Have you ever seen those game shows where contestants have to find the designer’s product in a sea of knockoffs? My favorite part is watching the contestants squint to examine the products. One, because I love game shows, but also because you can’t tell the difference at first glance. Well nofollow links are something like that. You can’t tell them apart from normal links just by looking at them.
As Google continues to prioritize links in its ranking criteria, keeping track of them should be on your SEO to-do list. So how do you check nofollow links and add them to your web pages? All those answers, and more, below.
<h2>What is a nofollow link?</h2> Whenever you hyperlink in text, that link goes inside an HTML tag. A nofollow link is an attribute within the tag that tells Google to ignore the link when crawling the page. This is often used in comment sections, forums, and more recently sponsored links. This is important because links have a huge impact on search engine rankings. And whether you're linking internally or externally, doing so tells Google that the landing page is valuable. This, in turn, can increase the ranking of the page, it is called "link juice". The better your link building, the better your chances of getting a higher ranking. So when you tell Google to ignore a link, the landing page won't get any links. For example, let's say a food blogger uploads a blog post. The blogger can add a nofollow attribute to the comment section to tell Google, "Hey, any links included here are not associated with me and I am not responsible for them." With Google hardening its<a rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" href="https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/qualify-outbound-links"> link requirements</a>, it is important that brands understand how they work.
How to know if a link is nofollow
To find a nofollow link, you can take one of two routes: Use a tool that does it for you (go to that section here) or see for yourself. For DIY option, here are the steps:
2. Hold down Command + F or Ctrl + F to search for “nofollow” in your code.
3. Scroll to find the highlighted nofollow attributes. It should look something like this:
How to make a Nofollow link
Creating a nofollow link is as simple as adding rel = “nofollow” to the anchor tag within the HTML code. If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. Here’s the breakdown: the code for a normal hyperlink looks like this:
Linked text goes here
When you add a nofollow link attribute, the attribute will go between the destination URL and the linked text, like so:
Linked text goes here
Here is an example using the HubSpot blog:
Head over to the HubSpot blog
Once you have the link, you can add it to the appropriate section of the source code in your content management system (CMS).
How to make a Nofollow link in WordPress
When making a nofollow link in WordPress, you have two options: manually enter one in the HTML code or use a plugin. Find the steps for each below.
Make a Nofollow link in WordPress manually
1. Select the anchor text to which you want to add a link.
2. Click the link symbol to add a link to the field.
3. Click on the three dots and select “Edit HTML”.
4. Add the attribute rel = “nofollow” and you are good to go.
If you are using an older version of WordPress, you may need to access the source code through the “Text” tab.
Then manually add the nofollow attribute.
Once done, go back to the “Virtual” tab and continue editing the post.
Make a Nofollow link in WordPress with a plugin
When making a nofollow link with a plugin, the steps will vary depending on the plugin you install. However, here is an example of how it works with the “All in One SEO for WordPress” plugin.
1. Start by downloading the plug-in and activating it.
2. Create or edit a post or page.
3. In the edit text box, select the anchor text and click the link symbol.
4. Paste the destination link in the field.
5. In the same box, you will also see additional options for the link, including the option “Add ‘nofollow’ to link”.
6. Make sure this option is selected and ready.
<h2>Nofollow link verification tools </h2>
This free Google Chrome extension, created by SEO Moz software company, highlights all nofollow links on a page with one click. It also tracks internal and external followed links, as well as keywords on the page. MozBar identifies each type of link by color, making it easy to quickly scan the page and find what you’re looking for. One thing to keep in mind when using the extension is that the nofollow links in the dropdown menus will not appear as you scroll down. You will have to click on the menu to reveal the nofollow links. Confused? See the GIF below.
With Varvy’s free nofollow tool, finding nofollow links is as simple as entering the page URL and clicking “Try.” It doesn’t offer a visual picture of where the nofollow links are on the page, but it tells you how many there are. This is one of the easiest ways to get an idea of how many nofollow links you have. From there, you will need to find other tools to take your next steps.
NoFollow is a free extension available at Chrome and Firefox. Similar to MozBar, it identifies nofollow links on the page and highlights them using a box of red dots. As long as the extension is active, it will work on every page you visit without being prompted. As with MozBar, if a link below a dropdown has a nofollow attribute, you won’t see it until you click the dropdown. So, think of yourself as a contestant on a game show. To win the SEO game, you need to take a closer look at your website links. This will keep you on the good side of Google and increase your chances of landing (and staying) on the first page of the SERP.