May 22, 2013 10:06:00 AM

Why NoFollow Links Matter

Posted by Jeanine Krzyzanowski

Find me on:

NoFollow | Why NoFollow Links Matter

A common misconception when it comes to search engine optimimization and link building, is that nofollow links do not provide any value when it comes to “passing link juice” and getting noticed and accounted for by Google’s algorithm. Simply put, this is not true.  After having several discussions with my clients on this topic, I decided to write an article to dispel this rumor.

Why Add nofollow Coding?

Websites add nofollow links on their site as a precaution against spam.  In the event webmasters cannot monitor every link on their site, adding nofollow is a precautionary measure they want to communicate to Google stating their site it edited by people outside the organization and the webmaster is not responsible for all the links and content on the page. The links and content the webmaster is responsible for will be coded as a followed link.

No-followed links, as stated above is a best practice for webmasters to ensure Google they are not a spammy website or link farm and their site is adhering to Google’s best practices against spam.  Having a link secured on a site that is a nofollow, is still important; still passing value through to the search engine’s algorithm. Just as Google is not supposed to “read” your Gmail, it still scans the content of your Gmail and serves up a fitting ad.  Google’s algorithm follows suit with nofollow links.

nofollow Links and Your Backlink Network

In the era of Penguin, manipulating your backlink network through “followed” links and pages with high Page Authority, Domain Authority or PageRank is something Google is aware of and has taken pro-active measures to counter act and penalize websites that manipulate the algorithm.  Rather than looking for that short-term win on a page with a PageRank of 7, opt for your links on relevant pages. Achieving a balance of follow and nofollow links and a variety of links on pages with a range of PageRanks within your backlink network will attribute to a more natural backlink network, which will reward you for years to come.

Social, Interactive Sites Are “No-Follow” – Yet Still Important to Google

Google’s Matt Cutts has gone on the record to state that Google values recent content and believe if people are talking about it, it must be important. Since Google is always enhancing the user experience and wants to serve their users the latest, most relevant content, the algorithm often looks to forums and other social sites to see what people are linking to, sharing, pinning or mentioning on social networks. While Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest  are nofollow, these social networks are still indexed in Google’s SERPs.

Please see examples below:


Example of Pinterest Link Indexed in Google | Why NoFollow Links Matter


Example of Twitter Link Indexed in Google



Example of Facebook Link Indexed in Google

Aside from social media sites, other examples of nofollow links getting indexed would be forums and Q&A sites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers.  Not only are Quora and Yahoo Answers and various nofollow forums indexed, but so are forum threads when a user types in a question into Google. See example below:


Example of Forum Thread Indexed in Google

Following the school of thought that nofollow links do not help your backlink network does not explain why Google would rank these nofollow sites.  Therefore, followed links do matter.

In House vs. Agency

Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Link Building & Acquisition

           comments powered by Disqus

Search Blog

Subscribe to Email Updates

Latest Posts

Most Popular Posts




"Teknicks was able to create, launch, and manage a fast paced social marketing link building campaign that helped to significantly improve Google rankings for a wide array of topic areas."

Director, Search Marketing


< View all>


Teknicks ClientLogos3 resized 179


as seen in resized 179