Don't be scared of a NO FOLLOW Tag -Your Voice is Still Being Heard
This blog was inspired by the Radio Broadcast of Katerina Gasset today on Bob's AR BlogRadio. She threw in a quick comment on no-follow tags and it prompted me to blog about this.
Maybe you've heard of no-follow tags and have developed your own opinion, but in case you haven't, a no-follow tag can be entered into the code of the link URL of any link on a site telling the search engine spider or bot not to follow the link to that site. It will look something like this in the code:
<a href=www.website.com" rel="nofollow">
Whenever a search engine crawler comes across one of these, it will not leave the page it's crawling and go search that site. It will stay on the page and continue scrolling down the site. But just because it didn't follow it doesn't mean it didn't SEE it.
There are many reasons to use a no-follow tag and most are used within the comments of blogs as in ActiveRain, WordPress sites, etc.. it's original purpose was to deter spammers that want to post a bunch of garbage on your post to get the Google Juice. Most blogs, at least Wordpress blogs, have an approval clearance by the author before the comment is live. This stops much of that spamming at the source.
But other sites such as Wikipedia use no-follow tags for external links (meaning not linked within Wikipedia) for the same reason. Because Wikipedia is open source for all to edit and create, having any joe blow write whatever they want for the sake of a back link was not conducive to the site's purpose.
So now you are probably thinking that all those comments you have been leaving are worthless for your SEO Google Juice. But don't worry. You're writing for humans, remember? And we read, click, link and follow any kind of link or anchor text if we feel it's beneficial to us.
Ultimately, people are going to give you business, not search engines.
A no-follow link is still counted as a back link although not with as much value as one that doesn't carry the tag. Of course in a perfect world, there'd be no spammers but only genuine human beings honestly giving and receiving links out of relevant content and general association.
There are blogs, articles and content about how no-follow tags suck, how they are not that bad and how to avoid them altogether. The biggest "take away" you can get from this post is that, yes, your comments are not allowing the search engines to follow the link back to your site or your blog BUT clients, associates, potential friends and customers all CAN. Link back to your site whenever possible in your posts, your signature, your profiles and link side panels. But don't stress over the no-follow tag. NEVER EVER EVER buy back links but take the time and effort to build them up one at a time. You will get rewarded for it.
Related Blogs to Linking:
- What is a back link and how do I get them?
- Canonical Linking and Redirects - Are you Duplicating and Don't even know it?
- Simple ways to add HTML to your blog
PS- This is my 100th Blog post!! WHOODIFREAKINDO!! :)
SIDE NOTE - In case you miss it in the comments... Katerina Posts some great NEWBIE INFO:
"And to make it clear to newbies- when you comment on AR blogs, the content of that comment is being indexed and you are getting google juice for that, also, the link in your signature is a link back to your profile from that person's blog- that is a good link! That is what created mega google juice. But if you try to spam AR and add a link to your site within the body of your comment, that is a no follow. But you should not do it because it is against the rules on AR."