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The Bloggers Guide to Domain Authority, NoFollow and DoFollow Links

Domain Authority

 

Before I began blogging, I knew very little about hyperlinks apart from the fact when I clicked my mouse over a URL link, it would take me to another website page. As a blogger however, links are something I need to understand in more detail especially if I want to get more page views, drive traffic to my site and earn decent money blogging.

Domain Authority

I’ve learnt a lot over the past two years and I decided to write The Bloggers Guide to Domain Authority, No Follow and Do Follow links to help make it easier for others to understand what I have learnt.

Understanding Domain Authority.

Every Website on the internet has a Domain name and with that comes a Domain Authority. My domain name is www.theinspirationedit.com and my Domain Authority is ranked and given a score out of 100.

The score given to a website domain is actually a prediction of your website’s ranking potential in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo etc. The higher the score, the higher your website or blog will rank in SEO.

To find your own Domain Authority Score you can visit Moz.com and type in your own domain url. You will then be given a Domain Authority, a Page Authority and your page Link metrics.

Why is Domain Authority Important?

The higher your Domain Authority, the more likely people are to find the pages on your website or Blog. Therefore the higher up you are on the Search Engine page, the more likely you are to get traffic visit your blog and read your posts.

PR companies and brands who collaborate with bloggers will want to work with those of us who have a good MOZ Score. For example, one is much more likely to send a product for review to a blogger with a score of 30/100 than a score of 5/100.

The higher your Domain Authority the more you can charge a company for sponsored posts and or a link from your blog post to a certain brand’s webpage. (Of course other factors will come into play when brands choose to work with you such as your niche, following, rankings and popularity etc). However the MOZ score and Domain is important and the higher it is, the better for you as a blogger.

creating a no follow link

What is a Root Domain

A Root domain is a website for example a URL ending in .com, co.uk or similar which has a link directly to your website or blog. The more Root Domains that link to your blog  the better.

There are two types of links in the internet world, these are internal links which link to pages on your own website and external links which link to other websites. Your Moz Score can tell you how many unique links there are from individual websites to your blog and how many total links there are be it internal, external, nofollow or dofollow links.

Do Follow and No Follow Links

When adding a link from your blog to another website there are certain options you are able to make. For example you can make it a do follow or no follow link.

For example, I may read something brilliant on a friends blog and decide to share this on my blog/site. If I choose to make this a follow link, then SEO spiders will crawl from my site to my friends site and this will have a positive effect on my friends blog. The follow link will in effect be saying, “I’m linking to a credible source” and will help improve the SEO of the site you link to.

Now it is okay to use follow links on a blog, however there are times when follow links are frowned upon and against Google/SEO rules. If a blogger uses follow links when they are not supposed to, this can have a negative impact not only on your SEO ranking but that of the website you link to. In fact Google could remove your blog/website completely from their Search Engine leaving you unable to get traffic from that source preventing your blog from ever growing.

When must I use a No Follow Link?

When working with a Brand or PR company, for example if you have written a review or sponsored post, which then has a link to the brand concerned, it is best to use a nofollow link. If you happened to use a do follow link you would “in the eyes of google” be accepting payment for the link and both you and the website you link to could be penalised by google.

What a blogger needs to do is make the link from your post to the brands website a NO Follow link. I’ll show you how to do this shortly. Whether your link is a follow or no follow link, your readers can still click on the link and visit the brand/website you are linking up to. A No follow link will not affect the traffic flow from your blog to the brand.

The only thing the No Follow link does is stop Google/SEO spiders from crawling from your blog to the brand’s website and improving the SEO ranking for that brand.

As Bloggers we work with brands to advertise, review or honestly recommend products and our readers can by choice click on the link to visit the brand we work with. We can be paid for these links to help drive traffic to the brand but we cannot be paid to help build the brand’s SEO/MOZ Rank.

Bloggers have to work hard by guest posting, through getting recognised and or mentioned legitimately on other websites in order to build backlinks and our MOZ Scores. Bloggers should not buy backlinks and neither should other website, brands or PR companies.

How to add No Follow Script to your link

There are a few options or ways to create a no follow link. This is the most basic option.

Option One:

Click on the Insert Link Button, Add your link for example  http://www.daysinbed.com and then add the text “rel=”nofollow”

how to make a no follow link

 

Option Two :

Go into the Text Section of your blog post and add the whole text

<a href=””your LINK url”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>any text link here</a>

 

Option Three:

This was the easiest long term solution for me. Downloading a Word PlugIn called

REL NOFOLLOW CHECKBOX

It simply adds the option to make the link No follow by ticking the check box once you add in a link for example:

how to add a no follow link

 

What if a brand demands a Do Follow Link?

When I started blogging, I didn’t know much at all about the tech side of things. I’ve had to learn as I go and with time comes experience.

As a relatively new blogger, I landed a great review of a product which I thought was brilliant and so I wrote my review and included a No Follow link. Not long after, I received an email. The owner of the product I reviewed was not happy. He demanded I change the link to his site to a do follow link.

I wrote to the owner and explained that this was against Google rules and that I was in fact not only protecting myself, I was protecting his website too. Once he understood this, his attitude changed and he actually thanked me because he had been unaware of this rule.

In general PR companies and brands do know about the no follow/do follow rules. However, sometimes we will have to educate them and when working with smaller brands the owners may not be aware of this whatsoever.

At the end of the day, bloggers who are taking on work and earning money will not want to sabotage their own business/blog and if I come across someone unwilling to accept the no follow/do follow rules for bloggers, then I’d rather not work with them than risk damaging my SEO ranking and sabotaging my own blogging efforts.

I hope you found this helpful! Have you had any issues when creating follow/do follow links for brands?

Angela Milnes x

93 Comments

  1. Wow! This post is beyond informative. While I just started my blog, I am open to the endless possibilities that it may bring me. I truly hope that it can become something much bigger than it is now after 2.5 months. When did you start blogging? You are clearly doing an amazing job. An advice for an newby like me? ha #brilliantblogposts

    1. I started blogging at the beginning of the year…. still a long way to go but I’ve done well for 10 months. 🙂 Nice to meet you and I glad this is useful. I figured it is great to share what I learn as I go. 🙂 Angela x

    1. Great! I’m glad you found it useful. Sometimes things are so over-complicated by big words it’s really hard to understand. Thanks for stopping by. Angela x

  2. I am going to try and re-read this a few times. Very good information, i just dont understand because of my brain issues with stroke. I am trying though and appreciate the advice even though i cant quite figure it out

    1. Ha Ha! I Totally understand the brain issues. I am so slow to think at times and It’s taken me almost six months to get my head around this information. Take your time and don’t worry too much. There is plenty of time to learn these new things. Angela x

  3. This is a really clear explanation of the rules. I’m lucky as my OH is a web developer so I can get help and html codes, etc from him, but this is a really confusing area if you are new & have no one to ask – this is a great explanation & guide. #brilliantblogposts

    1. Good Question! I don’t have the complete answer to that however, as bloggers we are expected to make it clear on our blog when we have been sponsored to write content. I have a disclaimer on the bottom of my page stating “this is a collaborative post” or “content is sponsored” etc. If we indicate as we should that our post is sponsored then google will naturally read the words that the post is paid for when checking the links. However I guess people could get away with not telling their reader/audience but that would not be honest or beneficial to the blogger. ANgela x

      1. If Google notice that a brand is getting more do follow links than you’d expect, they’ll look into it to see they’re not trying to buy their way up the rankings. If it turns out they were, they wipe the slate clean. (I’ve seen references to this in the various blogging groups on FB).

        Thank you for this, it’s the clearest explanation of when to use do follow and no follow links I’ve seen. I’m amazed at the number of brands who still ask for do follow links and say that putting in a disclaimer is against their policy. And then get huffy when told that breaking Google rules and ASA guidelines is against mine! #brillantblogposts

        1. I totally agree….you cant buy your way up the rankings, thats no good and you do get caught out…so i’ve heard. We just have to plod along building our genuine links and doing our best and it will work well for us! Angelax

    1. Your welcome. It can be a minefield. There is so much to learn as a blogger and we just have to take it one day at a time and slowly build our knowledge base. Angela x

  4. Fantastic post. I found follow and no follow links so confusing at first. I thought no follow meant no one could follow them! I tend to use follow links if I mention a blog or social media platform I like, and no follow for the rest. Its probably over cautious but better safe than sorry!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    1. I’m really pleased you enjoyed this. It really did confuse me at the start so I’m pleased I get it now, although as soon as you get one thing there is always something new to learn.

  5. This is so helpful Ang! I could have done with this explanation when I started blogging. I’m still not certain about using do follow links with companies that I haven’t worked with but have mentioned & linked to on the blog. Do you use follow or no follow then? I can’t find a definitive answer on it except whether you want to be seen to be supporting the site or not. It’s a tricky one. #AnythingGoes x

    1. You can use do follow links when its unpaid but…there may be a risk of google assuming it’s paid so yes it’s a tricky one. I think if every single post was do follow then alarm bells would ring. I do no follow for all my links to brands. Do follow is for the people who I want to endorse, recommend, share. At the end of the day a do follow link is a huge endorsement but yes it’s not an easy thing to work out!

      1. If you’re choosing to put in links, it doesn’t matter if it’s brands, websites, people, they should be dofollow. You’re saying they’re a reputable site you want to link to.

        It’s only those you’ve been paid to include that you should be nofollowing, if you’re follwing Google’s rules

  6. Wow! Thank you so much for this. You have explained it so well crystal clear in plain English! Now – I understand! I read a lot about this before but the ones I read up did not explain to me about the crawl and ranking penalties – just said that it is against google rule. I think you have just saved me! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! #brillantblogposts

  7. This has helped me heaps! I’m still new to blogging and all of this has been ever so confusing to me! Would you say follow links are fine if you just sharing normal posts? and then none follow links when its a review or a sponsored post for a company? is that right? haha.

    Linking to you from #AnythingGoes linky.

    1. Yes. No follow links are generally if the post is a specific review for a brand or a sponsored blog post. You can do follow links however you like but it would look dodgy to google if your links on a sponsored post/review was do follow.

  8. This is really interesting! I’m new to blogging and useless at web management. I have my own business and I’ve always paid other people to do this bit for me. But I’ve taken over the reigns six months ago and I have to say it was all a bit overwhelming! I’d imagine my current score is awful, so I really need to try and get it up so that people can read my blogs! What would you say is best, in terms of a brand new site? Thanks for writing! Jodie xx

    1. The moz score grows naturally over time and the best way to help increase I think (but i’m not an expert) is to keep producing good content and posts and building followers a little bit at a time. Then, as you grow people will share your content and create links on their own websites and blogs. Guest posting is a good way to build links and submitting articles to relevant websites…for example i’m planning to try and get an article published on “the mighty” a chronic illness website. Some parent bloggers try to get published on the Huffington post etc which is good but hard to do. Other ideas are blogger awards and tags. For example, I got tagged in the sisterhood of the world award and libester award as a new blogger and when you get tagged, the blogger who tags you adds your link onto their site and you add the links to the blogs you nominate. I think this can help a little to build links- but the aim is to get links from lots of different places etc So maybe focus on one website or blog at a time or look out for guest posting opportunities. You could also do a monthly post on your favourite bloggers or best posts you read that month and people might reciprocate… just a few ideas.

  9. Well thats the first time I’ve ever read a post about do and don’t follow links and understood it. Thank you very informative!

  10. This is a really good, clear guide to it all. You really have learnt a lot about it when you have only been blogging for that long; it’s great that you understand it all so well. It can all be so confusing sometimes. Great post x

    1. Thanks Louise. I only learn by studying and researching and thats the one thing i have done all my life, studied so the skills are transferable into blogging. 🙂

  11. WHAT???? How did I not know any of this?? I am such a loser lol Its a really great post Ang and helpful, but how do I know if I’ve broken the rules? lol I never knew any of this – I just link it to stuff x

    1. Mary your not a loser lol! There is so much to learn and these rules apply to self hosted so just check your links before to sway over- it’s just the ones related to paid work/reviews etc. Ang xx

  12. Well this post has been a real eye opener for me. I’m very new to blogging and so all of these terms are totally foreign, but I’ve got a much better understanding now thank you very much. I don’t work with any brands (yet), and for me this is all a hobby, but I will save this post as if I ever hit the big time I’ll need it! :0)

  13. Thanks Angela for the information and tips. I never knew that such things existed. I bet there are lots more I don’t know about.

  14. Really useful article many thanks! Plain English, no technical language and therefore easy to understand:) I added a plugin but it didn’t work, I will try the one you have suggested

  15. HI Angela, this is such an interesting post and explains very clearly why it’s important to use no follow links when working with brands – I’ll be sharing it with the next company that gets in touch with me and asks for a do follow link. I have an additional question that has been bugging me for a while: how do Google’s spiders know whether a blogger has been paid or not to add a link to a post? Over the years I have added do follow links to websites that I genuinely think are useful to readers (places I’ve visited, for example). I haven’t been paid for these posts or links. Am I damaging my DA if the spiders mistakenly think I have been paid?

    1. To be honest I do not know but i can only guess or imagine how it happens and I think, if there were continuous do follows, it may ring alarm bells and someone may have to then check it out but i cannot be sure on that! I’m sure they have some smart technology which picks it up…but surely it would have to be checked by? I’d like to find out the exacts in and outs of it. you wont be penalised for adding a do follow when your not paid, but i think this has to do with writing a disclosure on the blog. i really am not 100% sure but i will try to find out!

  16. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did
    you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u
    got this from. thank you

  17. Great post there bro, really increasing DA of a blog is a challenging task for a blogger. I think posting unique and quality content on blog on a regular basis helps most to increase domain authority.
    I was not aware that URL structure plays role in DA too, that’s great information shared over here. Now I will try to make my blog post URL’s more SEO optimized.

  18. Hi

    I am reading a lot of posts regarding domain authority, because i want to improve my domain authority quickly in order to attract advertisers.

    Buy I am not finding it easy as I am not able to know, why I am not improving.

    Anyways, I have one question, Whether the links from bookmarking sites help in improving domain authority or not?

    I have build many links from Bookmarking and Profile sites, whether it helps?

  19. Great blog….this is probably one of the easiest to understand guides to follow links that I have ever read. I’ve read a good few blogs on this topic but still was unsure. Now, I’m certain about the lot. Thank you! I will definitely share this

  20. I am late commenting on this, as I have been saving it, for when I get my own domain name, which I now have, thanks, it is so informative!

  21. Pingback: My Homepage
  22. Thank you SO MUCH… this is one of the easiest-to-understand articles on follow/no-follow links. A must-read for all newbie bloggers. Sharing…

  23. I am late commenting on this, as I have been saving it, for when I get my own domain name, which I now have, thanks, it is so informative!

  24. You explained it in a very decent way, very understandable. Great post on Nofollow and Dofollow links. Thanks for the guide.

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