Freshmen in the world of SEO are constantly asking themselves this type of question; as a rule, they try to define concrete differences between these two. Therefore, if you are only making first steps towards the mythical land of SEO, the following blog will definitely help you out.
What are Follow links?
To begin with, we would like you to understand the basic principles and functions of links in the SEO world. When the web-page has incoming links (hyperlinks that redirect to a given we-page), it receives a bit of SEO “impulse”. In other words, this link represents certain points that web-sites get. The more points you have, the higher your SEO popularity, ratings, and reputation.
Google, in particular, thoroughly observes this parameter. By analyzing the amount of incoming links and resources, from which users were redirected, Google has a clear picture about every web-site. To put it differently, Google has one simple and straightforward principle: “If a particular web-page has a high traffic of users, it is interesting for Internet community”. As a result, the system gives such web-resources priorities over other ones. This is basically the predominant goal of Google: provide its users with quality and useful content.
In order to be able to count the amount of points, Google has developed the service called “PageRank”. These points, in general, determine the “linking power” of a web-page. This power is transferred from one sites to another by the means of hyperlinks. The more authoritative web-resource is, the more “linking power” it imposes. Furthermore, to get linking points from web-giants like BBC or New York Times is one of the biggest dreams of every owner.
In other words, follow links are the equivalent of points. Their main functions are:
- determine the “linking power”
- increase the rating in “RageRank”
- help web-resources get higher positions in searching engines
What are No Follow links?
No Follow links are the opposite of Follow links. They do not come across as points, have nothing to do with your ratings in “RageRank”, and do not affect your leading positions in SERPs. Consequently, these links are perceived to be negative and harmful for any web-resource.
This type of links is created with the help of tag nofollow link HTML. Moreover, this is how it looks: <ahref=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>LinkText</a>. The mentioned tag tells the system that a given link doesn’t have anything to do with the “linking power” or points.
If nofollow links are worthless, why do people use them? It turns out that there is a precise reason.
The world of SEO without No Follow links?
As we mentioned earlier, the links containing word “follow” are used by Google to determine ratings in “RageRank”. It goes without saying that Google’s main aim is to detect the most valuable and quality web-resources. A big amount of links, in fact, increases the linking mass of your web-resources, which helps to gain profitable positions in a given search engine.
However, living in an imperfect world of SEO, we constantly encounter some deceivers that try to fool the system using a whole range of tricks. “Black hat” and unethical methods are among those tricks. Before nofollow links, SEO optimizations was the only way to promote your web-resource by the artificial usage of inexistent links.
The real chaos came when hackers using the method of “black hat” got an access to “RageRank”. The attention towards links increased tremendously; high linking power implied profitable positions in search engines, bring inconceivableincomes and popularity to owners. As a result, spam started to capture the World Wide Web. With the help of meaningless comments, deceivers tried to increase their artificial popularity; the phenomenon called “self-promotion”.
Even Wikipedia got affected by these tricks. On thousands of pages, hackers posted their ads with pointless content.
Such tendency caused a big panic among bloggers – hackers destroyed real competition and exchange of useful information. A lot of people were simply discouraged to take up “blogging” (because of this phenomenon).
It is still unknown how the story would end, if Google didn’t make a crucial move. Luckily, Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen introduced the idea of “nofollow”.
No Follow was the only way to cure the “disturbing disease” of that time
Tags with No Follow emphasized the imperfection of SEO world; however, without them it was impossible to solve this problem.
No Follow links brought a lot of benefit to Internet community – most of spammers stopped their activity and SEO world became much “clearer”. Due to this, the system of WordPress started to give all of its users, who post comments, the attribute of “nofollow links”; the same tool was applied by Wikipedia.
Even though there were still some spammers throughout the World Wide Web, its overall quantity did significantly drop.
Thereby, it is worth remembering which links should be made active and which -not. No Follow links are:
- prepaid links (it is unfair to buy reputation)
- commentary links
- forum links
- everything that Google calls “unchecked links”
Some moderators turn “nofollow” off on purpose; by doing this, they show the importance of input that they get from their users. For instance, those users that take active part in discussions and post useful information. However, this is an individual issue.
Is it worth using No Follow?
Keeping in mind, that No Follow links do bring some benefit to web-resources; it is all due to referral traffic.
Informative comment or relative post – doesn’t matter whether it is follow or no follow – can attract a lot of attention from Internet community and seriously improve your conversion.
Apart from this, search engines not only value the importance of “RageRanks” and linking power, but many other factors. Thus, the signals coming from Twitter and Facebook are incredibly vital as well (even though they are nofollow).
Therefore, you don’t have to think about the kinds of links that Google prefers; instead, analyze the links that yield the biggest possible amount of profit for your business or web-firm. Keep in mind that both types of links make your web-resource more reliable in the eyes of search engines.
It is still actual to buy links in Wikipedia. Bear in mind, though, that Wikipedia is extremely selective when it comes to links; thereby requiring you to offer something unique and out of ordinary.
Once Gianluca Fiorelli (from IloveSEO) in the process of analyzing different sites that were created to tell about the beauty of Patagonia, figured out that Wikipedia had references to first positions of Google search engine. Having followed the link, he learnt that a given web-resource is dedicated to the migration of Welsh people to Patagonia. Then, Gianluca started contemplating what was the reason behind all of this. Through laborious analysis, he understood that most of traffic doesn’t come from Wikipedia; it comes from BBC that posted the link in one of its reports.
The lesson out of this story is simple: Wikipedia can help you attract not only “no follow” links, but a great bunch of priceless “do follow” ones that come from Internet-giants like BBC.
How to define the type of a link?
In order to understand to which group a given link is predisposed, you have to make use of the following services.
If you have Google Chrome, you may check this by clicking right button on your mouse and choosing thesection called “Code of page”. The same analogy implies to Firefox. In an appearing box, type “no follow”; all relevant results will be presented.
SEO-professionals, who want to use simpler and faster methods of getting links, may use more specific services. Having downloaded them, types of links will be automatically shown as you open the page.
While choosing between two groups of links, keep in mind that you have to keep the balance in a linking mass; that’s why you have to work on both types.
If you are interested in learning the best possible way to get follow links, try being sincere and honest. Create quality, useful, breathtaking, and informative content; that’s the only way to get real referrals. In addition to this, you may try posting information in relevant blogs or forums. Such actions will definitely bring you some additional traffic and give a strong SEO-impulse.