Are Nofollow Backlinks Useless?

Are Nofollow Backlinks Useless

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In SEO, links are the real juice to determine the authority and rank of a website. These hyperlinks pass the confidence about the referred website to the Search engine. 

Like everything around us, these links are also not equal; some links are more important than others. Naively, authentic and reliable links are called “follow links,” and those that are not authentic or can not be trusted by large are referred as “nofollow” links.

What is Nofollow Link

Technically, links coded in HTML as rel=” nofollow” are known as “NoFollow” links. These links do not pass the link juice or equity. These links are usually sponsored (rel=” sponsored”) or user-generated (rel=” ugc”).

This is how to pass on the information to Google that this website does not own the validity of these links and should not be counted in calculating their ranking. This way, the webmaster escape any penalty caused by the malicious and spammy links generated by sponsored post or user-generated links.

The picture below is from the Facebook page, which shows the highlighted nofollow tag.

No Follow Links Example

Read | Why Is Content-Based Link-Building Effective?

Reason to Tag Nofollow

Google crawlers are very strict against all illegitimate and spongy link-creation techniques. Google penalizes websites involved in illegitimate ways to create links, known as Black Hat Technique.

So websites are very careful in their content to escape any penalty caused by the visitors’ comments. So webmaster tags all such external links to “nofollow” to pass on the information to search engines, not to count such external and sponsored links.

Similarly, you might want to link something to a website but do not want to endorse it, so you link it but tag it to nofollow, e.g., a blog on your website referred a link to a betting or casino site. Since you have to keep the link as it is the demand of the article, but you do not want the search engine to take that link seriously, you tag it “noFollow.” This way, you can keep the link with no penalty.

Types of Nofollow Links

Types of Nofollow Links

Web admins usually avoid outbound and paid links to escape from web crawlers. Following are some of the types of nofollow links.

Paid Links

Google wants SEO experts to earn links organically and avoid all such paid activities. These paid links are usually irrelevant and are large in number. So to avoid any penalty, it is necessary to code them as nofollow.


Most sites and web pages’ comments section is free to comment. To attract traffic, all SEO experts find it easy to post their illegitimate and malicious links in the comments section.

Since it is unavoidable and the webmaster would always be on the alert to scrutinize the comments section, they tag it nofollow to avoid any mishap. Big platforms like Youtube, Wikipedia, Quora, etc., have used nofollow for their comments section.

The picture below from a Youtube video shows multiple links in the description, promoting their webpage.

Comments No Follow Links

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links possess unique information called “sponsored” in the HTML coding. These links could be to or from your platform. Websites do not want to own paid affiliate links and usually delink themselves.

Read | What is B2B Marketing

How to check the no follow link

There are many ways to check the source code to find the nofollow links;

Browsers: Different browsers have slightly different ways of checking the source code. Google’s Chrome is widely used, and the following procedure can check the source code on Chrome;

Click on the three pints vertical line on the top of the right corner in Chrome, then click on more tools and then Developer tools. This will show you the source code, and from the source code, you can search the nofollow, and all strings showing nofollow links will be highlighted.

The picture below shows the source code of Youtube. The nofollow tag is yellow colored yellow.

How to check the no follow link

SEO Tools: There are also tools like Mozbar, Varvy and NoFollow that can help to find the nofollow links. Further information in this regard can be found in this article.  

Google’s Take on NoFollow Link

Google has penned down a detailed description of the nofollow links and clearly mentioned their types and associated penalties. Following are their guidelines about the nofollow links.

Google Take on NoFollow Link

Google also updates its guidelines occasionally so keep visiting the page and being well-versed.

Benefits of no-Follow links

It is said that nothing is useless in this world; despite Google’s strict policies, these links still have some benefits.

1.    Do Noflollow links Improve your ranking?

Well, that’s a tricky question; the answer is no if you count the number of links, as search engines do not count these links. But, these links can help to improve your ranking indirectly by improving other factors of ranking calculation like increasing the traffic and visibility and keyword search.

2.    Traffic Increase

These links can bring traffic from and to your platforms. If your platform is genuine and authentic, getting traffic from well-known pages could be a real fruit.

3.    No Fellow Can Leads to Follow Links

These nofollow links can lead you to follow links as well. Imagine if you mentioned your platform in the comments section of your YouTube channel, which is nofollow. But the referred page is authentic and legitimate, where you can get follow links.

As per Ahrefs’ blog, the correlation of “follow” links is slightly less than the total backlinks, and Tim Soulo, CMO Ahrefs, refers to this as; “This could be an indication that Google values some nofollowed links from strong pages more than followed links from weak pages.”

4.    Visibility and Recognition

These links can be important in increasing your visibility on different forums and platforms. If your comments are published on a big platform, or you have paid an authentic website for the links, it will boost your business.

5.    Search Engine Favors Nofollow Links.

As mentioned, Search engines have very strict guidelines regarding types of backlinks. Rather than analyzing all website links, the search engine is at ease with the nofollow tags, as their code bypasses these, saving time and effort.

6.    Zero Budget Marketing

If you are short of money and need links to increase your visibility and traffic, comment sections of different blogs and social media pages are your go-to place.

If your platform is legitimate, these pages will not remove your links in the comments section. The organic traffic of these pages might visit your page as well. This way, you may get convertible links without investing a single penny.

7.    Internal Links

Internal links are usually followed links and are part of your SEO scheme to increase your visitor’s stay on your platform. But, if you want to exclude a page from indexing, you can tag internal links as nofollow.

8.    Social Media Juice

Social media has emerged as a powerful tool to promote your business. Most of the links from social media are nofollow, but they promote your business.

While scrolling on Insta, Facebook or Twitter, you have come across many such links and have also clicked many of these links and might also have become a customer of a business as well. All this is from a nofollow link.

9.    The Domino Effect

The link building is like a domino effect; you have links (follow or nofollow), these links generate more links, and more links will create even more links, and the process will continue. You might start with nofollow links and get a bundle of follow links.

Read | Buying Backlinks like a Pro

Pros and Cons of No Follow Backlinks

Pros and Cons of No Follow Backlinks

There are always some pros with some cons; for nofollow links, detail is mentioned below;

Reputation: No one compromise on reputation, so nofollow help you to secure the reputation of your business.

Avoid Penalty: It helps you to avoid penalties, as search engines penalize websites with low-quality links.

Ranking and Authority: It does not increase your authority and ranking directly but is beneficial indirectly by increasing the traffic at your platform.

Link Juice or Equity: These links do not pass the link juice or equity to your platform.

Organic Look: It helps to give a natural look to your platform, as a website with nofollow links raises a red flag in Google’s eyes.


Links are the juice of an SEO advertising scheme. The old saying “the more, the better” is true for the links as long as they are not spammy and illegitimate.

 Nofollow backlinks might appear useless at a glance, but in the competitive world, these links can be beneficial in bringing in some traffic to your website and increasing your visibility, authority and ranking.

Getting links are important for the publicity of your business and Dlinx Outreach is an authentic and experienced SEO agency with the data of all high authority and ranking websites worldwide, which is highly required to publicize your brand. Feel free to contact us for a discussion. Our team will be in touch shortly with the right and legitimate solution.

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Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa is head of content at Dlinx Outreach. She is an avid writer and bookworm and has been with Dlinx since 2019. As a true tech geek and an extraordinary content strategist, she leverages her passion for the digital sphere and love for writing to share her knowledge through insightful content. She writes with a data-driven perspective.

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