No-follow links

As a website owner, you naturally want your website to be found as well as possible. You want Google to be able to track every link tied to your website for indexing. Or is it?

After all, sometimes it is not so convenient for Google to track all the links within your website. Therefore, to avoid this, use no-follow links . I explain this more specifically in this article.

What is a no follow link?

When a Web site has posted a backlink, the naked eye of a human cannot tell whether it is “do-follow” or “no-follow.” The owner of the website that placed this link does know this. It mostly depends on how the SEO consultant places it.(1)

A no-follow is a backlink that brings visitors but does not provide the following benefits:

  • It does not contribute to a website’s PageRank like a “do-follow” link.
  • It does not help with placement in the search results page.

Note that Google can still see the other side of a link and form a full story with the link. So for example, if you use nofollow links for your sources, Google can still see those links and Google also knows what is happening on the other side of the link. The link just doesn’t get the linkjuice. That’s the difference.

To supplement and clarify. A nofollow link is different from a noindex tag:

  • A no-follow link is added as an attribute to a link.
  • A noindex tag is added to a page so that Google does not index it.

How do you create a nofollow link?

It is basically a link that was posted, but Google has been “told” it has no value. In the website code, you can easily recognize when a backlink does not provide additional SEO value to the website:

Link text a>

*I partially modified the code so that the website does not recognize it. See especially the part of rel=”nofollow”.

You can see that in the middle of the above piece of code, “nofollow” has been added. This basically tells the search engines that this link should not pass any “SEO juice.”(2)

The benefits of a no-follow link

Thus, a no-follow link is not indexed by Google. So what benefit does this have for your site when you don’t get linkjuice from it?

Nofollow links were introduced by Google to prevent spam. Especially Comment-spam on blogs and articles. SEO specialists used to regularly post links to external websites in blog comments. With no-follow, Google made an attempt to curb this behavior.

In doing so, I personally use no-follow attributes on links that contribute nothing else to SEO. Consider:

  • some call to actions;
  • links to phone numbers;
  • All external links (except to own websites);
  • links to e-mail addresses.

I don’t understand why you would still give these links linkjuice. A nofollow attribute ensures that you pass more linkjuice to the links that do deserve it.


  1. Dean, B. (2024g, March 26). What Is a Nofollow Link? Here’s A Simple Plain English Answer. Backlinko.
  2. HTML a rel Attribute. (s.d.).

Frequently Asked Questions

What are no follow links?

A no-follow is a so-called backlink that does generate visitors, but does not help you get ranked in search results. Nor will it get you a higher ranking. For the latter, use a do- follow link.

What is the impact of No Follow Links on SEO?

A no-follow link will not be indexed by Google. He therefore provides no SEO value to your site. Nofollow links were once introduced by Google to prevent spam.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 19 April 2024. The last update of this article was on 12 June 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.

Articles you might like