the name suggests. They tell the crawler NOT to follow your website. Hence, link juice, as described by popular SEO communities, does not flow to your website. So, they do not contribute to your page rankings. Not directly at least.

On the other hand, dofollow links enable crawlers to follow the link. They are often credited with the title of true links. So by definition, nofollow links seem like a major turnoff toward your SEO efforts. But don’t be too hasty to pull off a conclusion.

Nofollow links might not immediately show effect. However, they can have a catalyst effect on your page rankings. Here are the top 6 reasons why nofollow links are actually worth ‘anything’.

1. Link Juice Explained by the Island Metaphor

The flow of link juice isn't as binary it seems in the theory. In reality, the overall traffic in the site is considered by search engines. Moreover, the placement of nofollow links also contributes to page ranking metrics.

Consider your site as Island A and the other site as B. In this example, people are link juice if you will. So if people go from Island B to Island A, we say that a link is built. But soon we notice that the flow of people i.e. link juice is less. Hence, we build a ship or a nofollow link to drive more traffic to your island.

2. Traffic is Important

Here is a pop-quiz. What do you want to achieve through link building? Ultimately we build links so that others find our website. We want them to engage with us so that they become our customers.

This is exactly what nofollow links do. More links equate to more traffic. More traffic opens the door for more interaction. Interaction leads to conversion and sales, and hence more profitability. With more profit comes more authority.

Hence, nofollow links will eventually pave the way for more dofollow links.

nofollow links and profitability cycle

We may have simplified the process a bit too much. But driving referral traffic is the most important reason why n0follow links are worth anything.

3. The SEO Boost Paradox

A person named Adam White once ran a test on nofollow link and its correlation to his page rankings. The result turned many heads. He had no other links pointing to his homepage except the nofollow link. However, his page ranked #1 in that specific keyword.

We are being too optimistic about the result obtained from one test. Then how do you explain the high percentage of nofollow links in the top-ranked pages in Google? In the same study, Adam White showed that almost 20-25% of links on average were nofollow in the top-ranked pages.

This leads us to our next discussion. Google is smarter than you.

4. Search Engines Knows

Often pages overoptimize their website with excessive dofollow links. You know what happens next. You don’t want to build links just for the sake of link building. Even if you do, please don’t show it.

Hence, a smart combination of dofollow and nofollow links can help your page rank better.

5. Authority Drives Business

There are many online metrics that measure a website’s authority. Although these metrics don't affect your SEO efforts, they surely influence your business.

In most of these website directories, the number of dofollow or nofollow links is not shown. Rather, they merely present the number of backlinks collectively. So having a lot of nofollow links can be perceived as...well, a lot of links.

Therefore, having nofollow links can actually boost your website metrics. Therefore, you can present your website as an authoritative site to potential business partners. This only solidifies our previous stance. Nofollow links can drive your profitability.

6. Social Signals

If you have been in the SEO industry for a while, then you should know that social signals can influence your SEO. For some exceptions, every link on social media is a nofollow link.

So, more followers on social media generate more traffic to your website. Every time your link gets shared, you are generating a nofollow link. So, we are back to square one. These nofollow links on social media are inherently driving more traffic to your website.

Final Thoughts

Sure, nofollow links do not bring in link juice as much as dofollow links. However, they accomplish the goal for which you built your website in the first place. Drive your business.

The bottom line is that nofollow links are important. Don’t let anyone tell you different. So, are nofollow links worth anything of your time and budget? Do let us know!

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