October 19, 2015 | Categorised in:

Link building is one of those SEO activities that leave people thinking ‘it’s a thorn in my side’, ‘It’s a pain in my assophagus’ (what a save!). Now link building can be difficult, but the most frustrating part is spending all of your time building links for your site or a client’s site, only to realise a number of them are nofollow. Your face at the realisation you received a nofollow link:

Person angry over nofollow link

Now I know that your eyebrows make you look more like Shrek than Jennifer Lopez, but it’s okay! What if I told you that nofollow links are valuable? What if I told you that you’ve been underestimating their powers all of this time? Cause you have! You will no longer underestimate the value of a nofollow link because I’m going to explain the 3 ways nofollow links are valuable!

But first, I think it’s important to have an understanding on the difference between a follow link and a nofollow link. A follow or a dofollow link is recognised by Google as a ‘vote of confidence’ to your site. It is a sign of a sites credibility and offers SEO juice to your site as these are recognised by Google as being given naturally. Basically, it’s saying your site/this page is the bomb.com!

Nofollow links are identified with a rel=“nofollow” attribute that is said to pass little to no value. The rel=”nofollow” attribute was introduced to indicate to Google not to follow a link, as it may be considered spammy or of little value.

So with many more funny gifs to come, here are the 3 ways nofollow links are valuable:

1. Nofollow links can drive more referral traffic to your site

Reason number 1: nofollow links can drive referral traffic to your site. Yep it’s true! Now Wikipedia only provides nofollow outbound links. This means if you get a link from Wikipedia its nofollow. But think of sites like Wikipedia, I would caution a guess that Wikipedia receives hundreds of thousands of visits a day. I know I hit Wikipedia at least twice a day. For various reasons, such as stalking my future husband Zac Efron.

Zac Efron smiling

Sorry I got side tracked for an hour. Now think of how much referral traffic you could receive from a nofollow link from Wikipedia? A number of authoritative sites offer nofollow links instead of dofollow links, and this can produce significant referral traffic to your site. There is even a Wikipedia link building strategy because of how valuable Wikipedia can be to your site! We actually wrote about the Wikipedia link building strategy in a recent post.

2.  Nofollow Links build brand awareness

Reason number 2: nofollow links build brand awareness. Think of what you are trying to do when you link to another site. You’re saying to your users ‘look over here there’s something you should see’ or look at this frustrating photo of a black/blue or gold/white dress (Its gold and white. End of discussion). The purpose of a link is to make users aware of something, thereby raising awareness for the brands, its products, services or content. Here is an example:

Recently, I saw this hilarious article in my Facebook feed. (Remember, Facebook links are nofollow.) It was a bachelorette episode recap by Mamamia, and it had me laughing out loud. Oh my god. Did you catch that? I just kind of inceptioned you!

That is a real link to a piece of content I found useful, and I wanted to share it with you. Look, at that brand awareness. It’s wonderful!

3. Nofollow links can earn you profit

Reason number 3: nofollow links can earn you profit. Now before you roll your eyes, let me explain. Nofollow links can earn a business profit by creating awareness about a brand. For example, as I explained above I saw the bachelorette episode recap on Facebook, which was shared with a friend of mine. I clicked on it, and read it.

Now this works the same way with a product or service. Say I wanted to show my friend this really pretty dress, and I wanted her opinion, so I shared a link to the dress with her (a nofollow link). Now my friend has clicked through and looked at the dress. But she thought wait a minute, I like this dress so I’m buying it. Safe to say the brand got a sale, and I slapped the bejeezuz out of my ex-friend. Just kidding. But seriously, it’s that simple!

Nicole Kohler from Moz explains this in her post ‘the hidden power of nofollow links‘. She even created a cool equation that explains how nofollow links can earn your profit. It’s A + E = P which means Awareness + Engagement=Profit. Definitely have a read of it!

See I did it again. Links for everybody!

Oprah pointing to audience

Now you know the 3 ways nofollow links are valuable. So whilst it’s important to have follow links, it is just as important to have nofollow links. Nofollow links can do all of the things mentioned above, whilst also balancing your link profile. So don’t disregard the awesomeness of the nofollow link people!