minutes read  |  Chris Ryan Kingston

What Is A Do-Follow Link?

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What Is A Do-Follow Link?

The online world is full of constant competition, whether it be in climbing the ranks of Instagram followers or competing against other website owners looking to stand out from the crowd and improve their search engine rankings.

We know that if it is easier for potential customers to find a website within the search engine results pages (SERPs), then it will lead to more traffic and ultimately more sales. But, it is a lot easier said than done. Gone are the days where you could simply take advantage of keyword stuffing and try to rank for every keyword under the sun. Nowadays, in order to outrank your competitors, you need to take a meticulous approach to SEO.

A great deal of a good SEO approach comes down to writing relevant, helpful, search for content, but other factors still contribute, such as do-follow links. With a strategic approach, these links can help push your content into higher PageRank and improve your websites search results.

What Is A Do-Follow Link?

Dofollow links are used to allow search bots to follow the links through to the websites that said links reference. For example, if another website links to your site with a do-follow link, then the search engine bots (sometimes referred to as crawlers or spiders) can follow through to your website. They can pass on ‘link juice’, and this will really benefit your website in getting a high PageRank. Since PageRank is a weighted score that uses links to assign points, the more points, the better your site rank, and the better your SEO.

However, when do-follow links were first introduced (and for many years after) there was a problem? Almost immediately after their introduction, websites were using them to get easy points to improve their PageRank, and thus it became the strategy of many marketers and SEO experts

To combat the growing problem of spam links, the “nofollow” link was created. Site admins could add an HTML tag that looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>

This tag would say to the search engine bots that this link should not be followed and to not pass on any link juice. The result? It reduced the use of spam links on the web and allowed websites to choose whether or not they should pass on link juice and PageRank points to a particular site.

How Do You Create A Do-Follow Link?

In the majority of cases, no action is required when creating a do-follow link. If your site is linked to by another site and they do not specifically choose to add the nofollow tag, then search engines will naturally arrive at your page and increase your overall PageRank. The same is true if you’re linking to another website from your own site, for example within blog posts or page content.

It is important to choose wisely whether you are going to leave a link as do-follow or include the no-follow tag. Linking to websites that lead to low-quality or keyword-stuffed content, can reflect poorly on your own website. However, if the website and content being linked to are from a reputable source, do-follow is ideal.

So, put simply, unless specified otherwise, all links, to and from your website will be do-follow. Just make sure to do your due diligence and check links leading outside your site and links from your own posts or attached to comments on your content are only do-follow if the outgoing link site is reputable and relevant.

Is There A Way To See If A Link Is Do-Follow?

If you are wondering whether or not a link is do-follow, for example, you have received an influx of backlinks and wish to check whether they are going to send link juice and help your PageRank, then there are a number of tools you can use to do this.

Some of the most popular tools include:

Moz MozBar is a Chrome extension that is very easily integrated within your chrome browser. SEOquake is offered on both Chrome & Firefox and Link Analyzer is a standalone tool and works with any particular browser.

One of the advantages of these tools is that they are all free to use and all offer reports on your backlinks, showing which ones are do-follow and which are no-follow.

How Long Does It Take For A Do-Follow Link To Be Recognized?

Now, there is no defined time limit here since search engine spiders crawl a significant volume of web pages every day, but as a rule of thumb, you can expect do-follow links to be recognized by Google within two to four days after being posted.

There are factors that can increase the time it takes for your links to be recognised, such as low search traffic and links being received from small web pages.

We recommend that you monitor your backlinks at least once a month, and use one of the tools listed above to see which ones are do-follow and no-follow. You can then reach out to the websites that linked with a no-follow tag and attempt to converse with them to change to remove the tag and allow the link to become a do-follow, passing more link juice on to your website and increasing your PageRank score.


Remember, the best links come from reputable websites and when linking to other websites from your own site, make sure the web page being linked to includes high-quality content and no evidence of keyword stuffing.

Should you wish to learn more about SEO, here are some more informative and educational blog posts:

> The Importance Of Content On SEO & Organic Traffic
> What Is Off-Page SEO? & Our 4 Best Off-Page SEO Practices
> What does on-page SEO mean? 6 Ways To Optimise A Web Page

If you are interested in finding out how VEVS and our team of experts can help your business when it comes to marketing, please visit our digital marketing page for more information.

We have some other great blog posts for you to view:

> 5 Powerful SEO Chrome Extensions You Must Have
> What Content Should You Add To Your Website?

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