Are you confused by the terms “no follow,” “do follow” and “backlinks”? If so you aren’t alone. Let’s break them down.
These terms refer to how search engines treat and view links on websites. There is no legal entity enforcing their usage in any country.
BUT, the Search Engines want you to do it a certain way, and failure to do so can affect where your page ranks in searches on the major search engines (SERP = search engine results page).
How the search engines view links.
So if backlinks are good, why even bother with no follow?
Because Google says so. You can peruse the whole article here, but basically, Google and other Search Engines want any paid links or untrustworthy links to be marked no follow. If a company asks you for a do follow link in a sponsored post, realize this is against the Search Engines policies and could lower your SERP.
Even if a link is no follow the company can still get traffic from actual human beings clicking on the link. In my experience, bots don’t buy much, but people do. 😉
How to change links no follow
All links are do follow unless you mark them no follow.
You can manually insert HTML code (rel=”nofollow”) in a link’s code or use a plugin.
Here are instructions for manually adding it into the code of your posts.
Even though HTML doesn’t intimidate me too much, I go the plugin route simply because it is faster for me than flipping to the code and typing it in. Personal preference. The IBA uses Title and Nofollow For Links, and I use Ultimate No Follow. Both are easy to install and use.
Does that clear things up a bit?
Your blog won’t get shut down nor will you be fined if you do it wrong. Just file this under the “best blogging practices” category and do it moving forward. If you haven’t been doing it up until now, you do not need to go fix every single link. Though you might want to check your most popular posts and those you think should be getting more page views and update any links that should be No Follow.