Do-Follow VS. No-Follow

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Pascal
SEO
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One of the biggest arguments in the world of SEO (and that absolutely shows no signs of ever going away) is the Do-follow VS. No-follow links debate. There is one side who stringently argues that the only links that are worth something are the do-follow ones; and on the other side, there is a certain group who says that it does not really matter at all.

So who is in the right and who is absolutely wrong? Is there any solid evidence when it comes to the questions of do-follow vs no-follow and their very importance to the humble affiliate marketers who uses them?

The “Do-Follow Links” Argument

The supporters of the “do-follow only” team have a pretty logical story backing them up. In terms of the SEO value (link juice, to use the terminology) Google should theoretically only be counting the do-follow links. Any published link that is ‘no-follow’ caries a very direct and clear instruction that is telling search engines to ignore it completely. Think about the rel=nofollow tag as a detour signs that you occasionally see within WordPress. The street is there, it is just that you are being directed to pass by it.

The “No-Follow Links” Argument

On other side of the coin, a lot of people do believe that a no follow link actually does provide some form of extra link benefit. Over and above this, they might provide excellent referral traffic from the people clicking through your (no-follow) links. An perfect example of useful ‘no follow links’ are blog comment links. The vast majority of the sites and blogs are all no follow these days, which was implemented to discourage comment spamming. But a high quality blog comment on a authority blog can still deliver hundreds of unique visitors in a very short amount of time.

Wikipedia is also a great example of the advantage of ‘no follow links’. Back in the day, all Wikipedia links were actually do-follow. But then the link spammers caught on to the fact that Wikipedia is a huge authority site that everyone could edit and add their own links to. The No-follow links were introduced on Wikipedia to directly prevent this. But a (back)link from Wikipedia still makes your site look more credible, and that begin said, you can even get a huge stream of targeted referral traffic from it. TheMillionairesLife.com recently got a link in a article at Wikipedia (it was credited as a source) on a pretty obscure article, but that single little link on the bottom of the page still sends around 300 visitors per month. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself.

The Proof

There is not really much solid proof to back up any side of this argument. In fact, when it comes to terms of SEO, everything is an inexact science. What will work for one person does not necessarily mean that it will also work for you. That being said, I strongly recommend you to scale a “balanced” and holistic approach to your link building methods.

Create a stack of good quality, content-relevant ‘do-follow’ links to your site to boost it up higher in the search engine rankings. Things like Guest blogging, blog networks, directories, and article marketing, these are just a few easy steps to get do a bunch of follow links to your website that will help deliver that very important link juice.

Then, once you have done that, start getting no follow links from doing blog commenting and joining conversations in forums (authority forums are mostly no follow) and be active in other places that are going to deliver you good quantities of referral traffic. If know how to pre-sell effectively, the big bucks will be waiting from quality referral traffic. Offering an opt-in newsletter is even better, as you can capture that traffic and keep them in your sales loops for a very long time.

The Final Conclusion

My conclusion is very simple – ‘do-follow’ links provide much better “link juice” for pushing up your website within the search engine rankings. This certainly will not be denied in any argument. However, ‘no-follow’ links can most often be highly content-relevant, and come from sources that are more likely to generate bigger levels of constant referral traffic. In addition to this, search engines like Google are more likely to regard a good mixture of both types of incoming links as following a “natural” linking profile. This is a very good thing, as an unnatural link profile is much more likely to see you pushed from the top results of Google for SEO malpractice.

For that reason it is wise practice to always balance your do-follow with no-follow links. I would not stress too much if I where you about whether the links you are getting are all do-follow or no-follow. In fact, I would not stress about it at all. You want to know why? The reason is very simple – if you are actually putting yourself out there actively creating links to your site, you are taking good actions, and that counts for more than anything else.

What are your thoughts on the story of do-follow vs no-follow links?

I am sure that your opinion probably differs greatly from my own, and I would absolutely love to hear this!
Leave a comment below and get the discussion started. 
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