NoFollow & DoFollow link in SEO

Ultimate Guide To NoFollow & DoFollow Links in SEO

Link building is one of the most important part in the process of Search Engine Optimization.

The quality and number of backlinks earned by a page is still a ranking factor in SEO. So let’s understand the two main types of backlinks viz DoFollow link & NoFollow link.

I have tried to answer few questions commonly asked regarding DoFollow link and no-follow links.

Additionally, in the end, I have suggested my favorite chrome extension that proves to be very effective in determining whether any link is a DoFollow or NoFollow type for quality link building.

What Is DoFollow Link In SEO –

Dofollow is the type of link with an attribute that allows the search engine crawler to “follow” the link. This results in the passing of the link juice to the linked URL.

Dofollow link improves the page rank ( and page authority) of the target URL.

The following is the DoFollow link HTML attribute –

<a rel="dofollow" href="">example alt text</a>


<a href="">example alt text</a>

The URL followed by href tag is the linked URL or the target URL. The text followed by is alt text that is visible to the user and clicking on which leads to the target URL.

The rel tag is what determines whether the link is DoFollow or not.

The ahref tag by default gives DoFollow link. It implies that if we do not use rel tag, the web crawler considers it as DoFollow link and thus passes the link juice.

Check out Schema markup SEO

What Is NoFollow Link In SEO –

By now, you may guess what NoFollow link is. Still I would do the formality.

NoFollow link consists of an attribute that restricts the web crawler from following the linked URL.

NoFolllow link “does not” passes link juice to target URL and thus it does not directly improve the page rank of the target URL.

Now you must be thinking that if NoFollow link does not passes any link juice and do not contributes to the page rank directly, then we must go for DoFollow li nks all the time. Right?

Wrong !!

Here is the reason why.

Why Both – NoFollow & DoFollow Links Are Essential?

The fact that NoFollow links do not contribute to the page rank would make you believe in the idea that all your backlinks should be DoFollow one.

But that is not something which any search engine would like. Instead it considers it as spammy.

So it is not a good idea to build DoFollow links alone. Instead, one needs to go after the combination of DoFollow link as well as NoFollow link.

The reason behind this approach is the fact that you want to build natural links in the eyes of the search engine. And the profile of ideal natural links is ought to consists of a combination of both the links i.e. DoFollow and NoFollow links.

It is generally said that the ideal proportion of DoFollow links to NoFollow should be between 60:40 and 80:20.

But I personally believe that it is very difficult to maintain the ratio in this range especially when your target URL is really getting natural inbound links.

Therefore being SEO professional we should keep an eye on this ratio and build the links in a way that balances it.

Here is a tool to check the DoFollow NoFollow link ratio.

The reason why both DoFollow and NoFollow links are essential is the fact that every search engine likes natural links and an ideally natural link profile would contain both the types of links.

During the link building process, our aim should be to follow the approach of Matt Cutts.

What Are The Benefits Of NoFollow Link –

Using NoFollow link not just serve the purpose of natural link building. Instead, it has got its own benefits as well.

There are multiple benefits of NoFollow. But the following are the major ones –

Traffic :

Link building comes with multiple advantages. One of the benefits is traffic. If your target URL is linked at some high traffic website with NoFollow tag, you will referral traffic. Even though such backlinks do not contribute to improving DA or PA, but these links ensure traffic which indirectly helps in improving keyword ranking.

Anchor Text :

Anchor text is the text of a backlink visible to the user. It is the word or character that hyperlink display when linking to any other web location. The anchor text acts as the indicator to search engine. It hints out the search engine that the hyperlink is related to the text you have put as the anchor text. This happens irrespective of the link being DoFollow or NoFollow. Therefore, NoFollow link with anchor text as your target keyword is beneficial in SEO.

Check out how to do SEO of ecommerce sites like Shopify SEO

How To Add NoFollow Or DoFollow Link?

Adding NoFollow Link

The HTML attribute for NoFollow link is rel =”nofollow”. The complete HTML attribute with anchor text for NoFollow is given below –

<a rel="nofollow" href="">example alt text</a>

Adding DoFollow Link

By default, every hyperlink is DoFollow one. Therefore, unlike NoFollow, you need not to add any attribute. So DoFollow link’s HTML attribute would look like as given below –

<a href="">example alt text</a>


Else you can add DoFollow attribute as follows –

<a rel="dofollow" href="">example alt text</a>

How To Identify NoFollow & DoFollow Link-

During the process of link building, we (SEO professionals) need to check whether any backlink is DoFollow or otherwise. The manual way to check any link on any web page is as follows –

  • Suppose you are on a webpage and you wish to confirm the type of a hyperlink on the very webpage.
  • To do so, select the anchor text of the link in question.
  • Right-click, and click on “View Page Source”. This will open the page source of the webpage in a new tab of the browser.
  • On this page source, search for the anchor text using ctrl+F.
  • It leads to the HTML attribute (a href tag) of the link wherein you will come to know the type of link from “rel” attribute used.
  • As mentioned above, if rel = nofollow is used then it conveys the hyperlink is NoFollow. Otherwise, it is DoFollow one.

Chrome Extension For Identifying NoFollow & DoFollow Link –

The above manual method of checking the type of hyperlink is cumbersome when you are studying the link building strategy of competitors or anything that includes going through multiple backlinks.

To save your efforts and time, I would like to suggest you one Google Chrome extension which automates the above process. Using it will avoid manual checking to know the type of backlink.

The name of the extension is – NoFollow

This extension highlights every hyperlink on any webpage which is NoFollow type as shown in fig below. Moreover, if any hyperlink is not highlighted, it confirms that the same link is DoFollow link.

The Highlighted Anchor Text With Red Colored border Is NoFollow Type

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