Should I use rel nofollow attribute for my website is the question most webmasters are getting confused about, and if you been searching for quick answer to this question, then the quick answer is = just forget about using it entirely. That’s right, you should not use rel=nofollow on your link attributes at all if aren’t sure.
Did I confuse you? If so, I ask your pardon, and also ask you this very simple question “why would you ever out link to an external resource if you aren’t willing to vouch for it’s usefulness for your users?”. Make sense? But hey you maybe getting confused because of those who are confused about proper search engine optimisation. First of all, SEO has much to do with semantics (meaning) of keywords (especially Google’s algorithms which must also rely on HTML elements which are marked up by keywords).
In fact, Google does have state of the art technology, and it uses over several hundred ranking signals to determine relevance of a web document. But in reality, it still must heavily rely on semantics, or else, it wouldn’t even know the different between “catfish” as opposed to cat AND fish. Seriously.
Should You & I Use rel=nofollow Attribute When Creating Hyperlinks?
The short answer works along these lines, you should use rel=nofollow for external linking when you don’t want to vouch for the URL you are linking to. And you should not use rel=nofollow for any other reason. But if you are still in doubt, then I’d like to draw your attention to websites that matter; here’s what w3.org says about link type nofollow and I also like to draw your attention to couple of facts your typical search engine optimization consultant forgot to learn:
- Elements in the DOM represent things; that is, they have intrinsic meaning, also known as semantics.
- A hyperlink can have one or more hyperlink annotations that modify the processing semantics of that hyperlink.
Now the above points clearly should tell you about the importance of semantics of your web content. But if you want to read information from Google webmasters help https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en&ref_topic=2371375 which states this:
“Nofollow” provides a way for webmasters to tell search engines “Don’t follow links on this page” or “Don’t follow this specific link.”
And there it is, that is all we need to know about that statement as the rest of the information is simply a confusion for many webmasters (or for seo experts who failed to understand how Google search engine operates). Meaning, Google follows URL to find other URL’s to crawl and index, thus, when they come across a URL (B) while fetching a particular URL (A) on internet, then they pass that URL (B) to it’s list of URL’s to be fetched, thus, follow.
Therefore, it is to do with following and indexing the URL’s and NOT about ranking documents. Furthermore: you should never place hyperlink on your webpages if you don’t feel that it adds additional value to your document (think relations). And if you have a blog where many internet citizens comment on, and if they are providing constructive comments, then you would want them to come back to it, right? Thus providing a benefit to that very visitor by allowing them to get a backlink (if they are webmasters) will actually entice them to come back to your blog (or else, I assure you that there are millions of other blogs who are eager to gain the trust of your visitors).
So once again, forget about rel=nofollow thinking it would be in your best interest to use it. And while you are here, I will give you couple of SEO tips
You should know that if you outlink from within your blog post, you are actually helping your own rankings because it is most likely that your visitors won’t go back to Google and search again
And if you are blog commenting to gain backlinks, then you should strive to comment as your URL instead of your own name
I hope you have gained core understanding about SEO and the question “should I use rel nofollow in my links?” is answered within this blog post I made available for you. Till next time, happy rankings.