We are — at least as of today we are.
As with most things strategy-wise, there are people making strong recommendations to use them for affiliate links… and not to use them.
We’re going to try it for a while and see if we can track any positive or negative impact on our rankings.
I just spent a monotonous 47 minutes going back through all of our previous posts and changing the affiliate links that leave our Business Building Shortcuts site into nofollow links.
What is a NoFollow Link?
When you create a link that visitors to your site can click that will take them to a page that is not on your site, such as an affiliate offer, these links are typically created as ‘follow’ links.
I’m not referring to whether or not clicking the link will take your readers to the place you want them to go. That’s a live or clickable link.
A nofollow or no-follow link is created for the search engines, not for your readers. Do it right, and your readers won’t even know the difference. And it’s easy to do it right.
Now while I have this so fresh in my html-creating mind, how about if I show you how to do it.
But first, why might you care?
Keep Your Page Rank for Your Pages
It can be a lot of work to create good page rank for your site, and it takes time. Page Rank is basically a measure of the authority of your site, and a higher page rank is better. If you have a higher page rank, it’s likely your pages will show up on page 1 of the search results for Google, Yahoo, MSN or other search engine.
And therefore, it’s more likely searchers will find you instead of someone else.
An important way to create a higher page rank is to have more sites linking to your site. And linking from them to you with ‘do follow’ links.
By the same token, you don’t want to leak your hard-earned page rank to other sites by linking to them with ‘do follow’ links. Especially if the site you are linking to is an affiliate site, or even to your own pages such as the ‘About Us’ page.
Many blogs have automatic nofollow linking in place for such internal pages on your own site, and also for comments and social networking bookmark sites.
However, when you use a live link that leads off of your site, you need to make it a nofollow link yourself. Here’s how.
Make an Outbound Link a NoFollow Link
To do this, you usually have to go into the html code of your post and/or link.
A typical link looks like this in html:
<a href=”http://www.URL.com/”>TEXT HERE </a>
And here is that same link, but with the rel=”nofollow” tag added just in front of (to the left of) the ending > in the a href tag. there is a space before the rel=”nofollow” part, and it shouldn’t be bolded. I added the bold and the red color so you can see the section that is to be added.
<a href=”http://www.URL.com/” rel=”nofollow”>TEXT HERE </a>
This is a text link, with the ‘TEXT HERE’ replaced by the words you want to appear in the post or on the page as an underlined link.
For example, here is a nofollow text link to our favorite shopping cart system, where ‘shopping cart system’ would replace the words TEXT HERE in the example above. Of course, you’d also need to have the appropriate URL in the link.
And here is a screen shot of how this previous paragraph looks in html code. The target=”_blank” makes a new browser page open when visitors click the link, instead of taking them off of your site to the new linked page.
So now you have to decide what links, if any, you want to be ‘nofollow’ links and add this little snippet of code to each link to make it so.