To choose which web sites to display in response to a user’s search query, Google Search employs a complicated algorithm. The quality and amount of links leading to a page are important elements that Google considers when ranking it. This is due to the fact that links are seen as a key indicator of a page’s legitimacy and significance.
Google Search has three steps, and not all pages go through all of them:
A web page must first be discovered by Google’s web crawlers before it can be indexed and included in Google’s search results. Crawlers are programmes that browse websites and follow links to other websites. When a crawler examines a web page, it follows all of the links on that page and views each connected website in turn. This practise is repeated until the crawler has visited a considerable percentage of the web by following links from one page to the next.
After Google’s web crawlers have visited a page, it undergoes indexing in Google’s database. Indexing encompasses the extraction and storage of data from the page, making it easily retrievable when relevant to a search query. This data includes the page’s text, title, URL, as well as an analysis of its links to assess relevance and authority.
Serving search results
When a user does a search, Google’s search algorithm employs a complicated set of ranking parameters to determine which pages should appear in the search results. Links are one of several variables considered by Google, but they are an essential one.
Pages with a greater number of high-quality links going to them are typically seen as more authoritative and are more likely to rank higher in search results.
Links as a credibility factor
Links are an essential feature in Google’s search algorithm since they indicate the reliability and authority of a website. When one page connects to another, it is effectively endorsing the linked page’s content. A link from a reputable website can greatly increase the credibility of the linked page in the eyes of Google’s search algorithm.
These are key points you need to know about links as a credibility factor:
Links are important because they show that other websites trust and believe in your content. When a lot of websites link to your page, it’s even better. It’s like winning a popularity contest, where you want as many votes as possible.
The best links come from websites that are already popular themselves. Their vote of confidence is worth more than a vote from an unknown website.
If a website links to many different pages, the value of each link is divided. So, a link to your page from a website that links to many other pages is not as valuable. It’s like only getting a part of a vote in a popularity contest.
Nofollow vs Dofollow – What’s The Difference?
The difference between the two is how search engines like Google treat them.
Dofollow links let search engines follow them and send “link juice” to the website they connect to. Link juice is the authority and credibility that a page gains from the links that point to it. In other words, when you link to another page with a dofollow link, you are essentially vouching for the quality and relevance of that page.
Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search engines not to follow the link and not to pass on any link juice to the linked page. This means that nofollow links do not contribute to the linked page’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
It includes a rel=”nofollow” tag, which instructs search engines to disregard or ignore a link.
Consequently, nofollow links convey no authority to the linked website and have no direct impact on search results.
Dofollow links are a definite ranking factor
Yes, dofollow links are considered a definitive ranking factor and are an essential part of a quality backlink strategy. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website, and they play a significant role in how search engines like Google judge your website’s relevancy, authority, and reliability.
Dofollow links are important for SEO since they transfer link equity or PageRank from the linking site to the linked page. This implies that when a high-quality website links to yours with a dofollow link, it can increase your website’s authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines, improving your search engine rankings.
The typical website visitor cannot tell whether a link is Nofollow or Dofollow at first glance. You may copy or click on a Nofollow backlink just like any other link on the internet.
But, there is a significant difference behind the scenes.
Nofollow links are a little more nuanced. The question of whether Nofollow links constitute a ranking factor is debatable. Some think that Nofollow links have no effect on ranking, while others argue that they do, although not to the same extent as Dofollow links. What really is the truth?
In simple and straightforward terms, nofollow links are not a direct Google ranking factor. Google has stated that they do not use nofollow links for ranking purposes, as they do not pass on link equity or PageRank.
Nofollow links are a confirmed hint in ranking
Nofollow links do not directly contribute to SEO by passing on link equity, but they can still play a role in link building for SEO. Google has confirmed that nofollow links are used as a hint in determining rankings, which likely refers to how they use anchor text distribution to determine a website’s relevance for specific keywords.
For example, even if a nofollow link does not pass on link equity, the anchor text associated with it can still contribute to a website’s overall anchor text profile. This implies that if a website is referenced several times with a certain keyword in the anchor text, even if some of those mentions are with nofollow links, Google can still determine that the page is important for that keyword.
In essence, even though nofollow links may not exert a direct influence on SEO, they can still have a part to play in search engine rankings by shaping a website’s overall anchor text profile and relevance for particular keywords.
Nofollow links diversify your link profile
Nofollow links can help diversify your link profile. Relying solely on dofollow links can appear suspicious and signal to search engines that you are deliberately trying to manipulate their ranking algorithms. Social media, comments, and blogging platforms such as Medium and Blogger typically mark links as nofollow by default.
Therefore, it is impossible to exclusively have dofollow backlinks. Building links at scale requires balancing the number of dofollow and nofollow links to ensure a natural ratio. This diversification of your link profile helps to convey the message that your website is relevant and important to a broader range of audiences, not just those interested in manipulating search engine rankings.
Nofollow links still generate traffic
Nofollow links are not useless even though they do not generate SEO link value. Nofollow links continue to provide vital referral traffic. If a respectable website with significant traffic links to your website using a nofollow link, it might still attract potential buyers to your website, enhancing brand recognition and possibly leading to conversions.
Furthermore, even if the link is nofollow, having your website linked on famous social media platforms or discussion forums may boost your exposure and perhaps bring traffic to your website.
What’s the advised ratio of Dofollow vs Nofollow links for high SEO impact?
It is important to note that there is no strictly defined ratio of dofollow vs nofollow links for high SEO impact. However, it is generally advised to focus on building high-authority nofollow links over low-authority dofollow links.
The reason for this is that high-authority websites often mark their outbound links as nofollow, but the link still carries significant weight in terms of traffic and brand exposure. Low-authority dofollow links, on the other hand, may not provide much value and may impair your website’s SEO if they are regarded low-quality or spammy.
A backlink profile with a 75% to 25% ratio of dofollow versus nofollow links is advised, with a margin of up to 15% in favor of nofollow links dependent on the size of your backlink portfolio. It is vital to remember, however, that the quality of the relationships is more significant than the particular ratio. Rather of focusing exclusively on the ratio, it is preferable to have a mix of high-quality dofollow and nofollow links from reputable sources.
So how are Dofollow links used in conjunction with Nofollow links for SEO?
Dofollow links and nofollow links should be used in conjunction with each other to achieve the best results in SEO. Here are some ways to use them together:
Build a diverse link profile
It’s important to have a diverse link profile that includes both dofollow and nofollow links from a variety of sources. This makes your backlink profile during backlink profile analysis look natural to search engines and can help improve your search engine rankings.
Prioritize high-quality dofollow links
While it’s important to have a diverse link profile, high-quality dofollow links are still the most valuable. These links pass link equity to your website and can have a significant impact on your search engine rankings.
Use nofollow links for referral traffic and brand exposure
While nofollow links have no direct effect on search engine results, they can nevertheless bring visitors to your website and assist establish brand awareness. Building nofollow connections from high-traffic websites, such as social networking platforms and prominent blogs, is a fantastic idea.
Use nofollow links for link building outreach
When conducting link building outreach, it’s common to build a mix of dofollow and nofollow links. By offering high-quality content and resources, you can earn nofollow links from authoritative websites, which can help improve your backlink profile and drive referral traffic to your website.
Best Backlink Ratio
To pass PageRank, enable keyword rankings, generate organic traffic.
75% or less
To expand your anchor text profile, generate referral traffic and naturalise your backlink profile
25% or more
In summary, links are pivotal in Google Search, serving as indicators of a page’s credibility. They form the basis of Google’s ranking algorithm, beginning with crawling and indexing, and ultimately influencing the search results.
Dofollow links bear the most weight as they pass on link equity, whereas nofollow links contribute indirectly by shaping the anchor text profile and diversifying the link portfolio.
When optimizing your SEO strategy, it’s crucial to leverage the strengths of both dofollow and nofollow links in a balanced and strategic manner.