It’s a doubtful matter to discuss the advantages of NOFOLLOW backlinks versus their DOFOLLOW analogs. Many SEO experts might call me “crazy” since I’m about to convince you to take care of your NOFOLLOW backlinks. Nonetheless, my early SEO experiments have allowed me to think that Google pays deep attention to your NOFOLLOW backlink profile. Below, I’ll try to explain to you why these backlinks are necessary and even vital to the success of your web project since it’s dangerous and even harmful to avoid this SEO practice. Later, I want to prove you that DOFOLLOW backlinks could even affect your positions in the Google SERP. But first, I want to disclose my attitude to such kind of backlinks in a small list. These questions refer to you.
- If the NOFOLLOW tag is unnecessary, why Google introduced this format?
- Why all the massive websites use the NOFOLLOW to link to other projects?
- If NOFOLLOW links don’t work, why most of the black hat webmasters are trying to get these backlinks when spamming in the comments?
- Isn’t it suspicious if your backlink profile contains only DOFOLLOW links?
- Why if you take a look at any successful web project you will discover that its backlinks profile contains more NOFOLLOW backlinks than DOFOLLOW?
Without a doubt, each of you is able to find lots of arguments. However, let’s take a closer look at each question.
Why Google introduced a NOFOLLOW link format?
Back in 2005, Google introduced hyperlinks with tag rel=”nofollow.” Both Yahoo and Bing search engines have also supported such initiative. But why Google made such a decision? According to the official announcement, NOFOLLOW backlinks don’t affect your website’s PageRank. Already in 2009, Matt Cutts announced on his blog that GoogleBot changed its attitude to the evaluation of NOFOLLOW backlinks since some webmasters started to manipulate with such type of links to maximize the PageRank of the other pages. I don’t want to disclose all the stages of the NOFOLLOW backlinks evolution. But I want you to conclude that GoogleBot takes care of this type of links. In my opinion, the primary goal of Google was to separate DOFOLLOW and NOFOLLOW backlinks. The vital question is why?
In 2010, Google finally decided to eliminate PageRank. But if you don’t see a green indicator on your website in your toolbar anymore, this doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t take this ranking factor into account. Undoubtedly, Google uses PageRank during estimation of any website. Moreover, I claim that this indicator is still vital to your project. Unfortunately, you can’t track down these data anymore. As a result, my conclusion is that NOFOLLOW backlinks are treated as a ranking factor, but differently. Without a doubt, GoogleBot considers these links, but how?
Why all the websites from ALEXA Top 1,000 use NOFOLLOW backlinks?
At first glance, the answer is evident. These websites possess a huge backlink profile, and they thereby don’t want to lose their authority by linking to other sites. Let’s take a look at Wikipedia, for instance. This website takes the 5th place in the world according to ALEXA. Wikipedia doesn’t use any ads. This project is entirely non-profit. They don’t need money, but they use NOFOLLOW backlinks.
Despite the fact that Wikipedia avoids using DOFOLLOW backlinks, their NOFOLLOW links work perfectly. If you doubt in such statement, just take a look how you might improve your ranking having numerous backlinks from Wikipedia. But why does it work if Google claims that NOFOLLOW backlinks can’t provide you a “PageRank juice?” Now we come closer to a clue to this mystery.
In my opinion (and many SEO experts should agree with me), NOFOLLOW backlinks don’t allow your website to increase its PageRank. However, instead, these links pass the additional points to your Domain and Page Authority. Google hasn’t officially confirmed these terms. Nonetheless, numerous advanced metrics such as AHrefs use them to evaluate the authority of your website. As a result, the indicator of PageRank was split into a bunch of factors such as DA/PA, etc.
Why the black hat SEO webmasters use NOFOLLOW backlinks?
The guys use such approach since it’s safe. They leave thousands and even millions of comments on various authoritative websites to gain their Domain Authority despite the fact that these projects provide them only NOFOLLOW backlinks. These guys have realized that they can’t transfer PageRank using such method. However, such approach perfectly works for transferring the Domain and Page Authority. By the way, in that case, the domain-donor doesn’t lose its own authority. As a result, everyone is happy. This fact might allow you to realize why all these doorways and other black hat web pages are in the Google TOP 10.
Google doesn’t like if your backlink profile consists of only DOFOLLOW links
For Google, it’s suspicious if your backlink profile contains only DOFOLLOW links since this looks unnatural. Some webmasters allow you to get DOFOLLOW backlink while others could only provide you the NOFOLLOW ones. As a result, an ideal backlink profile must contain both DO/NOFOLLOW backlinks. Otherwise, Google might consider that you use the black hat SEO techniques. So, even if you prefer to use the grey SEO methods, I would recommend you to include NOFOLLOW backlinks in your backlink profile to avoid Google Penguin.
Why your DO/NOFOLLOW ratio must look natural?
This rule follows from the previous points. As a rule, all the popular PHP frameworks and platforms use the built-in approach to backlinks. Usually, all these backlinks are NOFOLLOW. As a result, at least 60-70% of your backlink profile must consist of NOFOLLOW backlinks. However, in your case, it could be another ratio. It doesn’t matter which a percentage of NOFOLLOW backlinks in your profile are. The more important is their existence. Therefore, even if all the links in your backlink profile are NOFOLLOW, you don’t need to take care of it. Over time, some webmasters will reward you with DOFOLLOW backlinks.
In any case, I’ll continue to claim that NOFOLLOW backlinks do matter. You don’t need to avoid them since this type of links is necessary for any search engine. Without a doubt, GoogleBot pays attention to the naturality of your backlink profile. As a result, it must contain a mixture of DO/NOFOLLOW backlinks. You will have to remember a rule, the more backlinks you have, the more authoritative is your domain or page. So please don’t focus on whether these backlinks are DOFOLLOW or NOFOLLOW. Your goal is to get natural backlinks. Be sure; GoogleBot will appreciate them.
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