Understanding the Distinction: Dofollow vs. Nofollow Backlinks


When it comes to the world of backlinks, there are two primary types that you should be familiar with: do-follow and nofollow. These distinctions may seem technical at first, but understanding the difference between them is crucial for implementing an effective backlink strategy. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of do-follow and no-follow backlinks, shedding light on how they impact your website’s visibility and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Dofollow Backlinks

Let’s start with do follow backlinks. As the name suggests, these links allow search engines to follow them and pass on their authority and relevance to the linked website. In other words, do-follow backlinks are like open doors that invite search engine crawlers to explore the linked pages and consider them as valuable signals in determining search rankings.

From an SEO perspective, do-follow backlinks are highly coveted. When reputable and authoritative websites link back to your content using do follow links, search engines view it as a strong endorsement. These endorsements can significantly impact your website’s authority, improve its search engine rankings, and drive more organic traffic.

Nofollow Backlinks

On the other hand, we have nofollow backlinks. Unlike do-follow links, nofollow links contain an attribute called “rel=nofollow” in their HTML code. This attribute tells search engines not to follow the link and not to pass on any authority or relevance to the linked website. In simple terms, it’s like adding a “no entry” sign for search engine crawlers.

You might wonder why nofollow backlinks exist if they don’t contribute to SEO directly. Well, nofollow links were introduced to combat spam and prevent the abuse of backlinks for manipulative SEO practices. They are commonly used for user-generated content, such as blog comments or forum posts, where the website owner wants to avoid being associated with any potential low-quality or irrelevant content.

While nofollow links don’t pass on SEO juice, they still have value. They can drive referral traffic to your website, allowing users who come across the link to click through and explore your content. Additionally, a healthy mix of both do-follow and no-follow links can create a natural and diverse backlink profile, which is more favorable to search engines.

Determining the Link Type

You may be wondering how to identify whether a backlink is a dofollow or nofollow. The easiest way is to examine the HTML code of the linking website. If the link contains the “rel=nofollow” attribute, it’s a nofollow link. Otherwise, if the attribute is absent, the link is a do-follow link. However, keep in mind that some websites may use automated systems or plugins that automatically add the nofollow attribute to all external links, so manual inspection is necessary in such cases.

Balancing the Backlink Profile

When building your backlink profile, it’s important to maintain a balance between do-follow and no-follow links. While do-follow links carry more weight in terms of SEO benefits, a natural and diverse profile that includes both types of links appears more authentic to search engines. Additionally, a mix of nofollow links from reputable sources can still bring valuable referral traffic and exposure to your website.


Dofollow and nofollow backlinks play distinct roles in SEO and should be understood and utilized strategically. Dofollow links contribute to your website’s authority and search engine rankings, while nofollow links help with referral traffic and maintaining a diverse backlink profile. By incorporating a balanced mix of both types, you can enhance your website’s visibility, attract targeted traffic, and establish a strong online presence. So, when it comes to backlinks, remember to embrace the power of both do-follow and no-follow links to maximize the benefits of your SEO efforts.

As you embark on your backlink-building journey, keep in mind that the quality of the linking website is paramount. Regardless of whether a link is do-follow or no-follow, securing backlinks from reputable and authoritative sources should be your primary focus. Look for websites that are relevant to your industry or niche, have a strong online presence, and demonstrate a genuine interest in providing valuable content to their audience.

When reaching out to website owners or content creators for backlink opportunities, it’s essential to clearly communicate the value your content brings. Highlight the relevance and quality of your content, showcasing how it can benefit their readers and enhance their own content. By building relationships and offering value to others, you increase your chances of earning both dofollow and nofollow backlinks from trusted sources.

It’s worth noting that while do-follow links have a more direct impact on SEO, a well-rounded backlink profile with a mix of nofollow links can provide other benefits. These include increased brand visibility, exposure to new audiences, and the potential for amplification through social media and other channels. Nofollow links can still generate valuable referral traffic and contribute to your overall online reputation.

Remember, the key to a successful backlink strategy lies in maintaining a natural and diverse profile. Focus on earning high-quality do-follow links from authoritative sources, but also embrace the value of no-follow links in terms of referral traffic and building relationships within your industry. By striking the right balance and consistently pursuing ethical and organic backlink acquisition, you can enhance your website’s visibility, credibility, and ultimately, its success in the competitive world of SEO.

In conclusion, understanding the distinction between do-follow and no-follow backlinks is essential for optimizing your SEO efforts. Dofollow links pass on authority and relevance to your website, impacting search engine rankings, while nofollow links contribute to referral traffic and maintain a diverse backlink profile. By incorporating both types strategically and focusing on quality and relevance, you can strengthen your website’s online presence and reap the benefits of a robust backlink strategy.

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