The Silver Lining of Nofollow Links

For those of you that either own or operate a website on top of your core profession, you will be all too familiar with the never-ending challenge of learning about technical matters in addition to the ever-changing SEO requirements. Honestly, as much you think you know, there is always more information and expertise to soak up.

Generating Website Traffic

But before you go diving headfirst into advanced SEO principles, first you have to start with the basics. When you are trying to develop a website that generates traffic through search results, you have to increase your PageRank and domain authority by obtaining backlinks (links to your site from others).

Gathering Backlinks

The first challenge is that the links should ideally be coming from sites with higher SEO metrics than yours. This can be achieved through demonstrating your expertise by sharing informative articles and guides, within which you will include backlinks to your site. Beyond this step is the more difficult aspect experienced by SEO consultants.

Follow vs. Nofollow

You see, not all links are created equal. Using HTML code, webmasters and publishers have the power to designate your links as either ‘follow’ or ‘nofollow’. The latter of those two codes will essentially mean that Google will not count the links towards your PageRank or domain authority. However, this outcome can be avoided in advance by discussing the matter with the webmaster.

Finding the Silver Lining

Admittedly, it doesn’t get any easier when you see a ‘nofollow’ link to your site. You can’t help but feel frustrated that the internet can be such an untrustworthy place that people veil slights behind HTML code. Nevertheless, you can find a silver lining to backlinks because of these factors:

  •    Convert large followings into profit – Even if you receive a nofollow link in an article, the reviewer could send traffic towards your product. In the case of social media, hundreds of followers could discover your brand based on a single review.
  •    Develop second-wave backlinks – If you manage to have a piece of content shared in the form of a ‘nofollow’ link, it is possible that users could potentially share it and also provide you with a ‘follow’ link. For instance, a popular Twitter user could potentially share an article among hundreds of eager bloggers. That exposure will open up new opportunities.
  •    Develop trust – That lack of trust that was mentioned earlier could be the reason why you have to settle for a ‘nofollow’ link. But perhaps a second piece of content will be enough to earn the trust of a webmaster and subsequently obtain a ‘follow’ link in an item of content.

Making the Best of It

To be honest, accepting ‘nofollow’ links will always be a case of making the best of a bad situation. SEO hippies will exaggerate huge benefits, but the fact of the matter is that you’ve missed out on a valuable backlink and that’s frustrating. However, what you do need to do is find the positive and continue trying to develop your website. You will never get anywhere by scrutinising every missed opportunity.

This post was written by Christian Abbas, an SEO consultant at Prime Digital.

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