Digital Marketing

How to Implement a Nofollow Attribute

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Nofollow Attribute Video Tutorial Script

Today I am going to explain how to implement a NoFollow tag, and when you should consider using it.

What Does a NoFollow Attribute Do?

A NoFollow attribute is an instruction to the search engines, telling them that you don’t want to pass PageRank through a link. You should use it when you don’t want to vouch for the quality of the page receiving the link.

One commonly misunderstood aspect of a NoFollow attribute is what happens to the PageRank that would have flowed through that link. In reality, the PageRank is not redistributed through other links on the page; it is simply lost.

In addition, even though you NoFollow the link to a page, it may still be crawled, and it may still show up in a search engine’s index. In particular, this can happen if other pages link to that page without a NoFollow on those links.

For that reason, I don’t recommend implementing the NoFollow attribute on links that point to other pages on your own site. It’s best to use other tags if you feel that these pages are of poor quality.

How do you implement a NoFollow Attribute on a Link?

  1. Identify the pages and the links on those pages on which you want to place the NoFollow attribute. The attribute should be placed within the anchor tag, which is another name for the code for that link.
  2. Include the NoFollow attribute within your link code as shown below.
  3. Update the source page on your live web site.
Nofollow Example
<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>A Page We Don’t Control</a>

But wait, there’s more. There’s always more.

Just remember, we don’t recommend implementing the NoFollow on links to pages on your own site. NoFollow links are best used when linking to pages on other sites that you don’t want to pass PageRank to. For example, you’ll want to place a NoFollow if you have any ads on your site, or for links that people may place in forum or blog comments on your site.

Thank you.

More of Digital Marketing Classroom

For other tutorials in this series see: Digital Marketing Classroom.

About the Author

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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Thoughts on “How to Implement a Nofollow Attribute”

  1. Recently WordPress started adding noopener noreferrer tags automatically. Wish they had option for nofollow. Though its bit techical for normal folks, a simple hook in settings won’t hurt.

  2. I’ve never tried to “prove” it, but it’s a recurring theme in my work. Sites with quality nofollow links – and not much else – seem to do OK provided everything lines up in terms of quality, relevance, etc.

  3. It would be hard to prove, but it’s certainly possible that these links have some value. We know that they don’t pass PageRank, but that doesn’t mean they have no value at all.

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