We’ve previously written on the topic of internal linking, but an interesting question from a client arose which we thought we’d tackle in this additional article. The question was “Should I use no-follow links on internal articles?” So we tackle this topic throughout the article.
The Importance of internal linking
We’ve previous discussed the importance of formulating an internal linking strategy. To re-cap here are a few of the reasons you really need to work hard at your internal linking:
To improve website usability and lower bounce rate
Improve the ease of indexing of your site for web bots
Spreading the link juice naturally around your site
We investigate the importance of no-follow links
What are “Do-Follow” versus “No-Follow” links?
“No-follow” is a value which can be assigned to the Rel HTML a element. If left empty it is assumed that a link is “do-follow”, so for webmasters to make “no-follow” requires the instruction to be made.
Example of a “no-follow” link:
<a href=”http://www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk/ ” rel=”nofollow”>internal linking strategy</a>
Example of a “do-follow” link:
<a href=”http://www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk/”>internal linking strategy</a>
An important aspect to remember is that “do-follow” links pass link juice and authority from page to page. This is why throughout the history of SEO, that links have been so important in achieving website ranking. Although recently the value of backlinks importance I the overall Google algorithm has been reduced there’s no doubt they are still an important part of the calculation of ranking today.
If though a link with “no-follow” is added on an external site, it doesn’t count for ranking. Google will know about the link, but they won’t treat this link as passing link juice/authority. This is worth thinking about in terms of your own linking strategy to external sites; it’s safe to add links which are “no-follow”.
If you pass “do-follow” external links it will reduce the authority of that page and also (especially if done excessively) may cause Google to start investigating your site. The bottom line is add “do-follow” external links with care.
So Should I “no-follow” my internal links?
The advice we would give is no, absolutely not – just let the link juice flow naturally around the website. This is actually following Google advice.
Watch the following video from Matt Cutts Head of the Google Webmaster Spam Team; he actually says “I would not use no-follow on internal links”:
So summarising here are the reasons to avoid adding the “no-follow” attribute to your own links on your website given in the video:
It’s better to spend your time creating content which will get links than worrying about “no-following” your links
If you add “no-follow” the link disappears from passing around link juice. Instead of the juice flowing naturally (as you’d design) the juice just evapourates