How to Add NoFollow Tag - dummies

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

The NoFollow tag was created as a way to disclose to search engines that although your mom blogging site is adding a link to a certain destination, it is not endorsing the destination site. Initially used for blog comments to combat comment spam, it protected blogs from inadvertently linking to so-called bad neighborhoods on the Web.

Linking to known spam or scam sites is against the guidelines of all the major search engines, and will get your site penalized even if you aren’t spamming or scamming.

If you write a sponsored post, Google considers that a paid link. Any time you take money from someone and link to that company’s website, you run the risk of being dropped from the Google search engine results pages.

You can still link to sponsors as long as you use the NoFollow tag in your links. Be especially careful about how you sell advertising on your blog — if you specifically state that an advertising package includes a link to the sponsor’s website, that is a red flag to Google.

Google has specifically stated that if a link is paid for, it must not “pass page rank,” which means that the link cannot and should not be used to increase the authority of the sponsored site. You have two possible ways to add a link to a sponsor that is compliant with these guidelines:

  • Add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the <a> tag.

  • Redirect the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file.

Because the second way is more time-consuming and technical than it’s worth, here’s how to add a NoFollow tag to your paid links.

  1. Add a link to your text the way you normally would.

    The link will look like this:

    <a href="">My Sponsor Text</a>
  2. Switch to HTML view.

  3. Insert the NoFollow tag by editing the link as follows:

    <a rel="nofollow" href="">My Sponsor Link</a>

These NoFollow tags must be added to your links, or you could be banned by the search engines, or displayed lower in the results than you could be. If you don’t care about search engine traffic, then okay, this doesn’t apply to you.

But for professional bloggers, not using the NoFollow tag will severely hinder your growth in the long term. Don’t settle for short-term gains that will create long-term pains. Adding NoFollow tags is easy and completely worth the time and effort.