What is the "nofollow" attribute for outbound links, and when should you use it?

by laverna_hirthe , in category: SEO , 8 months ago

What is the "nofollow" attribute for outbound links, and when should you use it?

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1 answer


by drew , 8 months ago


The "nofollow" attribute is an HTML attribute used to instruct search engines not to follow or crawl a specific outbound link. It was introduced by Google in 2005 to combat spam and prevent the manipulation of search engine rankings.

Using the "nofollow" attribute on a link tells search engines not to pass any authority or "link juice" from your website to the linked page. This means that the linked page is not likely to benefit in terms of search engine rankings from that particular link.

You should consider using the "nofollow" attribute for outbound links in the following scenarios:

  1. Paid or sponsored links: If you have been paid to place a link on your site or if it is part of a sponsorship agreement, it is recommended to add the "nofollow" attribute. This helps ensure that you are not violating search engine guidelines regarding paid links.
  2. User-generated content: When users are allowed to post content on your website, such as comments or forum posts, it is wise to add the "nofollow" attribute to avoid any potential spam issues. This can discourage spammers from targeting your site for the purpose of gaining backlinks.
  3. Untrusted or unverified links: If you are unsure about the trustworthiness of the website you are linking to, it is safer to add the "nofollow" attribute. This prevents your website from being associated with potentially harmful or low-quality sites.

It's important to note that the "nofollow" attribute does not guarantee that search engines won't follow the link entirely. While most major search engines adhere to this attribute, some may still choose to follow the link, though they won't pass any authority from your site to the linked page.