dofollow backlink
Updated 1/23/2024

What is a dofollow backlink?

Imagine backlinks like votes your website gets from other websites. Dofollow links are like strong recommendations, telling search engines to visit your website and see why it's worth ranking higher. They act like a boost, pushing your website up in search results like Google. No special tags like "nofollow" or "sponsored" hold them back, making them the most valuable type of link you can get.

Before we can fully understand what a dofollow backlink is, it is best that we understand what a backlink is and what it does for your SEO.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is simply a link from one website to another website. Backlinks are also called incoming links or inbound links. In essence, these links generate traffic to your website as they direct users from other websites to yours. They are one of the major factors that search engines like Google use to determine how high your site ranks in searches.

SEO is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. These results are not paid for. Therefore, you need to work on making your site more visible by using methods such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

The most important thing you can do when working on improving your rankings is to get more backlinks pointing to your site. 

Why are backlinks important?

A backlink is a link that connects one website to another. This is also known as an inbound link, inbound link, incoming link, or inward link. 

Backlinks serve as a vote of confidence from one site to another. Search engines interpret backlinks as a signal that others vouch for the quality of your content. 

The more backlinks you have from quality sites, the more authoritative search engines believe your site to be. 

This leads to higher rankings on SERPs for your target keywords. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean you’ll rank higher for any given keyword. Google uses more than 200 different factors when evaluating websites for its search engine results pages (SERPs), and nobody knows what they all are. But most SEO experts agree that backlinks are a significant ranking factor.

Dofollow backlink explanation

A dofollow link is a link that helps in terms of search engine optimization by passing the authority of the origin site to the destination site. This passing of authority is called, “link juice.” Acquiring dofollow backlinks will help improve a website’s domain authority, or domain rating, which in turn, helps to improve keyword ranking.

Dofollow links are not only important for SEO purposes, but also for a site’s overall traffic and referral rates. If a website has a high number of keywords ranking on the first page of Google, it will inevitably be found more often by people looking for information related to that topic.

A standard link is a dofollow link, here is an example: <a href=””>Website design and marketing company</a>

What is a nofollow backlink?

Website users cannot tell whether a link is dofollow or nofollow, but search engine bots can. A link containing the attribute rel=“nofollow” tells search engine bots not to follow it and not to pass on any PageRank.

The primary reason for using the nofollow attribute is to manage user-generated content. For example, if you have a blogging platform that allows users to drop links in comments, these links are often low quality or spammy. To keep them from negatively impacting your website’s ranking, you could use the nofollow tag in the comment section code.

Another common use of the nofollow attribute is when you want to link out to pages without giving them any SEO value. For example, you might want to link out to Wikipedia but don’t want to help boost its ranking. In this case, you would add a nofollow attribute to that link.

An example of a nofollow backlink is <a rel=”nofollow” href=””>Website design and marketing company</a>

When should you use a nofollow backlink?

Pages you don’t want to endorse

Sometimes you simply need to link to websites that you don’t want to endorse. For example, if your competitor has content that would benefit the user but you don’t want to improve their SEO score.

You may also wish not to link to sites that could offend some users, such as gambling websites. If a user found their way to your site via a nofollow backlink, they should be able to do what they need without running into issues with your website’s owner.

Sponsored links

Sponsored links are an important part of the way the web works. They allow businesses to advertise their products on other sites, and they allow webmasters to make money by referring traffic.

But you can’t just pay someone to link to your site! Doing so goes against Google’s guidelines, and could get you penalized in search results. So how do you reward someone for linking to you without getting caught? By using a nofollow link.

The nofollow tag tells Google not to use that link when calculating a page’s SEO value, or PageRank. This is why most sponsored content and advertising links use the nofollow tag – it keeps them safe from Google’s algorithms.

Are nofollow backlinks bad?

A nofollow link is a link that does not pass any “link juice” to the destination URL. Put another way, you won’t receive any boost in rankings from a nofollow link.

Nofollow links are common in blogs and other sites that allow for user-generated content. They’re also frequently used on sites with limited resources or time to spend on monitoring the quality of their inbound links.

So why do people still get nofollow links? Well, it’s not all about SEO; just because a link doesn’t pass authority or juice doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. You can turn nofollow links into new relationships, brand mentions, traffic and more.

If your site is purely SEO-focused, then yes: Ignore nofollow links and focus only on dofollow links. If your site has other goals besides increasing search engine rankings, then acquiring nofollow links is not a bad thing. Although you do not get the full SEO benefits of a dofollow link, nofollow links can generate traffic to your website, as well as diversify your backlink portfolio. A natural backlink profile consists of a distribution of both dofollow and nofollow backlinks.

Picture of Charles Burns

Charles Burns

Founder of Five Rivers Marketing, specializing in building professional websites & effective SEO Strategies.

Table of Contents

seo company in dayton