As a new content creator, do you understand the difference between follow and nofollow links? Many people wonder how these terms found in the realm of SEO mean.
The article will delve deep into these terms and reveal what type of links you should insert in your sponsored posts. But first of all, let’s define what is an affiliate link.
Affiliate marketing link: what is it?
In this digital age, Internet is an essential tool to make your company or individual business grow. Several solutions are available to make money online. The technique of affiliate marketing is currently becoming very popular. It allows to get paid by recommending a service or a product through an affiliate link. You’re probably asking : What is an Affiliate Link? To learn more about this link, it is first necessary to define what affiliation is. Then, how to get an affiliate link?
Affiliation connects an advertiser with an individual who wants to become an affiliate of a renowned brand. The advertiser takes advantage of the affiliate’s tools and notoriety (blog articles or posts on social networks) to launch or sell its products directly. If an affiliate successfully sells or engages the target, he or she will receive a commission on the price of the product sold or service provided.
The affiliation link is therefore a tool which the customer will click on to go directly to the advertiser’s product. It’s delivered by the company after the affiliate’s profile has been validated. This link will therefore be placed on blog articles, on the website, on social networks or YouTube channels, etc.
What is Follow link?
Follow links are also referred to as dofollow links and are very powerful and important to your blog because they improve your Domain authority. So your blog should use both internal and external dofollow links unless it has sponsored posts or affiliate links.
Your site page earns a small SEO boost when it gets an inbound link or a hyperlink referring to it. So that link acts as a point, and the more links you get, the higher the points.
On the other hand, Google watches the number of inbound links the page has and from which sites and then concludes that it must be a page, thus rewarding by giving it preference over other pages with a similar topic. Therefore, the search engine will deliver this page among the very best pages when users search for that topic.
Google uses PageRank to determine the number and quality of link points in order to establish how important your site is. Ordinarily, more important or reputable websites receive more links from smaller websites. So when your site page gets links from that reputable sites such as BBC and the New York Times, your site gets a huge boost and, as a result, gets higher in the SERPS.
The world of SEO uses the colloquial term link juice when referring to the equity or power passed to a given site through links originating from internal or external sources. It’s viewed as a vote of recommendation, hence an important factor when deciding your site’s PageRank and search ranking.
One of the best ways of getting follow link is by creating awesome, original content that can be shared online and get linked naturally. Guest blogging can also be helpful because it helps you to build referral traffic and get an SEO boost.
What is Nofollow Link?
This refers to a link that doesn’t boost PageRank or doesn’t count as a point that works in the page’s favor. The reason is that the nofollow link tells the search engine not to pass the link juice to another site or not to vouch for the target link. They are used to prevent bloggers from exploiting links by building links back to their outlets.
Bloggers use nofollow links when they get paid for a link, such as in the case of a sponsored post and affiliate link. So using nofollow links helps you comply with Google’s terms of service, which forbids getting paid for links. Google says,
“…exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”
Another reason why most bloggers prefer nofollow tag is when they link to a site that they don’t trust. However, the advice is never to link to such a site.
When Not to Use Nofollow Link and the Value it Brings
- You don’t need to use nofollow when you give someone a link because you consider it a good resource, and you haven’t been paid or given anything for it.
- You also don’t need to use nofollow when you have a link that is never designed to manipulate PageRank.
- The fear of being penalized has pushed some webmasters to use nofollow on all outbound links.
While a nofollowed link doesn’t help you to rank higher, the decision to consider it as a hint rather than a directive is helpful.
Since nofollow link falls lies in the natural link profile, a site without these links looks odd. Also, unlike many followed links, nofollowed links can drive more traffic.
Natural Vs. Unnatural Links
Search engines like Google evaluate inbound links to determine if they are natural. That means to be in Google’s good book, your site must have a normal link profile of follow and nofollow links. However, you can use the nofollow tag for anything unnatural such as paid links or those set to cheat the system.
Unnatural links can result in manual action or a penalty, but you can navigate that when using the nofollow link attribute. These include categories such as:
- Blog comments
- Link exchanges
- Sponsored content and paid links
- Automated link building
- Press releases
- Links to YouTube videos
- Guest posts that have keyword-rich anchor text links
- User-generated content (UGC) such as Quora answers, forum posts, and Reddit threads
- Product user interfaces
The post has answered the question of whether to opt for follow or nofollow. Go for follow or dofollow links when linking to a trusted source, on a guest post that doesn’t post on a large scale and when you’re not paying for the post as well as when linking to social media profiles. These links help to improve your Domain authority, and your articles rank better.
On the other hand, use nofollow if you have sold a link, such as affiliate links or sponsored posts. You can use nofollow when afraid of being penalized for using anything unnatural or you doubt the source.
Your ultimate goal is to maintain a perfect link profile which you can achieve by maintaining a healthy balance of follow and nofollow backlinks. So for sponsored posts, you should go for the nofollow link attribute because they are paid for articles, which violates Google’s terms of service. Any PageRank manipulation violates the search engine terms, which attaches a penalty to it.
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