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DoFollow and NoFollow Links

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DoFollow and NoFollow Links: What are They and How Can You Find and Use DoFollows to Improve Your PageRank?

Getting a website or a web page boosted to the top of search engine rankings is a lot harder than it used to be. Google’s PageRank system considers a lot of factors before it ranks a page and the incoming links you build into a site may play a significant role in its success under this system. What is the difference between a DoFollow and a NoFollow link and how can you make links work effectively?

In the not too distant past all links were more or less equal. Having a link into a web page from another site gave site owners a ranking boost. In basic terms it told Google that your site had a value. This may still apply but in a slightly different way. Ranking now is all about true worth to the web visitor. The links you get are often used to measure these factors but not all links are equal. A quality link may boost your ranking; one that is seen as valueless may have a more negative effect.

Plus, search engines like Google are anything but stupid. Once it became obvious that webmasters could use links to boost their ranking without any moderation and that they could simply spam other sites to establish these links, the system changed. The introduction of DoFollow and NoFollow options altered the way that we can link pages and sites.

A DoFollow link option simply means that a link placed on a page or a site will be recognised by Google and used to assess ranking. It can then be evaluated from a value perspective. Placing this kind of link to one of your own pages from an external reputable website can have a good impact on how it is viewed by search engines.

A NoFollow link, however, may be seen by Google but it will not then be used as a factor when it ranks a page. Basically, DoFollows can add value; NoFollows are ignored. This turned out to be a great solution for reputable site and blog owners. It cut down on the automated and human link spamming that often degraded their sites. But, it also made it harder to find links that you could use to boost your own page ranking.

So, how can you find DoFollow links now? This may be harder than you think. Many sites, tired of being used as a source of links, will default to NoFollow to cut down on spamming, leaving webmasters with fewer options. But, there is still some potential to build decent DoFollow links; it may just take a little more time and effort to find them.

You may use this tool to check for NoFollow links.

Many web masters will spend time trying to build their own organic links. They may use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Digg to get started. But, getting links in from highly rated and well-regarded websites may be of more value to them. Anyone can link in from social networking sites; getting links from other places may take a little more work.

A lot of this is down to the content of a page or site. A well-written piece with natural SEO rather than keyword stuffing may rise to the top of the pile. Giving a reader value is important. Putting a well-crafted article on the web can lead to links being built into it organically by interested readers and sites. These links often add the most value especially if they come from sites that Google ranks highly in value terms.

Joining communities or forums that do allow DoFollow links may also help. The key factor here is not to abuse the system. Doing that may ultimately see sites that are open to links close down to NoFollow status if they are consistently spammed. So, posting links sparingly and taking time to become a valued member of a community may be a long term goal worth looking at.

Finding sites that allow DoFollow links can be time-consuming but may be worth the effort. Some people simply look at blogs and forums that operate in their own sectors to try and find those that are still working on a DoFollow basis. Some will use specific methods to try and weed out the DoFollows from the NoFollows a little more quickly.

You could, for example, spend time trawling through a Google Image search to give you a helping hand. If you go into Image search and search for a phrase such as “u comment I follow” then the search results will show blogs and sites that use this image. In some cases this will take you to sites that list others with DoFollow links; in others it may take you to blogs and sites that themselves operate on a DoFollow basis. This can, however, be time-consuming and can have limited results.

Firefox users may get the best deal here. The NoDoFollow add-on that can be used with this system gives users a quick and simple way of working out whether sites and links work on a DoFollow or NoFollow status. This allows webmasters to assess sites as they surf through them to find useful sites to use.

It’s worth remembering throughout this process that any link just won’t do. Paying a link farmer to find links to your site or linking anywhere you can may actually do more harm than good. Valueless links may actually see Google mark your site down rather than boost it up.