Google’s guidelines change frequently, but one item that has remained the same for the last two years are their guidelines governing the use of no-follow links. According to Google, bloggers should use no-follow links when they use them to link to products and services they have received as part of an influencer partnership. If the links are not “organic” then they must be no-follow.

Why Your Influencers Should Use No-Follow Links

Why Your Influencers Should Use No-Follow Links

What Are No-Follow Links

Search engines crawl web pages all the time; this is what allows them to be indexed and show up in searches. As they crawl pages, they will follow the links on your page; this boosts the page rank and credibility of the page you link to.

With a no-follow link, you add code to the link to prevent search engines from following the links. Your audience can interact with the links as they normally would. Only search engines are impacted.

Why Does Google Prefer No-Follow Links?

Essentially, it is because using regular links can, in a way, game the system. If your brand has the money to pay people to link to your page, you can essentially pay to rank higher in search results. In order to maintain transparency, Google wants any links in sponsored content to be no-follow links.

Creating No-Follow Links

Creating a no-follow link is easy. You take the standard link format and then add a short piece of code to the end (rel=”nofollow’).

As you can see, this is a pretty simple task that only takes one extra step when compared with creating standard links.

Can No-Follow Links Be Problematic for Brands?

On the surface, yes. The use of no-follow links means losing out on some SEO status boosts that could help you rank better. However, Google’s guidelines are not optional; they do enforce them by way of penalizing your ranking when their guidelines are not followed.

This potential for penalization is far more problematic than missing out on the SEO status boost that do-follow links could bring. And as those with experience will tell you, it is not easy to get penalization from Google reversed.

Is It Ever Okay to Use Do-Follow Links?

Yes, these types of links are only problematic when used on paid posts. That is why they should be avoided when working with an influencer. If there are links on content you are not paying for, it is acceptable to use do-follow links.

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April 9, 2018

Why Your Influencers Should Use No-Follow Links

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