The nofollow attribute is a tag in the HTML code that prevents outbound links from being indexed on the site. It is used by search engine optimizers and webmasters to control hyperlinks to external sites. This is because search engine algorithms have a negative attitude towards sites with a large number of backlinks. The detection of link spam leads to the inevitable pessimization of the position of a web resource in the search results,. And in advanced cases – to where the site is not indexed.
Today there are different opinions about the relevance of the prohibition of indexing links. Therefore, it is important to understand what rel nofollow is. And how using this tag can help in search engine optimization of sites.
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Understanding the nofollow attribute
In the HTML hypertext markup system, the nofollow tag is one of the variations of the rel attribute. In the code of the page, it can be found after the URL that the hyperlink leads to. For example, [a href = “http://sayt.com/"" rel =” nofollow “] anchor [/ a].
Not to follow is a command for search engine algorithms to not to follow the link. And therefore not to take it into account in indexing. Now it is clear that a nofollow link is a link that a search engine robot does not see.
What is the purpose of prohibiting indexing of hyperlinks?
The following are the most common reasons why search engine optimizers use the rel nofollow attribute:
- An imbalance between inbound and outbound links is the reason for a site’s lower position in search results or for its complete blocking.
- The need to hide service or duplicate pages from indexing.
- Even a small number of links to “junk” or irrelevant resources can spoil the ranking results.
- Using the attribute allows you to protect yourself from link spam in comments.
- Regulation of the naturalness of the link profile.
- The need for internal redistribution of the reference mass.
How to find out about the use of links hidden from indexing on external resources?
Sometimes it may be necessary to understand how hyperlinks are inserted into a site by a third-party webmaster. This is usually required when someone else’s site is considered a donor site for hosting a backlink. Determining if the rel = “nofollow” attribute is being used is a simple matter of a few browser manipulations. Let’s describe the procedure using Google Chrome as an example, but in other browsers, the process is not much different.
- The required link is highlighted with the cursor.
- Right-clicking on the selected area will open the context menu.
- You need to select “View item code”.
- The presence of rel = “nofollow” in the link code is checked.
If only non-indexed links are inserted on the site, then they will not affect the promotion of an external resource. So their placement does not make sense. Also, do not publish links on sites where the following attributes are inserted into their code: nofollow noopener, noindex, dofollow, and redirect. If the presence of these values needs to be checked regularly. Then it is worth using special browser add-ons that automate the above process. For example, you can install RDS Bar for free.
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How Google’s algorithms “understand” the rel nofollow attribute?
In the official documentation for webmasters. You can find a direct interpretation of the fact that. Using nofollow means a complete prohibition of following a link for robots. That is, the use of this attribute completely excludes the hyperlink from indexing. That is, it is not taken into account when ranking both sites.
However, if you close the pages in this way, they may end up in the index. This is due to the fact that they can host backlinks without restrictions. Which are located on other sites or on the site itself.
You also need to take into account that there is a turnover in the technical documentation “as a rule”. That is, we can assume that the search engine can still take into account links closed from indexing when ranking. Many SEOs believe that nofollow backlinks are always taken into account by algorithms. But due to the decrease in the value of link factors, their role is greatly narrowed. However, this does not mean that closed links cannot be used for promotion.
The value of nofollow links for monetization
Globally speaking. The promotion of any site is aimed primarily at attracting traffic, since profitability is largely tied to the site’s traffic. Therefore, even if a link on an external site is closed from indexing, users can still click on it. A good nofollow link seeding strategy can yield the following results:
- Activation of sales: Additional traffic can be converted into conversion actions. You need to understand that the link itself does not sell, but only leads users. Therefore, you first need to create an attractive offer. It is important to place links on sites where the target audience is concentrated.
- Improvement of positions in the search results: Yes, nofollow links don’t count towards ranking. But they can bring targeted traffic that will help improve behavioral factors. And this will not go unnoticed by search engines.
- Viral effect: If a closed link leads to really interesting content or a lucrative offer. Then users will begin to share it on social networks. This will allow you to get an active source of natural traffic, which will also help in promotion.
Which sites to choose for seeding nofollow links
To place deliberately closed links, you need to use popular sites. Unlike link promotion methods. The fact of publishing a backlink is not so important here as the volume of potential traffic. It is important not only to leave a link but to accompany it with an attractive description. That will encourage you to click on it. To do this, it is worth learning crowd marketing techniques. The following resources are good sites for publishing closed links:
- Youtube and other large video hosting sites. Here, links in the comments are not taken into account. But they can lead the target audience to the site, which will fulfill their positive function;
- blogs and forums. It is easy to find thematic places of communication between people online who can become potential customers. You just need to write an interesting comment and offer to familiarize yourself with the content by the link;
- social networks. These resources have the highest user activity. Links are not indexed, but if placed successfully, they can give an explosive increase in quality traffic.
Ways to Improve Nofollow Link Performance
Today, many users are tired of the dominance of useless links on different sites. It’s important to make sure that your backlink doesn’t disappoint the visitor. For example, you cannot leave a link with a comment that will lead to the store with the cheapest bicycles if the pricing policy is not very affordable. In this case, conversions will definitely not increase, and user factors and brand reputation will significantly deteriorate.
When promoting with closed links, it is important to find your audience. You need to understand that not all traffic is useful. If you attract non-targeted users who are not at all interested in the content or offer. Then they will immediately leave the site. Therefore, it is important to optimize the landing page before publishing links.
Today, there is no reliable information about whether nofollow links are really not taken into account when indexing. One thing’s for sure: they don’t hurt rankings. But even if closed links don’t matter from an SEO standpoint, they can be a great source of targeted traffic. There are many options for posting such backlinks for free on resources with massive traffic. Therefore, you should not lose a promising opportunity to attract someone interested in a web resource.
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