Guest Blogging for SEO Are NoFollow Links Worth It


If you’re like me, then you love guest blogging as a source to spread your name and site around while generating quality backlinks. If you aren’t sure about guest posting, or using it for link building, check out a previous post by Raaj that highlights his link building strategy.  Anyone who has tried guest blogging and/or SEO link building knows that the time and effort involved can add up, and it can be heart breaking to see your links get stripped or turned no-follow by the editor after you put your blood, sweat, and tears into an article. However, some evidence is suggesting that no-follow links might not be all bad, and getting a few can actually benefit your links list in Google’s all-knowing eyes.

What is a NoFollow Link?

Before Google cracked down on spam, blog comments were used to get tons of backlinks for sites. To combat this, the spam fighting team led by Matt Cutts designed the HTML code rel=”nofollow” which gets tacked onto a link. The nofollow attribution tells the web crawlers to not factor in the particular hyperlink into rankings. This helps web designers build a “cleaner” site for the crawlers since they can nofollow internal links, and stop their site from looking like a dumpster with all of the spammed comments. If your main goal for guest posting was to get a link, then nofollows can be disheartening. However, they can still be beneficial and should not be written off entirely.

NoFollow Isn’t All Bad

It might seem counter intuitive  but getting nofollow links can actually help your blog. Now I’m not saying to go out and try to get nofollow links, since “dofollow” links are much more beneficial. Here are some reasons why nofollows are beneficial.

All Natural, Baby:

Google has been on earth friendly kick lately, and this corresponds with how it treats links. The more natural your links list looks the better you will be off. Since nofollow links are typically not associated with SEO (unless it’s people complaining about them) getting some makes you look au naturalle (and yes, I realize that is the “wrong” phrase).

Out of site, but not out of mind:

Just because Google’s crawlers ignore nofollow links for rankings, it doesn’t mean they don’t index them. While Google has not released how nofollow affects your ranking, having nofollow backlinks certainly can’t hurt.

Natural Traffic:

This is probably the most important aspect of a nofollow link, and that is that it is still working! It looks no different to a user and clicking on it still brings them to your site. A page with a lot of authority can still drive a lot of traffic to your blog without helping your page rank.

Get Out and Meet People:

Just because the link in the post might not count towards your ranking endeavors it doesn’t degrade from reaching a whole new reader base and potentially increasing your own readership. This should always be the most important part of guest posting and link building should come second.

Even though it has largely been turned into an SEO tactic, the roots of guest blogging are the most important aspect. Guest posting originally started out as a way for bloggers to interact with one another and share their ideas with new communities, and the core of this should be the driving reason behind why you guest post. If I repeat myself it is only because I want to drive the point home. Don’t be frustrated by nofollow links; accept them as they come and appreciate that you got a link at all. If you are unsure of how to spot a nofollow link, try installing Mozbar from SEOmoz and having it highlight any nofollow links on a certain page.


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