Nofollow links: yes or no?

Links are still an important factor in search engine optimization and can significantly contribute to the success of a website – or even ensure that the ranking just does not turn out as desired. But what role do nofollow links play? Is it necessary to use this and should you also work towards collecting these links for your website? At first glance, that makes little sense, but it is always important in search engine optimization, to question assumptions and examine.

If links are marked with the attribute “nofollow”, you give the search engine the signal that you do not explicitly recommend the page and so these links were not even recorded by the crawler for a long time. Google still takes this hint today, but does not view it to be a strict policy and looks at it more as a recommendation, because the link can be seen. From March 2020, however, an indexation can follow.

In September of this year, Google has already announced that the nofollow attribute will be supplemented by two additional attributes. With rel = “sponsored” commercial links, therefore affiliate links will also be marked and the attribute rel = “ugc” will be awarded to user-generated content, ie content that is not provided by the website operator. This can be used, for example, in blog comments, if links are listed there.

The nofollow attribute will remain in place, but it will only be used alongside the other attributes, and especially if the website referred to by the link is really not recommended. In the future, therefore, all three attributes should be justified. But the question remains: Does nofollow links have a negative impact on my website? The answer to that is quite simple: No – it’s even positive when they happen. Even if these links do not include a link juice, they primarily bring visitors, because they do not look if a link was signed to follow or nofollow. In addition, nofollow links are also an important part of a natural link profile. If there are no nofollow links, especially for companies or commercial websites, this can even negatively affect the trust.