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Dofollow Backlinks vs Nofollow Backlinks: Do They Impact SEO?

In the realm of SEO, backlinks play a pivotal role in determining the authority and relevance of a website. Among the various types of backlinks, two categories stand out: dofollow and nofollow backlinks. This article delves deep into the basics of these backlinks, shedding light on their differences, significance, and impact on SEO.

What are Dofollow Backlinks?

Dofollow backlinks are the most common type of backlinks. They are the straightforward links that allow search engines like Google to follow them and reach the linked website. By default, all links are dofollow unless specified otherwise. These links pass on the "link juice" or SEO value from the origin site to the destination site. This transfer of authority is often referred to as "link equity."

The primary purpose of dofollow backlinks is to improve the linked website's domain authority and keyword ranking. When a website receives a dofollow backlink from a high-authority site, it is seen as a vote of confidence, signaling to search engines that the content is valuable and trustworthy.

What are Nofollow Backlinks?

Introduced in 2005 to combat comment spam, nofollow backlinks are those that do not pass authority or "link juice" to the linked website. To make a link nofollow, the attribute rel="nofollow" is added to the link's HTML code. While these links do not directly boost PageRank or improve search engine placement, they are not entirely devoid of value.

Nofollow links can still generate traffic, diversify a backlink portfolio, and introduce a brand to new audiences. They are typically used for sponsored links, affiliate links, and user-generated content to ensure that search engines do not consider these links as endorsements.

Key Differences Between Dofollow and Nofollow Links

  1. SEO Value: Dofollow links pass authority and improve SEO rankings, while nofollow links do not convey SEO value.
  2. Purpose: Dofollow links aim to improve domain authority and keyword ranking, whereas nofollow links are used to prevent passing authority in specific scenarios, such as sponsored content or comments.
  3. Code: While all links are dofollow by default, nofollow links include the rel="nofollow" attribute in their code.

Impact on SEO

Dofollow backlinks are absolutely essential for a website's SEO strategy. They help search engines understand the content's relevance and authority. Acquiring quality dofollow backlinks from reputable sources can significantly boost a site's ranking in search results.

On the other hand, nofollow backlinks, while not directly influencing rankings, play a role in creating a natural backlink profile. Having a mix of both dofollow and nofollow links makes a site's backlink profile appear more authentic and natural to search engines.

When to Use Dofollow and Nofollow Links

  • Dofollow Links: Ideal for linking to trustworthy sites, valuable resources, and content that you want to endorse.
  • Nofollow Links: Best for sponsored content, affiliate links, user-generated content, and any link you don't want search engines to consider as an endorsement.


In the vast landscape of SEO, understanding the nuances of dofollow and nofollow backlinks is crucial. While dofollow links are the powerhouse driving authority and rankings, nofollow links ensure a balanced and natural backlink profile. By strategically leveraging both types of links, websites can optimize their SEO efforts and achieve better search engine visibility.

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