Blogger Help - What are no-follow links and when should you use them?
I think tonights #fblchat has seriously confused some people, there's been lots of talk of 'follow' and 'no follow' links and the consequences of not using the right one in your blog posts.
What is a follow link?
This is a link which google will use to help push a certain website up the search page rankings, lots of links from high authority sites will push websites up the rankings when certain search terms are used. These are the most valuable when companies are trying to improve their SEO.
What is a no-follow link?
Adding this attribute to a link will make Google ignore it when it's 'crawling' websites for information which influences where websites are in the search page rankings. These are pretty much useless from an SEO point of view because they do nothing to push a website onto the first page of Google.
When should you use 'no follow' links?
If you are sent a sample, something for free or you are paid to write a post/publish a guest post you must add any links to the companies pages 'no follow'.
Why do you have to use 'no follow links'?
Because Google does not like 'spam' links, and although your none of your links are 'spam' in the sense we would generally associate with the word, they are put there under influence of payment or compensation. Because of this, Google see these as unreliable and they do not want their users to use sites who have basically paid for their site to be at the top of the search pages. Google like organic links, which you have chosen to put their because you've bought something from the brand or experienced something off your own back and you can wholeheartedly support it.... without needing to be paid or compensated to do so.
What happens if you don't use the 'no follow' attribute when you should?
You (and the brand in question) risk having your site wiped completely off the google search pages. This has happened with companies such as Interflora and Music Magpie who paid bloggers to write posts and add followed links. This creates a massive influx of new links next time Google does a crawl and looks very suspicious to them, which is why they investigated and penalised the offending brands.
How do I add the 'no follow' attribute to a link?
If you are using blogger, when you add a link using the little link button a box comes up, you need to tick the 'add no follow attribute' box so it looks like this:
Alternatively, if you want to use HTML this is the piece of coding you need to use: