Even though there are quite a few posts out there regarding no-follow links, I still see loads of people posting on blogging forums asking what they are, how to use them, why you should use them and what happens if you don’t.
So I’m going to explain it in my own Holly style of writing and hope to hell I make some sort of sense! You might want to go and make a cuppa before I start… I’m going to use my recent Sleek post as an example.
So I’m happily writing my blog post about the Sleek palette and I want to add a link to the Sleek website. There are only two types of link I’d use; a do follow link or a no-follow link.
Well that’s great, but how do you do it? Well, it’s all in the html! See that red circle below? That’s important! That’s where you’d make a link no-follow! (In WordPress anyway.)
Do Follow Link:
Last week, I wrote a post about the All The Fun Of The Fair palette I bought from Sleek. At the bottom of the post, I added a link to where you can buy the palette. In the html part, it looked like this <a href=”http://www.sleekmakeup.com”</a>
It’s a normal standard link which tells Google that I trust the website and the products it’s selling. Google will be able to “see” that link and can bump the Sleek website up a little bit on the search results and website rankings. Aww, that’s nice, isn’t it?
Okay, but say instead, Sleek very kindly sent me (I wish) the palette and asked me write a review about it on my blog? Well, I’d write my review and add the link to their website, but in the html part, after the website address, I’d add the code rel=”nofollow” which would look like this <a href=”http://www.sleekmakeup.com” rel=”nofollow”</a>
It tells Google to ignore the link because essentially, had I not been gifted a product by a company, it’s potentially unlikely I would have written about it in the first place. Sounds a bit mean, but it’s probably true!
It would be the same if I was given money by a company to write about them on my blog; it’s likely that I haven’t actually tried the service or product for myself, so I can’t really vouch for them.
Why is it important to use the right one?
Well basically, if you don’t, Google gets angry. And when Google gets angry, they can punish you by making your entire blog disappear from searches. OH NO! So if most of your traffic comes from people searching keywords on search engines “sleek palette”, “all the fun of the fair palette” etc, then by not using a no-follow link, it could seriously impact on the amount of people checking out your blog!
Anything else you need to know?
It’s not actually a law, so you can’t actually be penalised with a fine, a criminal record or prison time if you choose to use do follow links for product reviews or paid posts. But, it is a highly suggested code of practice that Google feels all bloggers should adhere to though.
If you’re not confident writing your own code, or you’re using a platform like WordPress or Blogger and you’re self-hosted, (so not .wordpress.com at the end of your blog name) you can download plugins where you can click the option for a link to be do follow or no-follow!
If I’m given a goody bag at an event, and I write about the contents and posts links, even though they’re not explicitly asking me to write a post about it, I usually do a no-follow link for those too, ya know, just in case 🙂
I really hope that all made sense, let me know if you have any further questions in the comments below 🙂 x