A Guide to No Follow and Do follow

This always get bloggers and digital marketing people into a twist. There’s so many rules to follow, so here a guide to no follow and do follow; and how it will work for your blog.

One little piece of html code can get people into such a muddle! That what it is essentially – a html tag you use when linking to a website.  Its seem so silly and simple, yet bloggers and digital marketing people gets completely stuck with this code.

The no/do follow tag can also be a nightmare for bloggers and digital marketing people – especially if one is concerned over their website SEO.

So let me break it down into simple terms:

What is the No/do Follow tag?

Ok, imagine there is a giant spider web on the internet; And these spider’s crawler are tiny little bots that crawl through that giant web looking for any suitable information that will help index a website onto search engines. All search engines basically send out spider’s bots to read a website and if they find something useful – such as a link they take that information back to the search engines so it can be indexed. Another way to think of it – these bots send information back and first between your website and the search engines.

The Nofollow links is a tag that tells spider bots “Hey! Don’t follow this link. Stop right there, this is a dead end”.  So if the bots while crawling through your site came to a certain link and it has the no follow tag, it creates a block – a dead end and it stops the bots sending the information back to the search engines.

Likewise, if you have the do follow tag, this does send the information back to the search engine and allows the bots to crawl through that link and find other links.

What the whole big issue over it?

The whole big issue surrounding no/do follow basically matters to not only your website – but to the website SEO you are linking to. As when you make a link a nofollow tag, you are essentially telling search engines not to count that link as part of that website’s ranking.

That is why when many of us bloggers get approach by a brand and they demand a do follow tag as it essentially letting those bots through and helps with their website ranking.

When should we use it?

  • Paid links
  • When using a https site (this is only if you are coding a https site – Google advise you to use No follow when working on a https site.)
  • Untrusted content

If a brand has paid you money to write an article on something and given you a link –  then you should always use no follow as it will be picked up by Google and your site can be penalized.

This actually happen to me a few years ago, I put a do follow on a paid article and within an hour publishing it I got a warning from Google. Fortunately, I didn’t actually get penalized properly, just change this to no follow asap. So it was a slap on the hand.

With the untrusted content; Basically a blog post or a website that just flood you with bad links I will be getting into white and black SEO next week. But untrusted content just cheat on their SEO and try to get away with it.

no follow and do follow

How does Google Know you’re not following the rule?

Trust me those spider bots are damn clever. When we write a paid article, we should – advise by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – always disclosed whether that article was paid for. In my case that how the Spider bots picked it up on my site. Don’t try to fool them – you will only be caught out.

Paid links also relates to:

  • Affiliate links
  • Guest posting
  • Products placement

Ok, what about the do follow tag?

Lots of publication has different advice on this, the following statement is my personal advice and what I do:

Personally I don’t tend to use it – and when I do I only use it on non-paid links and in the rarest situation. I tend to use this if I really believe in that link and want to help out that website SEO, I tend to use it for non-paid/affiliate shopping links or to another blog.

My answer is, it all depend on how much you value your site and how you view your site SEO. However, please note that too much do follow can be bad – while not doing any can also be bad; so there is a delicate balance and it up to you on how you work around it.

Do be aware Google will penalize you for using too much do follow tag.

Here how to make a No/do follow tag?

It so simple and easy, especially if you are using WordPress as you can get plugins that does it for you automatically.

If not and prefer to do it manually, here is the code:

<a href="https://www.yourwebsite.com" rel="nofollow">whatever you want to write</a>

Likewise, if you want to do a do follow, then you do this:

<a href="https://www.yourwebsite.com" rel="dofollow">whatever you want to write</a>



I think I want the ending part to be an open forum in my comments box, so if you have questions, queries or if you are still stuck – now’s your chance.










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  • Sarah
    June 18, 2017

    You have explained this very well! It is nice to know, google will give you a warning. Great post!

  • Jessica Carpenter
    June 18, 2017

    Hi Anna, my question is what is the difference between typing in a link or web address as “www.website.com” bs. “Https://website.com”? Does it make a difference? I don’t quite understand the code you have for making things follow or no follow. What goes in the “blah blah” part?

  • Anna Nuttall
    June 18, 2017

    Hi Jessica:

    http:// is – the protocol that makes the web works, basically. All web addresses that are on the WWW (world wide web) has a http:// or https://.
    When doing a link manually, its important to add the http:// at the beginning. In some cases like if you are linking to your website on Facebook or on a forum, then its ok to just http://www.yoursite.com.
    But generally always use the http:// for all web addresses.

    I actually got the code on the no follow – do follow a little wrong. I will change it in a second. But the blah blah is just as example text – you can put whatever you want. If you are still confuse, here a web link to help you.

    Does that help?

  • Sheri
    June 19, 2017

    Great information for newbies or those who are not sure on how to use this. What do you use when ypu interlink within your site. Like when you link one blog post to another post on your site. No follow or do follow?

  • Anna Nuttall
    June 19, 2017

    Generally no follow, by default wordpress and Blogger (I believe) does it automatically. xx

  • Raushan Kumar
    June 19, 2017

    Nice and effective article

  • Sylvester Vanessa
    June 19, 2017

    That is well explained. Actually, it makes more sense to me now. Thanks!

  • Melanie Sparks
    June 19, 2017

    Thank you for this! It has always confused me. A very clear guide.

  • K. Lee Banks
    June 20, 2017

    Thanks for the info! This is one of the many more technical aspects of blogging I had wondered about!

  • Sarah
    June 20, 2017

    Thanks to the helpful information-and for putting this is laments terms. I’ve been trying to understand this for awhile now and all the techie articles go right over my head.

  • Chikumo
    June 20, 2017

    This was so helpful! I never really understood it before!

  • Paula Schuck
    June 20, 2017

    It’s easy in WP to just add No Follow when you click the box that appears under the HTML link that you insert so that’s pretty simple to remember. The older posts – from 2009 are the ones I had to go back through and check on my bog because when I began I had ZERO ideas how to even insert a link. Honestly I was green. I have learned a lot however and you are absolutely accurate. They will find out if they think you are gaming the system and penalize you. So do it properly.

  • Yayra
    June 23, 2017

    Anna, great piece. Well explained and great advice

  • John Mulindi
    July 30, 2017

    Learned something new from this post. Grateful.

  • Kylesfunadventures
    November 4, 2017

    I ignored this do/no follow tag because I really don’t understand what is it all about. This topic is now clear to me. Thanks for sharing this information.

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