Should You “Nofollow” Internal Links?
Lately, I have been explaining about internal links and it has been evident in blog posts such as Internal Links and Why it Truly Matters and The Link Between Internal Links and SEO.
Now, I will talk about one particular aspect, which is the nofollow attribute. Search engines — Google included — introduced this feature knowing that some links are:
- Uncertain: You aren’t sure if the links are to be trusted or not.
- Uncontrollable: There are things beyond your line of command. (For instance, the comments publish on the comments section.)
To address this issue, search engines formulated a way link to other websites without necessarily vouching for them. Having said that, you ‘nofollow’ a link is when you want to tell the search engines that this certain link does not have my ‘vote of confidence’. Moreover, you are merely linking the website for reference.
The question now, should you nofollow an internal link?
In some instances, you should toggle the nofollow option. Here are some example scenarios:
- First, the link is not accessed by many. For example, it is a page that needs login credentials. So, a nofollow is needed here.
- Second, it is not that important. For instance, you are merely linking a page that contains all your sources and references. This page is not beneficial to the public; they won’t learn anything from this. Thus, you can simply nofollow this link.
Lastly, for internal links, not using the nofollow feature is totally okay. To be honest, it really would not change anything if you choose to nofollow a link or not. At the end of the day, when you nofollow an internal link, it’s really a matter of personal choice.
Nofollow Links Matter.
Still, it doesn’t discount the fact that nofollow links are important. When you do not vouch for a link, then you should be using nofollow. Why is this? So, Google cannot give your website penalties for linking to a website that is suspicious or shady. You are confirming to Google that you can assure its quality. Whether it is a low-quality website or not, it is already out of your hands. Also, Google would not penalize you for having too many — or too little — nofollow links. There is no such thing!
Nowadays, huge websites usually add a nofollow rule on all their external links. Just to be sure. This mean that these large companies have no intention of giving value to the links outside their domain.
Whether you choose to a nofollow link or not, it will still be useful. Users can still see the clickable link and they can opt to visit the link if they wish to. You are just simply spreading awareness that you aren’t sure about this link. In the end, with or without a link, mentioning a brand or a website really helps. Your mentioning can boost brand awareness.
When you decide to link out, the rules are not definite here. If you want to know some guidelines to follow, then read my article on: When Do You “Nofollow” Links?
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