What is “No Follow” Linking?

In case you aren’t familiar with the term “no follow” it is the code that tells search engines not to follow a link. It is usually used to avoid link backs to affiliate sites or advertisements or paid sponsorships.

Guest Posting for Improving SEO

If the site you contribute to has “nofollow” on all their pages, the links they provide to you will be useless in regard to “page rank” and SEO.

How does Google handle nofollowed links?

“In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web” -Google

What I find most interesting, despite the intention of the “no follow” approach, is that multi-author based sites tend to make all their links “no follow”. They don’t distinguish between valid strong links and the “selly” stuff.  Even the links that are relevant and enrich the content of the article.

Links That Shouldn’t Be Marked “No Follow”

For example, if author’s anchor text within their post submissions to items that have equally strong and relevant content, these links do not need to be marked as “no follow” – yet they are.

5 Things to Consider Before Guest Posting

Guest posting has a lot of advantages, but before you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you may want to consider a few important points.

1. Any energy and effort you put into guest posting takes away from what you could be doing on your own owned properties. Always decide if the value you get out of working as a writer for another site or blog makes sense for you.

2. Take the time to analyze the source of the traffic to your blog and see where the traffic is coming from. If you have several guest posts and over time you see little activity to your site in comparison with traffic coming from other guest writing opportunities, it is time to cut your losses and move on.

3. Guest posting will introduce your writing to new readers. However you may want to analyze if these readers are your target audience. Are you providing the audience value? Remember that you want to be relevant.

4. Ask yourself if you want to become involved in the new community. If you see that the community values or direction is not in line with your own objectives, you may be wasting your time and possibly hurting your own reputation.

5. Is it about driving more traffic to your blog? Are you writing simply to get backlinks, and boost your ratings? Or to attract new people into your community? If you want to attract people back to your blog via SEO – No Follow renders this objective completely obsolete.

  • If it was a main driver of why you were investing time into guest posts, then you are out of luck – your work did not help your rankings if it appeared on a site with no follow links.
  • To drive more traffic to your blog – via click through. Even though the link you are getting will not be counted as support in SEO or page rank, it will still potentially drive some people through to your blog.


Are Guest Bloggers and Writers Getting Ripped Off?

Overall, the fact that so many people in the blogging field encourage guest posting and promote it as a way to (directly) help SEO and Page Rank really bothers me. The widespread use of generalized “no follow” linking everywhere changed this “advantage”. I first noticed it when I was doing some analysis on stats last year. I then investigated further, visiting numerous sites where guest blogging has been encouraged as a way to help SEO. I found a similar thing occurring.

In fact, it appeared that most mainstream sites have everything marked as “no follow”.  At the time I was preparing a talk at McGill University, about Writing and Producing in the Online Space. (You can check out that SlideShare and tips & tools from that presentation here).

I reached out to SEO specialist and Marketing Expert (yes, I used the word expert) Ammon Johns for his thoughts on the matter. I really appreciated his honest insight and straightforward answers to my questions. Here’s what he had to say:

1. Sometimes a link is far more valuable for the traffic, and for getting the site seen, than for ‘link juice’ in a search algorithm. No follow doesn’t mean no value.

“No Follow Doesn’t Mean No Value”

2. Some sites don’t want (or have resource) to police all links posted in guest posts so simply resort to a ‘fail safe’ measure of no follow. This also spares them argument about singling out articles with links that merit no follow, and that time saving alone may justify the links all being no followed. Essentially, if they are unable or unwilling to apply actual editorial policy then the safest correct thing is to use no follow.

3. Many sites do NOT make it clear that they no follow all links, while misleading writers into thinking that they’ll get valuable followed links. That is poor practice bordering on misrepresentation and fraud.

4. Authorship notation may only rob the writer further of any benefit to making the post. After all, now you’ve additionally helped that site be noted for your authorship, and still gotten no link-juice. If you’d put the exact same article on your own site, the authorship would be helping you, not the site that wouldn’t even give you a clean editorial link.

To learn more from Ammon, you can check out his video series for some great dialogue and deep insight into Digital Marketing Strategy today. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“Ammonize is a series in which I’ll be sharing my unique approach to marketing. Each week I’ll be sharing my insights, processes, approaches and perspectives, from almost 20 years of experience as a leading Internet Marketing Consultant. The aim is helping you to ‘Ammonize’ your own projects and business ventures by understanding exactly how I approach various marketing objectives and situations.

What is really special about the shows is that every other week, the show will be an hour of actual consulting, live on air.”


Is It Time to Re-Evaluate Your Blogging Strategy?

What has your experience been?

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have finally been able to get to the bottom of this Guest Posting issue with the help of his insight. Thank you Ammon!

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