Links are an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO). They allow us to connect relevant content and help search engines understand the relationships between pages. There are two main types of links: dofollow and nofollow. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain everything you need to know about dofollow links – from what they are to how to acquire them.
What Is A Dofollow Link?
A dofollow link is a link that passes link juice and equity from one page to another. Link juice refers to the ranking power and authority that a page has. When you have a dofollow link pointing to your site, it essentially votes for your page, telling search engines that the page should rank higher.
Dofollow links pass both anchor text and link equity. Anchor text is the visible, clickable text that is hyperlinked, while link equity refers to the authority flowing from one page to another via the link. Both of these are valuable SEO signals that can improve rankings.
In contrast, nofollow links do not pass any link juice or equity. The nofollow attribute was created so that webmasters could link out to other sites without giving them any SEO value. This helps prevent manipulation in things like blog comment links. Unlike nofollow links, dofollow links are treated as “votes” and endorsements by search engines.
Examples of Dofollow Links
Here are some common examples of dofollow link types:
- Natural links within blog content – These occur when you mention or reference another website within an article naturally. For example, if you link to a statistic from another site.
- Forum signature links – Most forum links are dofollow, so having links in your signature can pass juice.
- Sponsored or guest posts – If you publish content on another site and link back to your site, these are dofollow.
- Press mentions – Getting mentioned or featured on large news and media sites often leads to dofollow links.
- Business directory citations – Listings on directories like Google My Business and Yelp pass equity.
- Internal links – Links pointing from one of your pages to another are dofollow links. This helps transfer authority around your site.
The key is that dofollow links are natural links that webmasters choose to place on their pages. Any link that is not specifically nofollowed will be a dofollow link.
Why Dofollow Links Are Important for SEO
There are several key reasons why acquiring dofollow links should be a priority in your SEO strategy:
1. Dofollow Links Improve Rankings
Google’s algorithm uses dofollow links as one of its top ranking signals. The more high-quality dofollow links you have pointing to a page, the more authority you can build, which directly correlates to higher rankings.
Pages with more dofollow links tend to perform better than pages with fewer or no dofollow links. Link building can dramatically improve your ability to rank for competitive keywords in search results.
2. Dofollow Links Boost Domain Authority
Domain authority refers to the SEO power and influence of a website. It stems from the quality and quantity of external links pointing at your domain.
Acquiring dofollow links helps transfer authority and domain trust to your own website. This in turn flows page authority down to all your site’s pages. A domain with high authority is a strong signal to search engines.
3. Dofollow Links Bring Referral Traffic
In addition to boosting SEO, dofollow links can send direct visitors to your content. People can discover your site by clicking on dofollow links from other pages. This is known as referral traffic.
Earning links on high-traffic sites can generate a stream of referral visitors over time. This inbound traffic can help grow your business beyond just SEO benefits.
4. Dofollow Links Show Social Proof and Trust
Links essentially act as votes and endorsements. When other reputable sites link to you, it shows external social proof and authority. This trust and credibility factor is hugely influential for both search engine bots and human visitors.
Dofollow links show that other sites find your content valuable enough to link out to. This social validation indicates quality and trustworthiness.
Best Practices for Acquiring Dofollow Links
Now that we’ve covered the importance and SEO value of dofollow links, let’s explore some proven strategies and best practices for acquiring them:
Focus on High-Quality, Relevant Sites
The quality of links matters tremendously. A single dofollow link from a reputable source can be exponentially more powerful than hundreds of poor-quality links.
When reaching out to earn links, thoroughly research sites in your niche and identify the most reputable, high-authority domains with influence. Pitch your content to site owners and focus on building relationships over time.
Create Link-Worthy Assets
Don’t expect to earn great links without something compelling to promote. Invest time into content assets and resources that publishers will naturally find relevant and want to link to.
Optimizing content for link earning potential is crucial. Research what influential sites link to and the type of content that attracts links in your industry.
Prioritize Contextual Link Building
The most SEO value comes from links embedded naturally within relevant content. Guest posting and contributor content allow you to include contextual dofollow links.
Avoid unnatural, forced link placement. Links should always enhance the user experience and seem value-adding. Make sure your anchor text fits the surrounding context.
Be Patient and Persistent
A successful link building campaign requires consistency and patience over an extended period. Don’t expect instant results. Strive to build relationships with webmasters and provide ongoing value.
It often takes months of persistence and follow-up to start earning links from influential web properties. Don’t get discouraged – continuing reaching out and refining your outreach.
Follow Link Building Best Practices
When conducting outreach, always follow proper link building etiquette. Be transparent, disclose your motivations, and make sure sites approve any links pointing to their domain.
Avoid spammy tactics at all costs. Unethical link building can seriously hurt your site and get all your progress penalized. Focus on forging genuine connections and adding value for publishers.
Common Dofollow Link Building Techniques
Here are some of the most effective white hat link building tactics widely used to acquire dofollow links:
Broken Link Building
Find broken links on high-value pages pointing to 404 errors. Contact the site owner, recommend your content as a replacement for the broken link, and provide value to their audience.
Create unique infographics with relevant data and reach out to publishers offering to share it with a dofollow attribution link.
Write high-quality guest articles for niche blogs and include contextual dofollow links pointing back to your website.
Giveaways and Contests
Organize giveaways and competitions for your target audience. Reach out to relevant sites asking them to help promote it in exchange for a dofollow link.
Niche Link Roundups
Curate and publish link roundup posts, such as “Top 10 Blogs in Our Niche.” Reach out to the sites featured requesting a link back.
Sponsor industry events, podcasts, or high-authority community projects in exchange for dofollow links and brand visibility.
Pitch media outlets, journalists, and industry influencers to get your brand mentioned in their content, which often includes natural dofollow links.
Use Prior Customer Testimonials
Reach out to happy customers from your site or brand asking for a testimonial. Publish these on your site with dofollow links back to their site or social media.
Resource Page Outreach
Find relevant sites with resource pages in your industry. Contact them proposing your content to be added in exchange for a link.
Find ranking pages, create something even more comprehensive, and pitch it to the publisher as an updated replacement with a dofollow link pointing to your site.
Avoiding Risky Link Building Tactics
While dofollow links are great for SEO, acquiring links using spammy or manipulative tactics can seriously damage your site. Here are some risky tactics to avoid:
- Comment spam – Repeatedly posting irrelevant or promotional comments on blogs just to get your link in the comment section.
- Link networks – Networks involving massive reciprocal linking or paid links between sites to try inflating authority unnaturally.
- Deceptive techniques – Sneaking anchor text links where they don’t belong or hiding links with similar colored text.
- Article spinning – Generating duplicate content by spinning existing articles and republishing them on many sites.
- Low-quality directories – Mass submissions to spammy directories with little relevance or editorial oversight.
- Manipulative text links – Embedding over-optimized anchor text links in articles in an unnatural way.
- Large-scale guest posts – Churning out low-quality guest posts en masse without any relevance or relationship to the site.
- Automated link requests – Repeatedly spamming webmasters with automated link requests using tools and software.
The common thread is that these tactics try to shortcut the process or focus solely on building link quantity without regard for quality. Google’s algorithms are very sophisticated at identifying and penalizing sites using manipulative link schemes.
The safest approach is to focus on forging genuine relationships and earning links gradually from relevant sites through outstanding, one-of-a-kind content. Patiently connect with site owners as a respected peer, not a faceless salesperson. Provide ongoing value, build trust over time, and advocate for your content’s worth.
While quick link buying or link exchange programs may show fast returns, they ultimately hurt your site’s authority and risk algorithmic penalties. Sustainable link building is a long game that requires strategy, networking, and persistence.
Link Building Tools and Software
Here are some of the top software tools that can support your link building and outreach campaigns:
- Ahrefs – Backlink analysis and broken link building opportunities.
- BuzzStream – Link prospecting and targeted outreach.
- Pitchbox – Managing outreach campaigns and building link earning assets.
- Google Search Console – Monitor existing links pointing to your site.
- Screaming Frog – Crawls site to identify technical SEO issues.
- Majestic – Analyze backlinks and trust flow.
- Google Analytics – Track website traffic sources including referral links.
- Linkody – Automated broken link building and reclamation tool.
- Outreach.io – Streamline blogger outreach and manage relationships.
- Surfer SEO – Identify link building opportunities and monitor backlinks.
The key is to use tools to identify prospects, prioritize outreach, and monitor link acquisition. But genuine relationship building comes down to the human touch. No amount of automation can replace forging real connections and communicating your value and credibility.
Dofollow links remain one of the most important ranking factors within search engine optimization. Acquiring dofollow links helps transfer authority and domain trust, boost rankings for target keywords, increase referral traffic, and indicate social proof and credibility.
There are many proven link building tactics, such as guest posting, broken link building, influencer outreach, and niche link roundups. However, the risks of manipulative link schemes mandate an emphasis on ethics and quality.
By consistently creating compelling content and building relationships with reputable sites, you can build dofollow links sustainably over time. With the right blend of tools and techniques, dofollow links offer one of the biggest opportunities to elevate your SEO and inbound marketing performance.
For effective link building, contact 427 Digital today!