A ‘nofollow‘ link is just what it sounds like – it instructs search engine bots not to follow it back to its source. Preventing bots from crawling specific types of links, such as affiliate URLs, helps to ensure that your SEO performance remains top-notch.
In this article, we’ll explain how nofollow links work, and discuss their pros and cons. Then, we’ll cover some best practices for using them effectively, and show you how to make nofollow links in WordPress. Let’s get started!
An introduction to nofollow links
Search engines (such as Google) have bots that are designed to explore your website. These search bots try and understand what your content is about, how it’s organized, and so on. That way, they can present your site as a result in relevant searches.
One of the many things search bots pay attention to is the links on your site. By default, all links are ‘followed’ to their source, providing the bots with information about what kinds of web pages your content is associated with. For the most part, you’ll want search bots to follow the links on your site this way.
However, there are certain types of links that can hurt your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In cases like this, you can implement nofollow links in WordPress. These are normal links with code added to them, instructing search bots not to follow them to their source. Your human visitors won’t notice any difference, though.
It’s worth noting that using nofollow links doesn’t actually hide links from search engines. It requests that the bots ignore those links, and it’s up to the search engines to respect that request. Therefore, using nofollow on your links isn’t a guarantee that they will have no impact on your SEO. However, it’s still a smart way to minimize their impact.
How to add nofollow links to your WordPress site (2 methods)
If you want to know how to make nofollow links in WordPress, you’re in luck. It’s a simple process, which can be handled using one of two methods.
1. Add the nofollow attribute manually
First, it’s important to understand that WordPress already assigns the nofollow attribute to some links automatically. Specifically, it marks all user-submitted links as nofollow (such as links within comments). This helps reduce comment spam on your website and means that you only have to worry about adding nofollow to the links you create.
To nofollow a link, you’ll want to open up the page or post where the link exists (or where you’d like to add it). Make sure you’re in the Text tab of the editor. Then, paste in the following snippet:
<a href=”http://example.com/post” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>
You’ll want to replace the example URL with your own, and add in whatever text you’d like the link to display in place of anchor text. Then, just save the page or post! That’s how to make nofollow links in WordPress.
2.Use plugins to add and customize nofollow links
As you can see, adding nofollow links to your website manually is very easy. However, you can simplify the process even further using a plugin. What’s more, plugins can give you more control over how your nofollow links work.
For a faster way to create nofollow links in WordPress, you can use the Title and Nofollow For Links plugin. This simple tool adds a checkbox you can use when creating links:
After installing the plugin, navigate to a post or page and open up the editor for a link:
By checking the box next to Add rel=”nofollow” to link, you can create a nofollow link without using any code.
3.Adding NoFollow to All External Links in WordPress
First thing you need to do is install and activate the External Links plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » External Links page to configure the plugin settings.
The first option in the plugin settings applies nofollow globally. You can keep it unchecked if only you have access to your theme files.
Scroll down a little and enable ‘Add Nofollow’ by clicking the checkbox next to it. This option will add nofollow to all external links in WordPress posts and pages.
There are a number of options on the settings page which you can enable.
You can add nofollow to links in WordPress text widgets. You can also allow the plugin to treat subdomains as local sites and exclude them from nofollow rules.
External Links plugin also allows you to open external link in new window and you can even show an icon next to external links.
If you have some other websites that you want to exclude from nofollow rules, then you can add them under ‘Domains to exclude’ section.
Do not add http or www and use commas to separate domains. Click on the save changes button to store your settings.
If you want your site to rank highly in search engine results, you’ll need to be very careful about how you use links. While you’ll typically want Google and similar sites to know exactly where you’re linking to, some types of links are better off ignored, such as user-submitted and affiliate URLs.