Insights of “no-follow” and “do-follow” backlinks for organic SEO.

Early 2006 to till the date, there is a   huge debate on counting performance for no-follow and do-follow backlinks for SERP algorithm. Now the point is why I am pulling the topic once again?The simple reason is while Google confirms they are calculating 200 signals with 50 variations for their SERP algorithm and Social networks signals playing a one of the vital role!

The concept for the specification of the attribute value nofollow was designed by Google’s head of webspam team Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen from in 2005. Question:What is “no-follow” links?The nofollow attribute value is not meant for blocking access to content, or for preventing content to be indexed by search engines. The proper methods for blocking search engine spiders from accessing content on a website or for preventing them from including the content of a page in their index are the Robots Exclusion Standard (robots.txt) for blocking access and on-page Meta Elements that are designed to specify on an individual page level what a search engine spider should or should not do with the content of the crawled page.


<a href=”; rel=”nofollow”>book stores</a>

So no-follow links basically introduced by the Google and to reduce the spammers from the blogs and if some one do-not use
no-follow for out bound linking then the Google PageRank(In the general case, the PageRank value for any page u can be expressed as:

i.e. the PageRank value for a page u is dependent on the PageRank values for each page v out of the set Bu (this set contains all pages linking to page u), divided by the number L(v) of links from page v.) will be passed to the linking website.

Sow the points comes that how much important is PageRank for ranking algorithm? If you think about Google still high PageRank and relevant natural links are most power full one for SERP algorithm.But when  Google officially confirms that Google is counting social networking links for SERP algorithm(though we all know from the beginning of 2010 Google is looking for social network links specially Twitter accounts and tweets!)

We  know all the social networking links are no-follow links; though think about that Google is still counting..that means Google give a good weightage for “no-follow” links.
Another point we can see that guest blog links(author bio),blog comment links are (most of them) are “no-follow” but Search engines calculate that for SERP.So for SERP algorithm valuable “no-follow” links are one of the parameter for Google and Bing specially.
When we are getting links from a valuable  valuable website and that might be “no-follow” all the search engines giving a preference for search engine ranking algorithm and its proven that if  you are linking to valuable “no-follow” links much better than less valuable do-follow links.

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19 responses to “Insights of “no-follow” and “do-follow” backlinks for organic SEO.

    • Dennis, be 100% sure about that specially for Google and Bing..because Google and Bing both officially declares that they are counting social media links in terms of SERP.
      Happy new advance Dennis…thanks look forward to your valuable comments!:)

  1. Anirban,
    You might be taking the article out of context.
    If you go and look at the news article about social network links counting you will see that Google states they count toward “ranking”.
    They never said that they count for SERPs.

    If you go to the Google/Vanessa Fox interview, ( it clearly defines the 3 processes.
    “I asked Google for more specifics and they told me that it was a rankings change, not a crawling or indexing change…”

    Ranking = PageRank
    Crawling = Google bot visits to your site.
    Indexing = Search engine results pages (SERPs)

    Mayday saw a large algo change for PageRank which, if successful, would negate the use of nofollow.
    Instead of a tag telling Google if the link is worthy of receiving PR, the content now is the controlling factor.
    Relevance between linking and linked pages is the yardstick, and not the old formula, which did not consider relevance.


  2. Yes he is but he is using the term for ranking.
    And ““Google: Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. ” again relates to rankings, not indexing.
    PR is an organic concept which can be applied to both.


  3. I cannot reproduce the twitter results in either or google com.
    The screen shot seems to be taken on Dec 9 2009 and it could be from one of Google’s tests.

    In testing I went to Twitter and looked at what was trending and Googled the phrases. There was nothing in the top 100 from twitter.

    I would also say that showing a tweet is different from applying a ranking value to a tweet.


  4. I am not disputing that tweets get indexed.
    If you look at an individual tweet, it is structured in it’s own webpage.

    If you go to Matt states that social networking links are treated the same as regular links in regards to PageRank.
    He also says in the video that twitter links are nofollow

    In Google’s scheme of things PR is a minor factor for SERPs.
    It does not exert a strong influence as it has been downgraded to “one of over 200 indexing factors” by Google.

    • Yes we know, that Google does not evaluate the PR for SERP, but its proven from the particle results the good PR, authority domain links enhance the SERP..also not only 200 signals that is 200 signals with 50 variations…for SERP…

    • Lost you?Where?But we are in the loop!A good authority domain gains a good PageRank, then why you want to differentiate?Both complements each other as we know…yes we do have three to four campaigns we are running..thats doing good in terms PR link building..I will come up with some next month..thanks for having a good conversation on the topic..

  5. I have done some linking/serps studies on one of my articles.
    I have an article about the history of SEO.

    Initially the page was at about #75 and I made a few changes to bring it up to #25.
    I then tweeted and facebooked and had several friends retweet it.

    My indexed page rose to #23 – a gain of 2 spots.
    This was with about 15 links, tweets.

    You lost me when you said “Yes we know, that Google does not evaluate the PR for SERP, but its proven from the particle results the good PR, authority domain links enhance the SERP”

    You are saying that Google does not evaluate PR then you say they do.
    You cannot separate (seoparate?), PR and authority links as it is PR that determines the authority and value of the link.


    • Hi,Reg,
      A good experiment, but I think tweet is part of Google’s 10000 signals, so it should improve the position while all the tweets cached by the Google bot, also we know it matters that how much influential people or twitter accounts tweets or re-tweets.
      The second thing is the authority domain links are much more valuable and PR and authority domains compliments each other as I told you…and I do agree.

  6. Further to the linking test.
    I again tweeted the anchor text and link for my History of SEO article and asked that my followers retweet it as a test. (If I count the followers of my 29 followers there are over 58,000)

    The day that this was done my web traffic tripled and Google’s indexing of the phrase rose from #23 to #1.
    It stayed there 9 days and dropped back to #23.


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