Skip to content
Sitemap » Home » Blog » Technology » Computing

What Are Dofollow Links? Steps To Build Quality Backlinks

It’s important to realize, by default, all links are dofollow links. Unless they are modified to be Nofollow Links manually or are automatically changed through settings by a webmaster. More often, search engine crawlers will follow these links from any given web address. And they’ll continue to crawl other web pages they discover through standard links.

Let’s say you’re trying to investigate a certain site. In that case, to see if it’s a worthy place for you to post your blog, leave your comments, or otherwise get a link from. One piece of information you may want to discover is whether the site uses followed or nofollowed links.

As you conduct your site links web research, whether or not a link is followed or nofollowed it’s a very important step for your site SEO. Although not as important as it once was! But, it’s definitely a dichotomy between the two elements. The link is in its natural state and the link with a “nofollow” tag is attached to it.

What Are Dofollow Links?

The term “Dofollow Links” is used to describe links that pass the authority as opposed to ones that don’t. But, technically, it’s not a correct name because there is no such thing as the rel=”dofollow” attribute. And some SEOs are quite strict about this. So, always keep that in mind when using the term.

Eventually, “Dofollow Links” pass along what the SEO community commonly calls “Link Juice.” Whereby, your site links are a vote for quality. By learning which web pages are often linked to, search engines can determine how highly websites should rank in search results.

On the other hand,  in terms of SEO, “Nofollowed Links” or “Nofollow Links” are links that tell search engines not to count them. Links in their natural state pass a certain amount of PageRank or link juice from the linker to the linkee. But, the amount varies depending on a lot of factors.

For instance, the position of the link, the anchor text, the industries of the two sites, and how closely related the content is between the source and destination. As well as how much relative link juice each site has in comparison to the other. So, links are just one of many ranking factors.

Related Topic: What Are Nofollow Links? How They Impact Site SEO Ranking

In contrast to “Dofollow Links”, “Nofollow Links” have a bit of code that asks search engines to not crawl them or count them as votes of quality. Sometimes you may not be able to vouch for all links on your website. Especially if they are user-submitted or links to advertisements.

In bold is what a Nofollow implementation looks like in HTML:

<a rel="nofollow" href="">great seo tools</a>

A Dofollow value is simply a descriptor since a dofollow value for the rel attribute doesn’t exist in HTML. So, dofollow links are technically any links that don’t have a rel attribute with a nofollow value. Below is an example of what a dofollow link looks like in HTML:

<a href="">great seo tools</a>

You don’t have to do anything when creating a new link to make it a dofollow link — unless a website setting is changing the code you add. And since it’s the default state, you’ll have to add code to the link to make it nofollowed.

That code goes in the <a> tag of the link and looks like <a rel=”nofollow” …> in the link code itself.

Other Link Attributes:

In 2019, Google introduced two new attributes that do not pass authority. But, they work as additional ways to identify the nature of some links:

  • rel=” sponsored” for sponsored, affiliate, or paid links
  • rel=”ugc” for user-generated links like comments or forum posts

Basically, you don’t have to change your existing nofollow links. The rel=”nofollow” attribute still works as a catchall for all the links that do not pass authority. Moreover, you can combine more values in one attribute, for example, rel=”ugc nofollow” value attribute.

Always remember, that when you nofollow a link on your site, you’re telling Google not to pass any of your link juice to that site. There are a variety of reasons why you might want to do this. If you consider that a followed link is a vote of confidence in the destination, you begin to see why.

Furthermore, you don’t want to link to a shady spam site as an illustrative point in a post you write. And then have that link become an association between you and the spam site. You also don’t want to open yourself up to spammers who want to get links from your site simply for the link juice, either.

In fact, if you run a blog with a typical comments system, chances are all of the links in the comments default to nofollow. Simply because spammers often abuse followed comment links.

How To Build High-Quality Dofollow Links

It’s Not All or Nothing! This implies that a website might be labeled either “nofollow” or “dofollow”, which isn’t strictly the case. Almost every website on the internet is going to have a mixture of both types of links. If nothing else, a lot of comments sections and user-generated content plugins automatically nofollow their links.

So, even if the content of the site is followed, the comments won’t be. You can’t simply look for any instance of nofollow and assume that if it exists. Every link is nofollowed, or if it doesn’t, every link is followed. And as with everything online, there are shades of gray.

Most websites of any sufficient traffic and value to care about the sites they link out to are going to make links on a case-by-case basis. Even if the links in 99% of their blog posts are followed, they might still nofollow your link in a guest post because they don’t like the look of your site.

Related Topic: What Is An Anchor Text? & How Is It Best SEO Optimized?

As you know, link building is still the underlying foundation of your SEO efforts. And while the emphasis has evolved into focusing more on creating amazing content over the link-building efforts, it’s still a key detail.

For most people out there creating some amazing content that’s not getting linked to – this is a hard thing to deal with. But, you don’t have to blindly struggle with your link-building efforts. High-quality, Dofollow Links are not effortless to come by. And this isn’t just a surprise!

However, consider this guide to be a roadmap to making the link-building experience a little easier. So that you can continue to create great content and get links too. Let’s get into it.

1. Guest Blogging

Matt Cutts, the SEO spokesperson for Google, once announced: ” So, stick a fork in it; guest blogging is done! It’s just gotten too spammy!” Cue the end of the world, the sky falling, doom and gloom from a lot of the Internet. A lot of people abandoned guest blogging at that point.

Even after Matt corrected himself, people assumed that it wasn’t worth doing. That’s a mistake though! Guest blogging is still absolutely a good way to gain Dofollow Links. You’re just not meant to be spam posting low-quality content for the explicit purpose of gaining backlinks.

Which, if you’re reading this, you’re likely already far above that already. If someone takes the time to comment, they often really care about the value the content is providing – and are likely to be willing to check out your content. That’s if it’s providing anywhere near the value of the original article you found them on.

Simply reaching out to them can not only secure you a great source of links through their potential sharing of your content. It can also add someone that really cares about what you do for your audience. Which is worth an immense amount of links in the long run.

Related Topic: Why Link Building Is Important For SEO | 7 Best Webmaster Skills

Naturally, you’ll realize that on many websites, resource pages come in many forms. Whether they’re suggesting tools, blogs to read, or people to follow. When they’re in your niche – there’s one thing you can guarantee: It’s highly relevant to your industry.

And if that resource page is read by anyone at all, it’ll be those in your niche. So, looking for these pages (you shouldn’t need to look far) is so easy. And suggesting yourself be added to these pages is a great way to go about getting a backlink that your desired audience is going to see.

But, how do you make use of the resource page technique? Firstly, you’ll need to find relevant resource pages. You can do this by searching the following <niches>: From the top blogs, top tools, best of, the best blogs, or even some other variations of the same.

A Sample Email Script Is:

Hi <blog owner>,

I came across your <niche> resource page at <link>. It was greatly informative and has really helped me.

I’d love it if you could consider adding my page to it. You can find it at <link>.

I think you’ll find it highly relevant and beneficial to your audience. But if not, that’s fine too. Either way, I appreciate your time. Thanks!

<sign off>

Once you’ve got a few in mind, go ahead and check out the content currently on there. Are you of the sufficient standard they’re setting on the page? Now that you’ve got a list of resource pages you’re relevant to, just reach out to them.

Of course! At times, they might say no or yes for a number of reasons. But, if your site is great, some will definitely say yes – earning you a valuable link.

2. Business Mentions 

Using Google and Google Alerts, you can see if your business is being mentioned online and then turn those business mentions into backlinks. While mentions are an awesome thing in themselves, most people will have no problem turning said mention into a link – if you’re willing to ask.

And funnily enough, that’s often what’s holding people back – their resistance to asking! But, you should first Google your business. Remember to try a few different variations of your business name and relevant terms, to ensure you’re finding the right mentions – if your business isn’t particularly big online yet.

And then, make a list of the links where your business is mentioned. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t miss an opportunity. Also, don’t forget to reach out to each business mentioning you. Ask if they wouldn’t mind turning the mention into a link. Refer to the mentioned script sample below if you’re not sure what to say.

Try this one out:

Hi <business contact>,

I was doing some research on the mentions my business currently has online. I noticed that you mentioned us at <link to their mention of you>.

Would you mind linking to our site with that mention? It would mean a lot to us!

<sign off>

It’s really that simple. Polite, to the point, and nothing shady. They’re already talking about you, so they shouldn’t have an issue with turning that discussion into a way for people to find you.

Lastly, you can also set up Google Alerts for your business. This’ll allow you to keep track of future mentions easily and snap up those linking opportunities.

In order to set up Google Alerts:
  1. Navigate to Google Alerts.
  2. Click “Show Options,” enter your business name, and set the relevant options.
  3. Check the email you get on whatever basis you’ve selected.

You should also note that if you’re adding value in the comment section of a popular blog, someone is bound to see it. However, you should try and keep your comments valuable. Going around spamming nonsense just to gain a link from the blog comment section really isn’t going to help you gain.

In fact, in most cases, people will avoid the sites of spammers like the plague.

3. Email Outreach

Your Email Outreach is a bit like guest blogging. And it could get you links too, but the goal shouldn’t be the links themselves. Instead, focus on the value that your content could provide to these readers. If you’ve created a great and valuable piece of content, just drop a few emails around to people that you know might enjoy it.

It’ll result in some eyes on your content, at least. And hopefully, they find some value in your content. Which may even result in a few links back to it. But, although that sounds simple enough, a lot of people still struggle with one of two things.

First of all, they don’t know who to email. And then again, they don’t know how to create great content. Which is a whole post in itself. So, how do you know who to email? Depending on who you’re trying to reach, the process differs, but the steps are almost the same.

You can simply try and:
  1. Research who is producing content similar to you.
  2. Use Similar Sites and find out who they deem similar to you.
  3. Google your niche and find the top-ranking blogs.
  4. Search a site directory related to your niche.
  5. Ask some of your own audience.

And as soon as you know who a few of your influencers are, figuring out who to email is pretty simple. As an example, BuzzSumo is a powerful tool that allows you to see who shared a piece of content. And ranks them by their influencing factor within the niche.

If they’re sharing content that’s popular in your space – they’re worth putting on your list of people that are worth emailing when you come out with valuable content. This works well to also reach out to people in your influencer’s audience; as they’re likely your target audience as well.

Picking some of the more influential – though not influencer status yet – people that shared can help you rack up a few more links and in turn more eyes on your content.

4. Interview Influencers

When you know who is influential in your space, asking for their opinion or insight on something is a great way to get your name on their radar – and your posts linked in their content. Simply reach out using a format similar to below:

Hey <influencer>,

I love your content. I especially enjoyed reading <relevant link to what your influencer has produced on the topic you’re writing about>.

I’m putting together a roundup post for my audience. I thought you’d be a great fit, so I’d love your input on: <easy to answer questions on the said topic>.

If you don’t have the time, that’s not a problem.


<sign off>

As you can see, it’s simple, polite, and direct. Then you follow up with an email letting them know you published your roundup post that featured them. You can guarantee they’ll at least read some of the articles. And hey, if they enjoy it, they might just link to it in one of their future pieces – earning you a nice, authoritative backlink.

4.1. Get Interviewed Too!

Additionally, getting interviewed provides you with a backlink on someone else’s site, through the mention. This is a great way to build yourself as an influencer in your niche. But the reality is that it’s a lot more difficult than getting to interview other people.

To go about becoming someone that gets interviewed, you have to build rapport with those in your niche, and respect from those in your niche’s audience. This involves lots of mentioning those in your space, interviewing them, and sharing their content.

As well as creating incredibly valuable content that everyone wants to read. To use this technique, you have to be someone they value the insight of. But once you’re at that point, you can really open the floodgates to a wealth of links.

5. Attributions Hook

Creating great content almost always leads to it being reused by others to some degree. And this is a great thing for you! While some people choose to get upset or frustrated by others using their content’s media (especially without attribution), you should see it for what it is.

It’s a great way to get a completely free, relevant, backlink to said content. But, remember to add a watermark/source of some description to your media if it’s highly valuable. This goes a long way to prove your ownership. As well as a little bit of free promotion if anyone decides to reuse it.

An Email Script Request Sample:

Hey <site owner>,

I saw you were using a <graphic/chart/piece of media> I created. I’m glad you found it valuable enough to add to your content!

I’m perfectly happy for it to stay on your site. But could you please give attribution to the original source? <insert link to original media/article>

Thanks so much!

<sign off>

No credible site owner is going to refuse. It is yours, after all. Even if you do run into some people that refuse, the overwhelming majority of people that you want to be associated with will absolutely say yes. So, this technique is well worth considering.

5.1. Directory Pages

Additionally, you should also try and list your site links on high-quality directories too. For one thing, directory pages are exactly what you’d expect. They’re pages with a bunch of different sites/people on them and some brief descriptions about each.

Helping people to find a site/service they’re looking for when they’re unsure of how to go about navigating the niche online. And even before search engines were as efficient as they are now, directory pages were immensely popular back in the day.

But, despite their dwindling popularity nowadays, they do still provide some value – to both users and site owners. And for the most part, directory pages are happy enough to add you to their list (or even let you add yourself). You just have to go about finding the ones relevant to your niche.

Now that doing so is as simple as searching “<niche> directory”. But, no, it won’t be a game-changing backlink for you. Though it’s quick, simple, and easy. So, it can be worthwhile to still hunt after them.

5.2. Broken Links

You read a lot of the content produced in your niche. Everyone does! And sometimes you’re reading a piece of content, and you see a great link. So you click on it, and you read through some of that page too – and so on, and so on. Until you end up many clicks away from what you were originally reading.

But, other times, you see a great link, click on it and it takes you nowhere. You’ll either get a 404 error, a 405 error, or some other error message. With some telling you that the content you were interested in reading is no longer available. Not a big deal, right? And you’ll keep reading!

In that case, you too can read other web content to find broken links (and then offer your own attributing links). You can even drop a comment at the end of the post letting the author know that one of the links is broken. Then, you simply move on.

It’s happened to all of us – and, for many of us, it’s also been a missed opportunity. Authors are generally going to look for something to replace the broken link with anyway. By telling them (a) Their link is broken and (b) That you have something very similar to offer – you’re helping them two-fold and helping yourself.

How To Balance Your Site Links Profile

Before we conclude on our dofollow links topic, it’s also important you know the specifics of how to detect nofollow links in detail first. Since I’d like to take a moment to make sure you know about balanced link profiles. When Google debuted nofollow, it was a way to combat spammers.

Whereby, these spammers were fishing for links on sites that were generally unrelated or would not want to associate with their sites. Spammers in ages past would be able to set a bot to post their link in a generic comment on blog posts around the web.

They could rack up thousands of backlinks in the course of a few hours. And in doing so, their site would suddenly have thousands of links pointing to them, giving them SEO benefits. The same would happen for any user-submitted content site, including web forums with free registration or guest posting.

The other common way of fishing for backlinks is from guest contributions. You can still see old blog posts with lengthy lists of blogs with high PageRank. Making them valuable targets for earning backlinks. And as such nofollow throws a wrench into that plan.

Related Topic: How To Improve Your Site Ranking In 5 Simple Methods

These days, Google can tell if you’re trying to build links artificially or if you’re building them naturally. If you’re only looking for link juice, you’re going to be seeking out dofollow links from followed sites. And then you’re going to want to ignore nofollowed sites because they don’t pass link juice.

However, Google can see pretty clearly that you have 95% of one kind of link. And as a result, it can infer that you care more about your ranking than your audience or your content. A balanced link profile will include plenty of nofollowed links as well.

It’s a sort of trust factor; it’s not directly related to ranking. Obviously, because giving nofollowed links ranking power defeats the purpose of the tag in the first place. That said, nofollowed links do still have power. They don’t pass link juice, but they do pass traffic, and the anchor text can match your article title or brand name.

While spreading your name and information around the web. These are “implied links” and are starting to be more valuable as Google downplays the mechanical relevance of links.

Final Thoughts;

As you embark on editing your dofollow links, there is a great tool to help you in this case. LinkMiner is a Chrome extension that will crawl pages and tell you the status of links – right there within the article’s page as you read it. This is great for finding broken link opportunities.

If your site isn’t of that great quality or DA yet, you may want to bide your time and focus on improving your pages before reaching out. Rejection tends to mean that they’re not going to reconsider your request in the near future. They’ve already deemed you below the quality they require for the page.

Other Relevant Topics: 
  1. Content SEO Audit | How To Improve Your Web Presence
  2. How Website Links Management Is Done | 10 Key Methods
  3. Outbound Links | Why They Matter In SEO Plus Tracking Steps
  4. Backlinks | What They Are Plus A Simple Implementation Steps
  5. How To Index New Website Content In SERPs | 5 Key Steps

So, ensure you’re coming across with your best foot forward from the get-go. All in all, that’s all the Dofollow Links and Nofollow Backlinks building advice I’ve got for you this time around. But, don’t forget to check out other toolkits.

As well as valuable pieces of content from our blog post articles related to this and other topics. That’s if you’re looking to learn about making a better digital presence for yourself, your website, or your business. But, which are the Methods of Identifying Nofollow Links? Well, in this article, you can read and learn more about some of these methods in detail. 

But, if you’ll be struggling with anything related to Nofollow Links or Dofollow Links, feel free to drop it in the comments section below. You can also Contact Us for more personalized answers to your dofollow links additional questions.

More Related Resource Blog Posts

Related Content Tags
Get Free Alerts!
Never miss a thing! Just Subscribe Below to get all our new Blog Alerts plus daily Post Updates for free right into your email