‘Follow’ or ‘Nofollow’ Links – The Great SEO Question of 2014

At the beginning of this year,  Matt Cutts drew attention to how spammy the practice of guest blogging had become. Basically guest blogging was an easy way of getting “quality” links pointing to your site and considered somewhat of a short cut to boosting site rankings. It was shortly after Matt Cutts’ post where several guest blog networks were penalised for violating Google’s guidelines.

Many authoritative guest blogs are now trying to stamp out the spam by making all links nofollow or adopting a stricter submissions policy and we’re noticing that there are many directories out there that are following suit.

What’s the difference between follow and nofollow links?

Both types of links look exactly the same to users and it’s just a few extra letters in a line of code, but how Google reads follow and nofollow links are completely different.

  • Follow – Googlebot crawls the link and passes on some strength from the page it came from. This is the all-important ‘link-juice’ SEOs crave.
  • Nofollow – Googlebot crawls the link but doesn’t pass on any strength from the page it came from.

If follow links are what help give my site strength, should I ignore all links that are nofollow?

Within the realm of Search Engine Optimisation it’s obvious that having a high number of authoritative industry and locally relevant ‘follow’ links pointing to a site is an essential part of a good strategy. However this doesn’t mean all ‘nofollow’ links should be ignored. As long as a site has users that actively engage in that site’s content, it is irrelevant whether a link is follow or nofollow.  

And I should avoid guest blogging at all costs right?

Matt Cutts never condemned guest blogs to death, only the spammy practice that was being abused. Guest blogs still hold a place within an SEO strategy and rely on offering high quality content and something unique to potential readers. Once again whether a guest blog link is follow or nofollow, it really shouldn’t determine whether or not you have an article published on that site.

Every link on a high quality site with active users or readers is potential traffic and potential business. The real thing to keep in mind is balance. Having a good mix of different types of links and appealing to different audiences is the key to having a successful digital marketing strategy. In all, whether a link is follow or nofollow is quickly becoming an afterthought with the main focus now on how you can provide something different or new to the thousands of potential customers browsing the web.

Contact Us


Suite 3, Level 1
801 Glenferrie Road

Hawthorn VIC 3122


Level 4, 10-14
Waterloo Street Surry Hills NSW, 2010

Weekdays: 9.00am-5.30pm