no follow tag for external link

Nofollow Link: Learn to Improve Website Health

What is Nofollow Link?

Nofollow Links are linked with rel=”nofollow” HTML tag.

When we open a link as a user, it makes no difference whether it is a nofollow or dofollow link. To a user, both links function in the same way.

However, there is a significant difference between nofollow and dofollow links in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Because nofollow links do not convey link juice, they do not help you rank higher in search engines. As a result, nofollow links have no influence on search engine results.

Although it is controversial if nofollow links are a useful ranking component or not. This is why I chose to acquire an answer from a reputable source. Take a look at what Google suggests for nofollow links.

Use the nofollow value when other values don’t apply, and you’d rather Google not associate your site with, or crawl the linked page from, your site.”

Google Search Console

With this theory, I discovered that Google search engine bots will not scan any nofollow linked pages from any website. As a result, the nofollow link will not pass any link juice, which will boost search engine rankings.

There are numerous strategies available on the internet that will explain how to identify nofollow links in various ways. I have even learned a lot from utilizing the internet. Thanks to the digital era. In this article, I’m going to help you with those strategies by sharing my experiences in a straightforward manner.

I’m including a screenshot from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s Wikipedia page (The Great Scientist, Teacher, and Former President of India). You will see, this page is created with a lot of links to assist the reader in fully grasping the context. What if we try to determine whether all of those links are nofollow or dofollow?

As I previously stated, I will begin with a simple method. And here’s a quick and easy way to determine whether a link is nofollow or not. This technique is quite tricky and necessitates only a little understanding of HTML. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a web developer to comprehend these scripts. Take a look at the steps below.

Just right-click on any of these links and click on the INSPECT. For example, in the screenshot below, I am clicking on the ISRO link.

Here is a quick understanding formula. 

<a href=””>anchor text</a>

Example of Dofollow Link

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>

Example of Nofollow Link

When you inspect any website, you will see a list of codes right above the fold. If this is a nofollow link, the word “nofollow” will appear between these codes. Otherwise, consider the link to be “dofollow.” Because “dofollow” links do not explicitly state that they are “nofollow.”

This shows that the link (ISRO) I clicked is a dofollow link because it does not have a “nofollow” tag in its HTML code section.

As I previously stated, I will discuss a variety of strategies for distinguishing between nofollow and dofollow links in a straightforward manner. But first, I’d like to talk a little more about this subject.

When we are a user, it makes no difference whether the link is nofollow or dofollow. But keep in mind that as content writers, we need to know more about these. The first realization is that we are not writing solely for SEO purposes. We mostly write for our readers. As a result, when linking web pages, we must consider both SEO and reader appeal.

Both of these links, in my opinion, represent a link-building opportunity. In the following part, I will explain how you might identify these as opportunities.

As I said earlier, the nofollow link does not pass on any link juice to improve SEO ranking. For me, it is still an important factor to maintain good website health. Before sharing the scope of the opportunity, I would like to share a short history of the nofollow tag. This will help you to understand the purpose so that you can utilize this as an opportunistic weapon.

Back to the year before 2005, when blog commenting was a popular method to build backlinks. The negative aspect of this method was spam commenting where a vast number of people were trying to fool Google algorithm. 

Those websites were ranked because of the high amount of artificial links created from commenting rather than creating optimized content. As a result, two major problems are as follows:

  1. Spammy / over-optimized websites were ranking on Google and removing high-quality websites out of the search results.
  2. As this technique worked well, spam commenting activity had gone out of control.

In September 2005, Google developed the concept of nofollow tag and updated its algorithm to stop spam activity. If you are building a link-building strategy for your website, it is a stupid idea to maintain 100% dofollow links. The search engine will measure the ratio of dofollow and nofollow links to understand the website’s health.

Because of the algorithm update, several people avoid connecting with so many other niche blogs and communities. It’s a stupid idea to avoid connecting with such niche websites and communities simply because they generate nofollow links. 

It is more important to determine whether the blog or community seems to have a targeted audience or not. Simply consider how relevant those are to your niche and whether their audience could be interested in your website. In other words, be sure your target audience is present – don’t choose a target site just because it has a lot of traffic and offers dofollow links.

I utilize nofollow tags with a specific strategy at MSP Learning Academy. Of course, I am concerned about SEO, but I am also interested in finding targeted audiences. When it comes to passing external links, consider the following scenarios in which I prefer to implement.

Paid Links

On my website, I have used some affiliate links or paid links. My primary intention is not to pass the link juice to them. These are pointed to external websites to drive traffic only. If you are using an affiliate link on your website, you are recommended to use the nofollow tag.


If you are not interested in investing your time in comment moderation, then you should use nofollow tags to avoid spam commenting and harmful links.


On my website, I use embedded videos to make my article more understandable. Here, my primary objective is to provide a better user experience, not to pass link juice. This is why I use the nofollow link attribute on embedded content.

Fortunately, there are several plugins that help me to create a nofollow link attribute in bulk mode rather than one by one. As a result, I save more time investing to learn something new. If you want to save your time and manage website external links or outbound links, these methods may be helpful for you. Have a look at these methods.

If you are a WordPress user, then you should try External Links Plugin. This plugin has some useful features to set up nofollow links on all external links in a few clicks. Download this free plugin and install it on your WordPress website. After activating, you can find an option to configure and enjoy the service.

Click on the EXTERNAL LINKS option on the left side and the set allows you to add attributes as per your own requirements.

Settings for external links: Enable this box to start controlling your external links.

Open External Links: Decide how these external links will open if the user clicks on those.  Just select any method to set Links to Open in Same Window or a New Window.

Set follow or nofollow: Select the nofollow option if you want to set all your external links as nofollow.

Overwrite existing values: Here is another cool feature on this plugin. This is more helpful for those websites with huge quantity of content. Let me help you to understand this better.

Suppose you have a blog with several contents and manually configured that all your external links should open in the same window with the “dofollow” tag. 

After understanding the requirement of maintaining a good ratio between dofollow and nofollow links, you have decided to tag all external links as nofollow. 

To establish your current configuration, just click on the Overwrite existing values box and Save. This action will remove all your previous configuration in a single click and save your precious time.

As you can see from the above screenshot, you can also take control of your internal links. This is one of the best plugins to control external links I have ever found.

Ultimate Nofollow Plugin is quite simple to use compared to External Links Plugin. Still, it is a WordPress Plugin loved by users who want to use lightweight plugin into their website.

Click here to download this free plugin.

Once activated, click on the NOFOLLOW option under the settings menu (left panel on the dashboard). As I have said, this is a simple plugin, just select two of the options below and enjoy the benefits.

Note: If you want to tag nofollow on all of your comments, then tick on Nofollow for all links in the comments box. Otherwise, this box remains unticked. My screenshot has been activated as I would like to stop spam comment activity on my website.

If you want to do it manually, you should have little knowledge of HTML coding. This technique is quite simple but riskier than other methods. So, proceed further if you are familiar with HTML code. 

For example, I have written a sample post and edited the HTML code. Have a look onto the screenshot below.

Here, the 1st paragraph is a sample post in a normal view. When I switched this to HTML mode, I found something like the 2nd paragraph.

Click here to subscribe to the text that is hyperlinked to my blog newsletter link. Here I have added “rel=”nofollow” tag (marked in red) to make this link nofollow. 

And the job is done. The link became nofollow.

There is no official rule for maintaining the ratio between dofollow and nofollow links. From an SEO point of view, you will not benefit from using the nofollow link attribute. I think we should take control of external links, especially affiliate links, comments and embedded content where the primary objective is to provide a better user experience.

In this guide, you have learned some methods which will help you to save your precious time and improve your website health. Now is the time to read your experience on what method you found helpful for your website. Let me know over the comment section.

Good Luck.