Dofollow and Nofollow in Building Links

"Dofollow" is an internet slang term given to web pages or sites that are not using "nofollow." Nofollow is a hyperlink value of an HTML to instruct search engines not to pass on any credibility or influence to an outbound link or hyperlink in the search engine's index.

This value was originally created to help the blogging community reduce the number of inserted links into a "comment" area of a blog page, the attribute is typically standard in blog comments. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring.

Dofollow and nofollow are used to help overwhelmed webmasters disallow spammers from gaining any kind of advantage by inserting an unwanted link on a popular page, and only allow trusted people and/or websites to share links and credibilities.

Search Engines and Nofollow

In was on the early 2005 when Google’s Matt Cutts and Blogger's Jason Shellen proposed the value to address the problem of spam in blogs and community websites. On the same year, Google announced that hyperlinks with nofollow value would not influence the link target's PageRank. In addition, Yahoo! and Bing search engines also respect this attribute value.

Search engines each interpret nofollow in their own way. Below is a list of the major search engines with a short description about how they handle dofollow and nofollow:

  • Google follows nofollow links but does not pass on PageRank to an outbound link that is tagged with the value.
  • Yahoo! follows nofollow links, and excludes the link from ranking calculations.
  • Bing may or may not follow a nofollow link, but does exclude it from ranking calculations.

As a result of the implementation of dofollow and nofollow, the process of building links has taken a steep turn. Many sites, including wikis, social bookmarking sites, corporate and private blogs, commenting plug-ins and many other venues and applets across the internet began implementing nofollow. This made people difficult to effectively do link building.

Websites and Nofollow

Search engine algorithms are changed and updated frequently to cope with the growth of the World Wide Web. And the more members of the internet struggle for the best position on search engines, more and more websites implement nofollow as a purpose for not sharing the "link juice" to other sites beside the ones they have partnered with.

A highly credible web page that has a lot of great content, credibility and links pointing to it will "leak" some "juice" on to whatever other pages it is linking to, both internal and external (unless those links are marked as nofollow links).

Strengthening Dofollow

There are ways to improve backlinks when dofollow is enabled. One of them is by using the Link Wheel. Link wheel is a widely used internet marketing strategy. The basic idea of link wheels is to create a pattern of links which flow from one website to another which would finally link to a targeted website requiring promotion.

Link wheels fall under the category of search engine optimization, however, when social media sites are used to create the link flow the link wheel strategy becomes social media marketing. Link wheels have maximum effectiveness when the social media sites are used.

For a website to go viral in the World Wide Web, the website should be credible and worth to be mentioned. Since there are more nofollow websites and blog available today, link building could be rather difficult for some to manage. On the other hand, nofollow is not all bad. Although nofollow excludes a link from ranking calculation, websites and blogs that implement this value can still be made to anchor text in comments to other sites like usual.

Another way, and still one of the most effective way to have a dofollow enabled is by contacting the webmaster or the blogger contact, and ask for a dofollow enabled link.

Links can be obtained in more than several ways. And it is up to the webmaster and/or developer, and the people who are authorized of a website to create the best method to do an effective link building.