When is a link not an SEO link?

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When is a link not an SEO link?

Being such a vital aspect of SEO, we’re often asked about link building and how do you spot links that actually count towards your SEO, so we thought we would give you some tips and free tools to try out.

What’s the difference between a ‘followed’ and a ‘no followed’ link?

Firstly, let’s cover the difference between a ‘followed’ and a ‘no followed’ link, as many people don’t realise there are in fact two different types and it’s important to understand the difference, although it’s not easy to spot which is which, as they look identical on the page.

When a search engine crawls a site and locates a ‘followed’ link on a page, it understands that this link is a ‘followed’ link and is to be counted towards the recipient SEO. Job done.

However, when a [tooltip hint=” Search engines can include Google, Bing etc.”]search engine[/tooltip] encounters a ‘no follow’ link, it understands that although the site is happy to send traffic through to the recipient, it is NOT to be counted towards the recipient’s SEO.

[Tweet “A ‘no follow’ link is NOT counted towards the recipient’s SEO says Altius’ John Allan”]

There are several reasons why a webmaster may make a link ‘no follow’ and we may explore this at a later date. For now, it’s just important to understand that a ‘no-follow’ link does not help your search engine rankings.

Where are you likely to find these ‘no-follow’ links?

ALL social media links are ‘no-follow’ links,

which includes[highlight background=”#3B5998″ color=”#FFFFFF”]Facebook[/highlight],[highlight background=”#0077B5″ color=”#FFFFFF”]LinkedIn[/highlight],[highlight background=”#BD081C” color=”#FFFFFF”]Pinterest[/highlight],[highlight background=”#009CF7″ color=”#FFFFFF”]Twitter[/highlight]

etc. Also, many forums and blogs have all external links set as ‘no-follow’, as does informational sites such as Wikipedia. Links from these sites will not improve your rankings in the [tooltip hint=”SERP: Search Engine Results Page”]search engine results[/tooltip].

[Tweet “Links from social media sites like Facebook & Twitter are ‘no-follow’ links & may not help your SEO”]

So how do you spot the difference between a ‘followed’ and a ‘no-followed’ link? The simplest ‘non-techie’ way to do this is to use a tool such as Small SEO Tools link checker which can be found here http://smallseotools.com/website-link-analyzer-tool/.

Screenshot from a link analyser

If we then take a look at a Wikipedia page such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchgear and run it through the Small SEO Tools link analyser, you will see that all external links (that are not going to some form of Wikipedia page, such as a sub-domain), are all set to ‘no follow’:

If you have a play around with the tool and analyse pages where your own site has links to it, you will soon see whether the link is a ‘follow’ or ‘no follow’.