Home / SEO Blog / Nofollow Backlinks: Introduction, Best Practices & How to Leverage

Nofollow Backlinks: Introduction, Best Practices & How to Leverage

Are you a digital marketer looking to boost your website's SEO performance? You've likely heard of the term "nofollow backlinks," but what exactly are they, and how can they impact your SEO strategy?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll demystify the world of nofollow backlinks, explain their significance, and provide actionable insights to help you make the most of them.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Nofollow Backlinks?
  2. The Difference Between Nofollow and Dofollow Backlinks
  3. Why Are Nofollow Backlinks Important?
  4. How to Identify Nofollow Backlinks
  5. Are Nofollow Backlinks Worth Pursuing?
  6. Strategies for Building Nofollow Backlinks
  7. Nofollow Backlinks and Link Diversity
  8. The Role of Nofollow Backlinks in SEO
  9. Common Mistakes to Avoid with Nofollow Backlinks
  10. Monitoring and Maintaining Nofollow Backlinks
  11. Conclusion
  12. FAQs

1. What Are Nofollow Backlinks?

Let's start with the basics. Nofollow backlinks are hyperlinks that include a specific HTML attribute known as "rel=nofollow." This attribute tells search engines not to follow the link to its destination. In other words, it signals that the linked page should not receive any SEO "juice" from the source page.

Nofollow backlinks are often used in situations where the website owner does not want to endorse or vouch for the linked content. For example, user-generated content, sponsored posts, and comments on blogs often contain nofollow links to prevent the manipulation of search engine rankings.

2. The Difference Between Nofollow and Dofollow Backlinks

To better understand nofollow backlinks, it's crucial to distinguish them from dofollow backlinks. Dofollow backlinks, as the name suggests, do not contain the "rel=nofollow" attribute. These links are the traditional type of backlinks that pass SEO authority from one page to another, potentially boosting search engine rankings.

Dofollow backlinks are considered more valuable in terms of SEO because they contribute directly to a website's link profile and can improve its search engine ranking. However, this doesn't mean that nofollow backlinks are entirely without merit.

3. Why Are Nofollow Backlinks Important?

You might wonder, "If nofollow backlinks don't pass SEO juice, are they even important?" The answer is yes. While they don't directly impact your website's search engine ranking, nofollow backlinks offer several valuable benefits:

  • Traffic Generation: Nofollow backlinks can drive relevant traffic to your website, increasing its visibility. Even though they don't pass link juice, people clicking on these links can still land on your site.

  • Diverse Link Profile: A mix of nofollow and dofollow backlinks appears more natural to search engines. It signals that your website is referenced by various sources, making it seem trustworthy.

  • Brand Exposure: Being mentioned on reputable websites, even with nofollow links, can enhance your brand's credibility. Users seeing your brand name in multiple places may be more inclined to trust your site.

4. How to Identify Nofollow Backlinks

Identifying nofollow backlinks is crucial for your SEO strategy. Fortunately, it's relatively easy. Here's how:

  • Inspect the HTML Code: Right-click on a link and select "Inspect" to view the code. Look for the "rel=nofollow" attribute in the link's HTML. If it's present, the link is nofollow.

  • Use Browser Extensions: There are browser extensions and online tools that can highlight nofollow links on a webpage. These tools can save you time when analyzing a page for nofollow backlinks.

  • Check Webmaster Tools: Platforms like Google Search Console can provide a list of nofollow links pointing to your site. This data can help you assess the impact of these links on your SEO performance.

5. Are Nofollow Backlinks Worth Pursuing?

Absolutely. While nofollow backlinks don't directly influence your site's ranking, they can still drive valuable traffic and improve your online presence. Moreover, building relationships with authoritative websites that offer nofollow links can lead to future opportunities for dofollow backlinks.

When considering whether to pursue a nofollow backlink opportunity, think beyond SEO and consider the potential traffic and branding benefits it may offer. A nofollow backlink on a high-traffic, relevant website can be a valuable asset.

6. Strategies for Building Nofollow Backlinks

Now that you understand the importance of nofollow backlinks, let's explore strategies for acquiring them:

  • Guest Blogging: Contribute high-quality content to authoritative websites within your niche, often resulting in nofollow backlinks. Focus on providing value to the readers, and you'll earn both traffic and credibility.

  • Social Media Engagement: Active participation on social platforms can lead to mentions and nofollow links. When sharing your content or insights, make sure it's valuable and shareable.

  • Online Communities: Join forums and communities relevant to your industry, where you can share your expertise and gain nofollow links. Be an active, helpful member of these communities to build trust.

  • Content Syndication: Republish your content on platforms like Medium, which allows nofollow links. This exposes your content to a broader audience and can drive traffic back to your website.

7. Nofollow Backlinks and Link Diversity

Diversity in your backlink profile is essential for a robust SEO strategy. Nofollow backlinks contribute to this diversity by showcasing your website's credibility and relevance across various online platforms.

In the eyes of search engines, a diverse backlink profile indicates that your website is a valuable resource with information relevant to different audiences. This diversity can indirectly improve your search engine rankings.

8. The Role of Nofollow Backlinks in SEO

While nofollow backlinks may not directly impact your website's ranking, they play an indirect but vital role in your overall SEO strategy. They contribute to your site's authority, traffic, and brand recognition, all of which can indirectly affect your search engine rankings.

Think of nofollow backlinks as a way to build a strong foundation for your website's SEO. They might not provide immediate results, but they can strengthen your site's overall online presence and credibility.

9. Common Mistakes to Avoid with Nofollow Backlinks

When pursuing nofollow backlinks, it's crucial to avoid some common mistakes:

  • Ignoring Nofollow Opportunities: Don't dismiss nofollow links outright; they can still bring value. Sometimes, websites that offer nofollow links today might provide dofollow links in the future.

  • Over-Optimization: Avoid overusing exact-match anchor texts in your nofollow backlinks. Using natural and varied anchor texts is essential for a healthy backlink profile.

  • Spammy Practices: Stay away from spammy link-building tactics, as they can harm your website's reputation. Quality matters more than quantity.

  • Neglecting Content Quality: Content linked from other websites, whether through dofollow or nofollow links, should be high-quality and valuable. Poor-quality content can deter potential visitors.

10. Monitoring and Maintaining Nofollow Backlinks

Once you've secured nofollow backlinks, your job isn't done. Regularly monitor and maintain them to ensure they remain active and relevant. Broken nofollow links or those pointing to low-quality websites should be disavowed to protect your site's SEO health.

Monitor the performance of your nofollow backlinks using tools like Google Analytics. Keep an eye on the traffic they generate and the engagement they bring. If you notice any issues, such as broken links or changes in the linking website's credibility, take action to rectify the situation.


In conclusion, nofollow backlinks may not have a direct impact on your website's search engine ranking, but they are far from insignificant. They can drive traffic, enhance your brand's visibility, and contribute to a diverse and healthy backlink profile. By understanding their importance and implementing effective strategies, digital marketers can harness the power of nofollow backlinks to improve their online presence.


1. Are nofollow backlinks completely useless for SEO?

No, nofollow backlinks are not useless. While they don't directly influence search engine rankings, they can drive valuable traffic and improve your website's authority and credibility.

2. Should I prioritize nofollow or dofollow backlinks?

Both types of backlinks have their value. It's essential to strike a balance between them to maintain a diverse and natural link profile.

3. Can I convert nofollow backlinks to dofollow?

Converting nofollow backlinks to dofollow is not within your control. It depends on the linking website's policies. Focus on building quality content and relationships to increase your chances of getting dofollow backlinks.

4. How can I find websites that offer nofollow backlink opportunities?

You can find such websites through guest blogging, social media engagement, and participation in online communities within your industry. Look for platforms that allow user-generated content.

5. Is it necessary to disavow bad nofollow backlinks?

Yes, it's essential to disavow bad nofollow backlinks to protect your website's reputation and SEO health. Use Google's Disavow Tool to submit a list of unwanted backlinks.

6. Are nofollow backlinks permanent?

Nofollow backlinks can remain active for an extended period, but websites may change their policies over time. It's a good practice to periodically check the status of your backlinks and update your strategy accordingly.

7. Can nofollow backlinks help with local SEO?

Yes, nofollow backlinks can contribute to local SEO efforts by increasing your online visibility and credibility within your local community or niche.

8. How can I measure the impact of nofollow backlinks on my website?

Use website analytics tools to track the traffic and engagement generated by nofollow backlinks. Look for improvements in website traffic, user engagement, and brand recognition as indicators of their impact.

9. What should I do if a website removes a nofollow backlink?

If a website removes a nofollow backlink, it's essential to reach out and inquire about the reason. In some cases, it might be a mistake or an oversight that can be corrected.

10. Are there any tools to automate the discovery of nofollow backlinks?

Yes, there are several SEO tools and extensions that can help automate the discovery of nofollow backlinks on a webpage. These tools can save you time when analyzing a site's link profile.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3

Power up your Google rankings