Google is pretty quick with updates and continuously working on its search engine to become more efficient and respond with high quality and relevant results within seconds. The major reason why Google keeps updating itself is because it wants to stay as the number one search engine for users.
Google till date has come up with around 25 Panda and several Penguin updates and there are tons of websites that got hit by these penalties and were eliminated from search engine listings. These penalties have created a great amount of chaos in the online marketing world and there are webmasters and business owners who started using different tactics to either stay away from those updates or lift the penalty as quickly as possible.
The main thing that has changed as a result of these updates is the way people were building links in the past. Now, people are leaving behind the list of directories, blog comments, and forum links, they are moving towards some better and quality tactics like link baiting, guest blogging, ego baiting and more.
While researching different websites, I have seen a common misunderstanding which is related to building nofollow links. There was a time before Penguin and Panda when people used to hate nofollow links and mostly avoided them but after these updates there are people who are into building lots of no-follow links and they think it will help them rank better in SERPs.
Myths about Nofollow Link
In the post Panda and Penguin world you will still see people have misconceptions and myths when it comes to no-follow link. Here are few of them!
- It Improves Rankings
One of the most common misconceptions people have in mind is that nofollow links passes link juice or they help with rankings in SERPs.The major difference between nofollow and dofollow link is that dofollow link passes a link juice whereas nofollow link has no such attribute.
Matt Cutts in one of his blog post clearly stated that:
“[*] Nofollow links definitely don’t pass PageRank. Over the years, I’ve seen a few corner cases where a nofollow link did pass anchortext, normally due to bugs in indexing that we then fixed. The essential thing you need to know is that nofollow links don’t help sites rank higher in Google’s search results.”
- Nofollow Links And Natural Link Profile
This is a little more complex. I do agree to a great extent that natural link profile is exactly what Google is looking for but saying that nofollow link will help you create a natural link profile does not seem true to me.
Nofollow link, if coming from obvious websites like Wikipedia, Quora and other similar websites is great but if every Tom, Dick, or Harry website started to nofollow the links that are pointing towards your website, it will hurt you instead of helping your brand.
I believe natural link profile comes from diversification of links that are pointing to your website, nofollow links can be a small part of it but saying that nofollow links can help you build a natural link profile is simply not true.
Nofollow Link: A Question over Value!
If everything that people believe about nofollow links is a myth, then the logical question is “What is the REAL value of a no-follow link?”
Actually there are multiple reasons why I would love to have nofollow links and actually spend time to get one! Here are few reasons why no-follow link contain value:
- It Promotes Content
Nofollow link simply does not help you with rankings but it is visible to visitors and they can click on the link to shift towards your website. Nofollow link actually helps you promote your content (website) and allows it to get viewed by a wider audience. This activity can also help your website in terms of more sales and leads for the business.
- It Opens Door For Natural Links
Nofollow link on an authority website like Wikipedia opens door for more natural links. Most people when writing articles on some topic that usually use the sources available at Wikipedia, if you will be able to add your link as a source on Wikipedia you will get the chance to catch the searchers attention and some natural links that points back to your website.
Although a link from Wikipedia is a no-follow link but that one link can lead to multiple links that help you with rankings.
- It Helps You Build Relationships
Blog Comment links on almost all big and respectable blogs are nofollowed and there is no ranking value of it but still it is important as it can help you build relationships with other link minded people in your industry.
Moz blog comment section is the live example of it, people are really active there and regular valuable comments can help you get noticed and build relationship accordingly.
- It Helps You Bring Referral Leads
Nofollow links are amazing as they can offer you some great leads for your business. All you have to do is to hunt for some quality and heavy traffic blogs within your niche and then try to get visible link from that website (no matter nofollow). When traffic will be able to see the link, they will more likely to move to your website and possibly convert in to leads for your business.
There surely are many pros that can define the value of nofollow link and why you should invest your time on getting a nofollow links from high authority and quality websites but the ones I have discussed are the most important ones!
Next time, when grabbing a link, (nofollow) don’t consider only rankings but as a whole think about how it can be valuable for your business.