Follow vs No Follow - is there a consensus?

18 replies
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Hi,

As a newbie, I'm been soaking up all the great knowledge here by a boatload. One question that I have is this: What is the final verdict on follow vs no follow backlinks (if one exists)?

I understand the general advice - go for plenty of follow backlinks, since those are the ones google cares about and actually counts as a backlink, bumping your google rank.

Yet, there are experts here that say - follow/no follow doesn't matter, simply go for links with highest quality (high PR). The logic behind it is two fold:

1. Yahoo and bing don't care about follow/no follow status and count everything as backlinks.
2. For a site to have only follow backlinks is very suspicious, so Google might actually ding you for having only "follow" backlinks to your site.

Can you weight in on this discussion? What should we focus on? What gives us the bigger boost in the ranking?

High quality links with no regard to follow/no follow rules, or just a boatload of follow links (with perhaps lower quality PR)?

Thanks
#consensus #follow
  • Profile picture of the author BudgetSEO
    Do-follow increase your link power and PR in long run, however a no-follow from a high traffic page increases the chances of visitors clicking your link resulting in increased conversions (it depends if they convert).
    I like it short & precise
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  • Profile picture of the author John Williamson
    I prefer to get both types, not really because it looks 'natural' as everyone preaches, but more because I'm of the mind that nofollow links are not completely worthless. Many, however, think they are worthless, and to that I say "More links for me..."
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  • Originally Posted by MarkSveik View Post

    High quality links with no regard to follow/no follow rules, or just a boatload of follow links (with perhaps lower quality PR)?
    Boatload of "follow" links > high quality links that contain a lot of nofollow.

    The "experts" claiming that you shouldn't worry about do/nofollow just keep spreading this misinformation so they get easier rankings and the rest of the herd just follows and re-iterates what they've read instead of just testing it themselves. Sounds like a conspiracy but I've seen this happen over and over again. Neither does a nofollow link pass any PR or ranking value, nor does it help with passing anchor text. It can be great though to get traffic/human visitors.

    Yes, Yahoo and Bing might think differently about nofollow but are you trying to rank there or in Google? Probably the latter, since it holds the vast majority of traffic. Of course it would be stupid to ignore Y/B but still, you'll be focusing the bulk of your efforts on getting to rank in G.

    It's debatable if a mix of do/nofollow makes your link profile look more "natural" and this debate will probably never end so without taking sides I'll just say what works for me and my clients: Concentrating on "dofollow" as much as possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
      Originally Posted by BacklinkExcellence View Post

      Boatload of "follow" links > high quality links that contain a lot of nofollow.

      The "experts" claiming that you shouldn't worry about do/nofollow just keep spreading this misinformation so they get easier rankings and the rest of the herd just follows and re-iterates what they've read instead of just testing it themselves. Sounds like a conspiracy but I've seen this happen over and over again. Neither does a nofollow link pass any PR or ranking value, nor does it help with passing anchor text. It can be great though to get traffic/human visitors.

      Yes, Yahoo and Bing might think differently about nofollow but are you trying to rank there or in Google? Probably the latter, since it holds the vast majority of traffic. Of course it would be stupid to ignore Y/B but still, you'll be focusing the bulk of your efforts on getting to rank in G.

      It's debatable if a mix of do/nofollow makes your link profile look more "natural" and this debate will probably never end so without taking sides I'll just say what works for me and my clients: Concentrating on "dofollow" as much as possible.
      Nofollow links don't pass "ranking value"? Lol, now that's a first.
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      • Originally Posted by Mike Grant View Post

        Nofollow links don't pass "ranking value"? Lol, now that's a first.
        Just test it yourself. Slap up a new site and hammer it with nofollow links, nothing is going to happen. You might dance but the site won't settle in at higher positions.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
          Originally Posted by BacklinkExcellence View Post

          Just test it yourself. Slap up a new site and hammer it with nofollow links, nothing is going to happen. You might dance but the site won't settle in at higher positions.
          I have tried it and they have worked.
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          • Originally Posted by Mike Grant View Post

            I have tried it and they have worked.
            I think what the OP was looking for was some experience from anyone that has tried it and the above is exactly the answer everyone here is looking for. I know I sure was

            Thanks for that.
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            • Profile picture of the author paulgl
              When the talk about nofollow comes up, people start talking about
              "value" and then the crazyness starts. There is value. No doubt.

              But bing/yahoo readily recognize the tag, so not sure why people still
              think otherwise.

              nofollow has nothing to do with anything except passing PR. That's it.

              It has nothing to do with value, being seen, or indexed. Twitter is an
              example of a place with nofollow that can be golden.

              Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by Mike Grant View Post

            I have tried it and they have worked.

            You say that all the time and then run away when asked for proof. go ahead show us the site thats ranking on nofollow links. Can't or won't do it then its just talk. The conspiracy theorists that google is lying about not following the links have the burden of proof.
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        • Profile picture of the author sgsmorgan
          Originally Posted by BacklinkExcellence View Post

          Just test it yourself. Slap up a new site and hammer it with nofollow links, nothing is going to happen. You might dance but the site won't settle in at higher positions.
          Sadly there have been too many exercise that have shown just this. One by a fairly well respected IM Marketer actually showed that useing just nothing but nofollow links to a selection of keyphrases took them to No 1 in Google.

          The trouble is that Google have skewed the landscape so badly and gerrymandered it beyond belief that in an attempt to make their sites "google slap proff" all sorts of sites suddenly made their outbound links "nofollow". Does this make the links coming from these sites suddenly worthless overnight? I don't think so either.

          I found a PR 4 Nofollow link last Tuesday, created two links and imagine my surprise when I found it amongst the backlinks report for the site in question in Webmaster Tools of all places by Friday!

          The mantra following the Panda Update has to be "Quality" and "Variety" above everything else in all areas. So more quality content and links and much more variety in the number and range of Back Links.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by sgsmorgan View Post

            Sadly there have been too many exercise that have shown just this. One by a fairly well respected IM Marketer actually showed that useing just nothing but nofollow links to a selection of keyphrases took them to No 1 in Google.
            this has been hashed on this board at least ten times in the last year.Almost every study I have seen on this has been bogus and the study did not look at all the backlinks . People will follow backlinks and that some times does lead to natural backlinks.

            the consensus among SEO professionals wis without question except in Internet marketers. Multiple tests including the now abandoned practice of link sculpting have shown that nofollowed links do not work for ranking and the tag works pretty much as it is designed to.
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  • Profile picture of the author minisite
    Use both NoFollow and DoFollow so your link looks natural to the Big G. But there is no harm in doing more DoFollow links than NoFollow links.
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  • Profile picture of the author Diane S
    Originally Posted by MarkSveik View Post

    What is the final verdict on follow vs no follow backlinks (if one exists)?
    There is no consensus, nor will there ever be. Test for yourself and draw your own conclusions, then act accordingly.
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    • Originally Posted by Diane S View Post

      There is no consensus, nor will there ever be. Test for yourself and draw your own conclusions, then act accordingly.
      Yeah, this is really the answer to this thread. Thanks Diane.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I have wikipedia nofollow backlinks that kick a$$!

    As far as seo, I wouldn't trade my free wiki links for anything!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I have wikipedia nofollow backlinks that kick a$$!

      As far as seo, I wouldn't trade my free wiki links for anything!
      Sorry Yukon same goes for you too. prove it. you have the burden of proof. What I will say is that getting links on wikipedia will give you a higher awareness and others will link to you because they perceive you as an authority site.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbhyip
    Get both. I still have not come across a bad backlink.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexSafie
    If a link is no follow then Google bots will not follow it, a program is a program it does what the algorithm says, nothing more and nothing less, and you will not get any benefit from that link in terms of ranking.

    But if that link is in a high traffic site then you might get visitors from it.

    So it's true, there are no bad backlinks.
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