While performing off-page optimization, several webmasters (including me as well) usually look for building only dofollow links.
While it’s true that only dofollow links grab the attention of search engine bots and can significantly improve your rankings for the target keyword, the power of nofollow links still can’t be overlooked!
1) No-Follow Links:
Nofollow links are the ones’ which are followed by rel=’nofollow’ attribute in the hyperlink portion of the URL. For example, to mark Wikipedia link with a nofollow, I would link it this way –
<a href=’http://www.wikipedia.com‘ rel=’nofollow’>Wikipedia</a>
By doing so I am informing the search engines that the link is unimportant and the pagerank value should not be passed to it.
As a result, search engines won’t follow this particular anchor text link and thus no real benefit is passed to the website from SEO point of view.
That’s being said, now you might be thinking that building nofollow links is such a waste of your time and SEO efforts. But think again (forget SEO for a moment)…
Nofollow links can only block search engines from following a particular link, but NOT the real time visitors, browsing the web. You can still get the targeted traffic to your website if you are building nofollow links the right way!
You have to make sure that you are linking to your website from a RELEVANT, AUTHORITY and HIGH TRAFFIC website.
I myself have seen a decent traffic coming to my webpages via thoughtful and helpful comments left on fellow niche and high authority blogs.
Picture this: You are reading an interesting article on a how-to photography blog and after finishing off with the article you are reading the comments left by other visitors. Would you be following a house-loan link OR a relevant photography link left by a commentator? Definitely the latter one, right? Then what’s the point of leaving comments on webpages that have nothing to do with your niche? At the first place, they won’t be followed by the search engines and secondly there is hardly any chance that a genuine reader may visit your website!
Dofollow links are two times (or perhaps many times :p) more valuable than nofollow. Because besides being able to be clicked by the visitors, they are followed by search engines as well. They pass appropriate pagerank value to the target webpages and thus they are an asset when it comes to your SEO efforts.
But again, you have to be make sure that the linking website is a RELEVANT and AUTHORITY website, or else your link won’t hold any weight/value for the search engines.
Furthermore, the right balance between the number of dofollow and nofollow links has become increasingly important for a natural/organic looking backlink profile, especially after penguin updates.
On a final note…
There is no harm in building any type of link until you take RELEVANCY and AUTHORITY into account. Both type of links are good at their own places. Dofollow and Nofollow are equal in importance, but the fact that dofollow links are noticed and followed by the search engine bots make them stand out.
Personally, if my link on a webpage adds some value to the article, I don’t care if it is no-followed or do-followed! After all you are writing blogs and comments for people and not for bots, Right?
So what are your views regarding the two types of links? Why don’t you add your opinion here?