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When To Apply A No Follow Link?

Posts: 31
Joined: 28 Feb 11

When To Apply A No Follow Link?

I am new to internet marketing and working on my first few sites. On my development of my sites one of them was ranking top page before in the Google search after a few weeks and went few pages down on and off. I asked many advise on a good solution to solve this problem. I came across a great forum site. I got an advise from them that I that should put a NO FOLLOW html code which is "rel="nofollow" to my affiliate product links. I am not sure how effective is this to my site. Does this mean that if I don't apply this it will affect my site's rankings negatively?

Why do I have to put this code?
Do you ever do the same in your site's pages?
What is the meaning of this to put a no follow?

I will really appreciate your answers. Thanks a lot!
  • 1
Posts: 475
Joined: 28 Apr 09

While not necessary and arguably irrelevant depending on who you ask, adding No Follow to your affiliate links basically nulls your "vote" for the link in question and does not allow pagerank to be passed.

Another way to look at it is, imagine that you have two links on your page. One goes to a cool site that you found and really like and recommending it to others is not for compensation, it's just something that you think is genuinely cool. So you setup a normal link and tell the search engines that this is a good site that you "vote" for and they should check out/add the vote to increase that site's rankings.

The other link is to something that you are promoting (affiliate link) so even though this should be something cool that you recommend as well, by placing the No Follow tag on the link, you are acknowledging to Google that there could be a conflict of interest (since you are compensated for promotion) and therefore they shouldn't consider your link as a valid "vote" of confidence.

Long story short, use No Follow on affiliate links.
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Posts: 75
Joined: 11 Apr 09
Adding the "no follow" code to your affiliate links is easy to do so I always do it. As esolutions says above, opinions seem to be divided on this issue (although I think that Mark Ling is strongly on the "no follow" side), which is probably confusing for a newbie. My suggestion is to add the "no follow" code to all affiliate links and to any site that you do not want to promote as far as page ranking is concerned. And don't worry too much about it!
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Does this mean that if I don't apply this it will affect my site's rankings negatively?

It will not affect your rankings negatively. A "rel=no follow" tag only means that you are not passing on page rank or so-called link juice to the page you are referring visitors to.

Why do I have to put this code?

You don't really have to, but we suggest that you do as a precaution. You do not want to pass page rank on to another website where you will be getting compensation for doing so. esolutions has a very apt analogy.

Do you ever do the same in your site's pages?

Yes, I do the same on my affiliate links and to just about any link/site I refer my users to that are not really related to my site or sites I do not want to pass page rank to.

You can also refer to the following threads:

When To Apply A No Follow Link?
When should I use the "rel=nofollow" attribute?

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Use NoFollow when linking out to questionable sites or content
Use NoFollow when linking to internal pages that don’t need PageRank
Use NoFollow when linking to the same page many times from one page.
Use NoFollow when linking out to ScanAlert’s HackerSafe, Better Business Bureau or Verisign.
Use NoFollow when linking out to you Feedburner RSS feed
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This topic was started on Feb 27, 2012 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.