What are Nofollow Links? How to Find and Remove Follow Links from Your Site

Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” tag applied to them. This tag signals search engines to bypass a particular link, thus rendering the link incapable of influencing a page’s rank and placement on search engine results pages or SERPs. Nofollow links were first introduced in 2005 in an effort to combat comment spamming. They are an important factor when it comes to website performance as they do not pass PageRank or impact search engine rankings. Google also recently announced two new rel attributes in addition to the existing dofollow and nofollow, further expanding the use of nofollow links. Although it has been stated that nofollow links are not a direct ranking signal, they may still be used by Google to verify the context of the content and the links.

A description of nofollow links.

1. They do not contribute to your site’s SEO.

Nofollow links are a type of link with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag, which tells search engines to not to crawl or index the link and not to count it towards a website’s backlink profile. Despite being instructed to ignore the link, nofollow links can still generate traffic, as users can still click on them to visit the page. Despite not counting for improving rankings, nofollow links can still build site and brand awareness, as well as provide valuable referral traffic.

When it comes to SEO, nofollow links are not a factor in ranking, but there is still debate over whether or not the anchor text of nofollow links has any weight. It is important to note that just because a link does not have a nofollow attribute, does not make it a good or valuable link to have and other factors such as relevance, authority, and usefulness should be considered when acquiring links for SEO purposes.

In conclusion, nofollow links are not completely useless when it comes to SEO, and should be included in a robust digital marketing strategy. Despite not having a direct impact on rankings, they can still benefit a website in terms of traffic and brand awareness.

2. They take up valuable web page space.

Nofollow links are HTML attributes used to prevent search engine crawlers from passing link authority to a destination page. This means that nofollow links do not influence a page’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Instead, they are used to prevent Google from considering a link as a sign of endorsement when it discovers the link on a web page. To view a page’s HTML code and determine if a link is nofollow, right-click anywhere on the page and click on ‘View Page Source’. Nofollow links look like this: <a href=”http://example.com” rel=”nofollow”>Example Link</a>.

In terms of the amount of space taken up on a web page, nofollow links take up the same amount of space as any other links on the page. This is because nofollow links are still HTML tags, and therefore require the same amount of code as any other link in order to be displayed. The only difference between nofollow and dofollow links is the HTML attribute ‘rel=”nofollow”’ which is added to the HTML code of the link to indicate to search engine crawlers that the link should not be followed.

3. They distract the user from the content on your site.

Nofollow links can be a great way of controlling the flow of traffic to and from your website, as well as preventing websites from feeling the impact of spammy or malicious links. However, some users may be distracted by nofollow links on a page and not be able to concentrate on the content. This can have a negative effect on the overall user experience, as they may not be exposed to the information they were looking for. As a result, they may leave the website without engaging with it or making any conversions. To ensure that users remain focused on the content, websites should use nofollow links sparingly and only when necessary, such as in blog comments or ads.

Nofollow links can lead to clicking on unknown links if the user is unaware that the link is nofollow. The user may assume that the link is a valid and trustworthy link, only to find out that it is not. In this case, nofollow links can lead to traffic, but it can also lead to potentially undesired websites or malicious content. To avoid this, it is important to use the nofollow attribute on any link that you do not trust. This will alert users that the link is not endorsed by the website and should not be clicked on. Additionally, it is important to review all links in any guest posts, use nofollow or ugc on all user-generated content by default, and avoid linking to low-quality websites and spam. Doing so can help to avoid any risk of a Google penalty.

5. They make your site appear spammy.

Removing nofollow links from your website can have both positive and negative effects on its appearance. On the plus side, removing these links can help protect against link schemes and other paid link building practices. This will help keep your website from receiving manual penalties from Google. On the other hand, removing nofollow links can also limit your website’s ability to grow its network of supporters and build brand visibility. Without nofollow links, your website may miss out on valuable traffic and exposure. Additionally, nofollow links can discourage spam in your comments and forums, making your site look more professional and trustworthy. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether the potential risks of removing nofollow links are worth the potential rewards.

6. They may cause a penalty from search engines.

Removing nofollow links can have an effect on search engine ranking. The nofollow attribute tells search engine crawlers not to follow a certain link, thus preventing it from passing any authority or PageRank to the linked page. This means that a website which has nofollow links on it will not benefit from the authority that those links could have passed on. As a result, search engine algorithms may decide to not rank the website as highly, as it does not have as much authority as other websites on the topic. On the other hand, if a website opts to remove all nofollow links, it will be able to accumulate more authority from other websites, potentially leading to a higher search engine ranking. Therefore, by removing nofollow links, a website can potentially unlock more authority, leading to higher search engine rankings.

1. Use the Moz Open Site Explorer

Moz’s Open Site Explorer is an incredibly helpful tool to find and remove nofollow links from a website. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sign-up for a Moz Pro account to gain access to Open Site Explorer.
  2. Enter the URL of the website you wish to audit for nofollow links.
  3. Select the “Link Type” dropdown menu and choose “No Follow”.
  4. Select the “Link Source” dropdown menu and choose “External” to view all external links pointing to your site with the nofollow attribute.
  5. Open each of the links and check its relevance to your website; if a link is irrelevant or outdated, contact the website owner and request they remove the link or update it to a follow link.
  6. Repeat the process for any internal nofollow links by selecting “Internal” from the “Link Source” dropdown menu.
  7. Once you’ve completed the audit, go to the “Link Type” dropdown menu again and choose “Follow”. This will show you all of the follow links pointing to your website; you can use this to identify any potential link opportunities for increase visibility and traffic.

Using Open Site Explorer is a great way to ensure all of your links are pointing to relevant, up-to-date content, and that you’re taking full advantage of follow links.

2. Check Your Site With AccuRanker

Checking your site with AccuRanker can help you find and remove nofollow links by providing an in-depth analysis of your backlinks. This analysis can identify any backlinks to your site with nofollow attributes, as well as identify any suspicious backlinks that could potentially harm your SEO ranking. By removing these links, you can avoid any potential penalties from search engines and improve your SEO performance. Additionally, AccuRanker can help you determine the split between follow and nofollow links, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.

3. Search Your Site With Google Search Console

Searching your site with Google Search Console to find and remove nofollow links can help you ensure that your website is being optimally indexed by search engines. Here are the steps you can follow to do this:

  1. Log into your Google Search Console account and navigate to the “Search Traffic” tab.
  2. Click on the “Links” report to see all the backlinks to your website.
  3. Once you’ve seen the links report, you can filter to only display the nofollow links.
  4. Now, you can review the list of nofollow links and decide if you want to keep them or remove them.
  5. If you want to remove them, you can reach out to the webmaster who owns the link and ask them to remove it.
  6. Once the link is removed, you can rescan the links report to make sure that the nofollow link is gone.

By following these steps, you can easily search your site with Google Search Console to find and remove nofollow links. Additionally, you can use specialized tools such as SEMRUSH to analyze your link profile and distinguish between follow and nofollow links.

4. Look for Backlinks From Article Directories

Backlink analysis is an essential part of any SEO strategy. Knowing which backlinks are pointing to your site, and whether they are dofollow or nofollow is key to understanding how Google perceives your website and its content. By understanding the types of links pointing to your site, you can identify any potential issues and make sure you’re creating a well-balanced link profile. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using backlink analysis to find and remove nofollow links from your site:

Step 1: Analyze Your Backlink Profile

Using a tool like SEMRUSH, analyze the backlinks pointing to your website and check for any nofollow links. This will help you identify any potentially manipulative links.

Step 2: Reject Unnatural Links

If you find any nofollow links that appear to be paid, exchanged, part of automated link building, or from directories, you should reject them.

Step 3: Find Replacement Links

You should also start looking for dofollow links to replace the nofollow links. The best way to get dofollow links is by creating interesting, original content that gets shared and linked to naturally. You can also look at guest blogging and leveraging referral traffic.

Step 4: Monitor Your Link Profile

Finally, you should constantly monitor your link profile to make sure it remains balanced. You should aim for a healthy mix of dofollow and nofollow links, which will ensure your website is not seen as manipulative by Google.

Creating backlinks in 2022 is hard work that requires creativity and effort. To protect your website from the threat of spammy backlinks, it is important to know how to find and remove them. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Find suspect backlinks – Use a link analysis tool such as Ahrefs, SEMrush or Majestic to identify backlinks that appear to be suspicious or unnatural.
  2. Analyze backlinks – Carefully review the backlinks you found in step 1 to determine if they are indeed suspicious or unnatural. Pay particular attention to any links that appear to have been bought or exchanged, those with keyword-rich anchor text, automated link building, links from dofollow directories and press releases.
  3. Remove unwanted backlinks – Once you have identified the suspect backlinks, contact the webmaster of the other website and ask them to remove them. If you don’t get a response, use the Google Disavow tool to disavow the links.
  4. Diversify anchor text – Google is watching both the links coming into and going out of your website. Ensure your anchor text is diverse and natural looking to avoid any manual action.
  5. Monitor and maintain – Monitor your backlink profile regularly to ensure that the quality of your backlinks remains high. Use ContentKing to run a quick check of internal and external links regularly.

By following these steps, you can help protect your website from the threat of spammy backlinks and ensure that your SEO efforts are rewarded.

6. Check Your Site With SemRush

  1. Start by using Semrush’s Domain Analytics to check the split between follow and nofollow for your site or a competitor’s site.
  2. Then, use the Google Search Console Links Report to list all links that Google knows about, but does not differentiate between follow and nofollow links.
  3. Lastly, use the SEMRUSH Backlink Report to identify which links are dofollow and nofollow. In order to do this, use the Site Audit tool to provide you with information about the links on your website.

By following these steps, you can easily check your site for nofollow links and identify any potential issues. If you need more help, you can always contact us for assistance.

7. Check Your Site With Majestic SEO

Checking your site with Majestic can help you find and remove nofollow links by providing a detailed analysis of your backlinks. This includes data on link quality, trust flow and citation flow, which can give you an insight into the type of links that are pointing to your site. This means you can remove any low-quality links or links with a nofollow attribute. Removing these links can help to improve your website’s rankings and overall visibility.

8. Search Your Site With BuzzStream

BuzzStream can help you find and remove nofollow links from your website with a few easy steps. First, sign up for its free trial to start tracking your SERPs and get expert marketing tips in your inbox. Then, use the noindex tag to tell search engine crawlers to not include your page in its index. Additionally, you can utilize PageRank to measure the importance of webpages and use link building techniques to acquire backlinks. Finally, make sure to stay on top of your SEO performance by signing up for a reliable tracking service. With these steps, you can start to find and remove nofollow links from your website and ensure that your site is properly optimized for search engines.

9. Check Your Site With Ahrefs

If you are looking for a way to check your site for nofollow links and remove them, then Ahrefs is the perfect tool for the job. By using their Site Explorer, you can quickly and easily identify any internal or external nofollow links on your website and take action to remove them. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Step 1: Sign up for an Ahrefs account.

Step 2: Enter the URL of your website into the Site Explorer.

Step 3: Click on the “Backlinks” tab and then “NoFollow” in the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Review the list of nofollow links and decide which ones to keep and which ones to remove.

Step 5: For any links you decide to remove, contact the webmaster and ask that the link be taken down or adjusted to a follow link.

By using Ahrefs to check for nofollow links, you can ensure that all of your links are helping to boost your rankings and visibility in the search engine results pages. By taking the time to review and remove any unnecessary nofollow links, you can ensure that your website is following the best practices for SEO.

Having a good backlink profile is essential for SEO success. However, it is important to remember that not all links are equal and some, such as nofollow links, can be detrimental to your rankings. To ensure your backlink profile is healthy and that you are not being penalized by Google, you must analyze and identify nofollow links. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use your site’s backlink profile to find and remove nofollow links:

  1. Use a specialized tool such as SEMRUSH or Google Search Console to monitor your backlink profile. You can use SEMRUSH’s Domain Analytics tool to review your backlinks and easily identify nofollow links.
  2. Look for any internal links that use the nofollow tag. This could be links to your login page or even your main blog page.
  3. Use the SEMRUSH Site Audit tool to provide you with more detailed information about your nofollow links. You can use this to identify any external nofollow links as well.
  4. Keep track of your rankings across different search engines, devices or zip codes to help you see the progress of your marketing campaign.
  5. Analyze your link profile to identify any links that should be removed from Google.
  6. Reach out to sites that have linked to you and ask them to change the link from nofollow to dofollow if it adds value.

By following these steps, you can use your site’s backlink profile to find and remove any nofollow links to ensure your backlink profile is healthy and you are not being penalized by Google.


A nofollow link is a link that has the rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to it. This tag tells search engines to ignore any link that is tagged as such. This means that no link juice (or PageRank) will be passed from one website to the other, and the link will not affect a page’s search engine rankings. Nofollow links were created in 2005 as a response to comment spamming, and are now commonly used in comment sections, forums, and sponsored links. Nofollow links are useful for website owners who want to link to other websites without having their link influence their own page’s rankings.

The rel attribute is a tag or attribute used to describe the relationship between the current resource and the linked resource. The rel attribute can be used to signal a relationship such as nofollow, which is used to show that the page linking out is not editorially endorsing the page it links to, nor is the link being done as part of a commercial relationship between the pages. The nofollow link attribute is included in the rel attribute of a link, and it tells search engines not to follow the link, nor to use it as a vote of quality for the linked page. By adding the nofollow attribute, the search engine will not pass any link authority to the target page, which can help to prevent the page from being indexed by the search engine.

The main difference between dofollow and nofollow links is how they impact SEO. Dofollow links help with search engine rankings, as they pass on “link authority” to the site they are linking to. On the other hand, nofollow links do not have any impact on SEO, as search engines do not take them into account for rankings. From a user’s perspective, there is no difference between these two types of links, but from an SEO perspective, dofollow links are more beneficial as they help to increase a website’s domain authority and boost its rankings in search results. To identify the difference between dofollow and nofollow links, you need to look at the HTML code: dofollow links do not carry the rel=nofollow attribute, while nofollow links have this attribute attached.

Using nofollow links has many benefits for businesses. Here are five of the main advantages:

  1. Nofollow links can drive traffic to your website, which can lead to better rankings, more leads, and more conversions.
  2. Nofollow links help build brand awareness by exposing more people to your business and products.
  3. Nofollow links help normalize your link profile, making it look more natural and less suspicious to Google.
  4. Nofollow links can lead to dofollow links from credible leads.
  5. Nofollow links can improve your domain authority by increasing the credibility and trust of your website.

In addition, nofollow links are useful in preventing websites from feeling the effects of commenters posting harmful or spammy links, and in preventing duplicated content from appearing in SERPs. They can also be useful in marking pages with seemingly irrelevant content and valuable links as a form of link building.

What is the best way to use nofollow links to increase my website’s rankings? The best way to use nofollow links to improve your website’s rankings is to focus on creating great, original content that will naturally attract links from other websites. You can also engage in guest blogging on relevant sites for referral traffic and SEO gains. Additionally, you can use nofollow links in your website content to avoid looking spammy, indicate you’re being paid for a link, prevent spam, or direct link juice away from competitors or unrelated sites.

When it comes to using nofollow links, you need to be careful not to use them for the purpose of manipulating PageRank. Google has since updated its algorithm to counteract such attempts, so it’s important to make sure your link profile doesn’t stand out in an unnatural manner.

Using the nofollow tag can help maintain the trustworthiness and reliability of your website, as it prevents link juice from being passed to other linked websites. Ultimately, nofollow links do not directly affect your website’s visibility in search but they can be beneficial in other ways.

Google determines the value of a nofollow link by analyzing the context of the link to determine if it is relevant and useful. Google evaluates the links coming into every website, to determine if the links appear natural—meaning a normal link profile with links from relevant websites that include follow and nofollow links, and what appears to be a normal amount of links. If the link appears natural, Google may then consider it a dofollow link, which would give it more value than a nofollow link. If the link appears unnatural, such as those used in comment sections, forums, or sponsored links, then a nofollow tag should be used, which tells Google to ignore the link during the crawling process.

Google also has an algorithm for determining the quality of different websites, called PageRank. To oversimplify how it works, search engines take into account the number of high-quality inbound links a website has in order to rank it higher in search results. Some SEOs have used nofollow to manipulate how Google sees the quality of different pages within their own website by using nofollow on different internal links. However, Google has since updated its algorithm to counteract PageRank sculpting attempts.

Finally, since the March 1, 2020, Google Algorithm Update, nofollow links are also considered as “hints”, rather than directives. This means that Google may consider certain nofollow links to be beneficial and can use them to influence website rankings. In other words, if a nofollow link is contextually relevant and well-placed, it can potentially be treated as a dofollow link by Google.

Common ways to use nofollow links include blog comments, forums, paid links, and user generated content. To use nofollow links in posts and pages, first begin by finding the HTML Editor in your content management system. In the HTML Editor, add the rel=”nofollow” tag to the link you want to be marked as nofollow. If the link is a paid link, add the rel=”sponsored” tag instead. Additionally, you should nofollow any outbound links from a website that is paying you for advertisement. Finally, be sure to nofollow any links from competitors, unverified sources, or unrelated sites to your industry. This will help Google recognize that the link isn’t intended to increase your website’s SEO.

Yes, there are some risks associated with using nofollow links. Although the nofollow tag has done a lot to prevent blog comment spam, the tag can also cause some issues for webmasters. If nofollow links are used too much, it can lead to a decrease in link juice which can lower a website’s visibility in search results. Additionally, if nofollow links are used on pages with valuable content, this content can be overlooked by Google. It is important to consider the context of each link and decide if it is necessary to use the nofollow tag or not.

Yes, there are certain special considerations when using nofollow links on your website. Specifically, nofollow links should be used in a few different situations to prevent websites from feeling the effect of commenters posting harmful or spammy links, to avoid giving Google crawlers the wrong impression about duplicated content, to separate your website from those you don’t want to be associated with, and for sponsored content. Additionally, it’s important to note that nofollow links do not prevent Google from indexing the target page, although it will not take into account the link value. Finally, paid links should always be nofollowed, or use the newer “rel=sponsored” attribute, to avoid being penalized by Google.