I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been browsing through a webmaster forum and seen someone post this question. So many times in fact, I decided I was going to dedicate an entire blog post over the subject. If you do link building of any type then it’s extremely important you understand the difference between DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks. This topic is probably one of the heaviest debated and to be honest, I don’t really see that debate changing anytime soon. Not even with this blog post! The biggest controversy tends to be with those who think only DoFollow links help your site, and those who think it doesn’t really matter. So, which side is right? Is there any hard evidence that proves one is better than the other? Continue reading to finally learn the truth about how these two types of incoming links differ from one another, and whether you should really only be focusing on one of them!
First, it’s important to understand that there is no exact science behind SEO. What works for one person might not work for you. With that being said, you should always try and take a “balanced” approach to link building. Focus on quality, context-relevant DoFollow links for your website because those are what’s going to boost it in the search engine rankings. Guest posting, private blog networks, DoFollow web directories, profiles, and article marketing are just a few of the best ways you can generate high quality DoFollow backlinks. Once you’ve done that you should begin to put some focus on NoFollow backlinks, but for a different reason. The truth is, NoFollow backlinks will not help you in the search engines. These types of links are almost ignored by spiders and therefor, won’t help you the slightest bit. Still, NoFollow links from the right places can send you massive amounts of traffic! Forum signatures and blog comments on high traffic blogs are both often NoFollow, but can send you more traffic than many quality DoFollow links could. If you’re an avid poster on a particular forum and have several thousand posts there, your signature link might be NoFollow, but you’d be surprised how many clicks you could get just from other members on the forum seeing it in your posts and replies. Setup an opt-in newsletter along with Google Alerts for high traffic blogs. When you get an alert about a new post being made, go and try to be the first to leave a good comment on there. If you’re one of the first to comment then there’s a good chance you’ll get lots of traffic from that as well!
In conclusion, DoFollow links are better for “link juice” and ranking in the search engines. However, NoFollow links can often come from sources that have the ability to deliver referral traffic. It also doesn’t hurt to have a well balanced link profile consisting of both Do and No follow backlinks. In fact, some search engines might even boot you from the front page if you don’t have any NoFollow backlinks because it doesn’t look normal. They would likely consider this SEO malpractice.