There’s a lot of information, misinformation and myths regarding nofollow/dofollow links, so I thought I write a short summary to hopefully clear up some of the confusion.
Firstly, some background. The ‘nofollow’ HTML attribute was designed by Google in 2005. The original intent of the design was to prevent all the comment spam that were being posted to blogs from actually being counted as a valid backlink. I’m sure you’ve seen your blog or forum being blasted with all sorts of spam comments with links to pretty much any type of product/service you can imagine.
So what does ‘nofollow’ actually mean?
A ‘nofollow’ link tells some (mostly Google) search engines that the link should not be counted in the search engine rankings for the site the link points to.
Note that there is no definitive guide as to exactly how each major search engine treats nofollow links as they don’t actively publish the information and sometimes the information they do publish can be contradicted by results obtained via experimental testing.
That said, the following table based on information from Wikipedia, should be accurate enough for most purposes:
|Uses the link for ranking||No||No||No||Yes|
|Follows the link||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Indexes the “linked to” page||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Shows the existence of the link||Only for a previously indexed page||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|In results pages for anchor text||Only for a previously indexed page||Yes||Only for a previously indexed page||Yes|
Here’s a short video from the horses mouth (so to speak), that talks about how Google treats nofollow links:
What is a dofollow link?
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a dofollow link. The term dofollow was coined as a way of referring to a link that wasn’t a nofollow link. Another way of putting it is that any link that doesn’t have the nofollow HTML attribute is treated as a standard link and is followed by search engines.
A dofollow link is a lot more valuable in terms of SEO than a nofollow link. That’s not to say a nofollow link is worthless, but you are much better spending your time getting dofollow links.
If you do a Google search for “dofollow blog”, you’ll find plenty of resources to add your links to.