Mini-bonus-HowTo blogpost: NoFollow

For those of you also writing blogs, you might also want to link to dubious websites, but not increase their Google-ability.

Google works by indexing the internet for links. This generates a PageRank for a page. The higher it’s PageRank, the higher it shows in results. OK, it’s more complicated than that, but it’s the basic principle behind it.

So, you can see why some people might not want to increase certain dodgy websites PageRank, including my not wanting to link to those UK Miracle Mineral Solution sellers, lest they get more sales.

However, there is a solution in HTML! It’s called “NoFollow”.

To stop Google’s indexing robots from following links and increasing said dubious websites PageRank, therefore causing them to be higher in Google results and probably get more sales, in the HTML link tag, add rel=“nofollow”.

So, and example tag would be <a rel=”nofollow” href=”whatever you want to link to”>Whatever you want to link to</a>

Hope this helps some people out there!

– Rhys


Published by Rhys

Computer Science graduate, from Oxford Brookes University. Originally from Cardiff.

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  1. Thanks Rhys – I’m sure loads of people know this already but I’d never used it so appreciate the guide 🙂 I’m also sure there are plenty of people who don’t know about it of course.

    1. Does URL shortening do more than just shorten the URL though? Does it also prevent the linked page from benefiting a little by being linked? I’d be surprised if ‘yes’ but that would be simpler.

      1. I don’t know, but I suspect Google will follow a shortened URL through to the page it refers to.

        One site suggests search engines don’t follow shortened URLs.

        Anyone know what really happens?

  2. Google…other search engines available…

    Yahoo and Bing also obey the nofollow.

    Just watch out for the double inverted commas – make sure they are the ASCII straight ones, ie ” not “ and ”.
    This sometimes happens if you compose a blog post in a word processors like Word. When you copy it to the blog post, it’ll have the wrong type of inverted commas.

    And make sure you enter in the HTML editing mode in WordPress — it won’t work if you type it in the Visual editing mode.

    Adding nofollow to the a tag only applies to blog posts; WordPress automatically adds a no follow to any URL in a comment to discourage spammers.

    More here.

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