The notion that “nofollow” links are not valuable components of every solid SEO strategy is a common misconception that should be left firmly in the past. While it’s true that arguments praising or denouncing the presence of a measurable direct impact on rankings from “nofollow” links are certain to continue long into the future, these debates are not where your attention should be focused.
By earning “nofollow” links, you’ll be securing referral traffic and all-important exposure for your brand, which are two components that certainly do contribute positively, indirectly or otherwise, to ranking highly within key search engine results pages.
An indirect contribution to SEO
Any direct contribution from “nofollow” links to ranking position is, at this time, hypothetical. However, it does appear that in some instances, search engines overlook “nofollow tags”, particularly for links which are determined to be placed within highly trustworthy contexts. Google’s official stance is that ‘in general’ they overlook “nofollow” links which, it must be said, is not exactly the same as categorically emphasising that “nofollow” links are overlooked 100% of the time.
Regardless, it is important to note that link building strategies which depend wholly on securing “dofollow” links should have been abandoned long ago, because pursuing something solely for its SEO value, potentially violates Google’s guidelines.
Amplifying the importance of “nofollow” links
As with any component of a thorough and considered SEO strategy, understanding how to make the most out of your efforts is key to ensuring that your website performs as well as it possibly can.
Ignore anchor text for keyword rankings
As the value from earning “nofollow” links is in their potential to boost traffic, it is important not to be distracted by looking at anchor text from a keyword perspective. Instead, your time will be better spent creating anchor text that appeals directly to your readers, encouraging curiosity and ultimately convincing them that clicking through to learn more will be worth their time.
The influencer effect
Part of your “nofollow” link strategy should be to look at how you can ultimately earn “dofollow” links from respected and trustworthy influencers. To do this, you are going to need to produce content that captures attention for all the right reasons. Creating content that influencers haven’t ever seen before is no mean feat, but putting in the legwork here can be enormously rewarding.
Your best bet is to either say something new, by conducting original research or covering an important event, or to say something important in a new way, by producing innovative video content or e-courses. Whether you earn a followed link here or not is almost irrelevant because this large-scale exposure will lead to additional and highly important press and social media coverage. Just remember to mention your brand within content placed on all authoritative platforms.
Understand your referral traffic
Link building is only half of the story and often not enough attention is given to understanding how much, if any, referral traffic is achieved from those links. After all, optimising your link building strategy to target platforms which are likely to provide consistent levels of referral traffic will ultimately be more beneficial than investing time targeting platforms which will send traffic to your website only once.