The Case of the Do-follow link and the No-follow link

The Case of the Do-follow link and the No-follow link

Today I would like to talk to you about the do-follow link and the no-follow link and how they can be useful in forum marketing.


One of the questions I was asked after writing my last article came from Jim Allen 111 where I talked about the list of 700 Do-Follow forums and Jim was asking whether more time should be spent on these Do Follow forums and is Adlandpro a Do-Follow forum.

comment from Jim Allen111

Not only was this a great question(s) but it also got me thinking more about Do-Follow versus N0-Follow links, how should we be thinking about them when it comes to forum marketing and does this mean that we should stay away from anything that is a no follow link. ( try saying that in one breath lol)

For many people who are new to marketing, including forum marketing, this is a serious question as people are usually just told to go to  different  forums and get known by answering questions, being helpful etc.

But what about the damn links?

How many of you even know the difference between do-follow and no-follow links. I have to tell you the more I attempted to define in a very simple manner the differences between these links, the more complicated I seemed to make it and trust me that can be frustrating!

Enter Kristoffer Howes who just so happens to be this guy who is very good at what he does and more than that…sigh of relief, he knows how to give analogies that even make sense lol.

Not only is Mr. Howes the Ceo of Weal Media ( and industry-leading content marketing agency and PR firm) he also thankfully contributes to some great blogs such as “Free Internet Marketing Help” <- hint – make a point of following him

…anyways, I just have to repeat what Krisstoffer said as it was a brilliant analogy made so simple, even a newbie marketer will understand :


a road signHow is a do-follow link like a road sign? A road sign is a recognized “medium” for transferring valuable information to road users, as well as providing “intelligent control”, distance or direction. Commonly posted on expressways and motorways, drivers would miss exits and pertinent information, without them. The same holds true for search engines and website visitors, on the information highway (Internet).

a billboard signHow is a no-follow link like a billboard sign? A billboard is a large outdoor advertising structure, typically found in high traffic areas; such as along busy roads. Billboards present large advertisements to passing pedestrians and mobile traffic. Billboard advertisements are designed to catch a person’s attention and create a memorable impression very quickly, leaving the reader thinking about the advertisement after they have driven past it. These signs have to be readable in a very short time, because they are usually read while being passed at high speeds. Thus, there are usually only a few words, like… your brand or keyword phrase/s?

Please make a point of reading the rest of  his article by clicking on “Do-Follow Links & No-Follow Links: Road Signs & Billboards

I can almost hear Jim getting frustrated with me and going…get a move on..what about forums and should we be going to these do-follow forum links ( hang tough Jim 🙂 )
Like everything to do with marketing you are going to hear a lot of different points of view and its no different when it comes to do-follow and no-follow links

People will say that Do-follow links are the only way to go because they help promote your business, you will get higher ranking and lets not foget that you are letting all the googly bots know where you are so they can share it with the world of the internet. Add to that your blog or article will be popular and you will attract more people. It sure sounds good to me!

What people dont really talk about is that there is a HUGE disadvantage to having a D0-follow link and that is..ready for it? spam! I am talking such things as spam comments, then there is the fact you can lose authority and page rank because of said spam comments and something not that many people think of, all that link juice is being distributed on every outbound link and that just waters down the strength of that link. Do I need to talk about the huge amount of time needed to moderate all the comments even with the akismet or captcha on blogs.

The question you need to ask is this… are you wanting to build a highter ranking on the search engines or are you wanting to build authority and create a community. You seriously need to think about what you are wanting to do.
It would seem that there is more of an advantage to having a do follow link than a no-follow link..right?


Lets start with what Google says

“To quote them from webmaster central;
“In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.”

Some cases where you would or might consider no-follow usage
untrusted content
paid links
crawl priortization

So, generally, any NoFollow links you have pointing to your websites will not pass any Page Rank or anchor text benefit. But that’s not to say they’re worthless.

To me the most important part of what is being said is in that last sentence ” But that’s not to say they’re worthless”

This is where we go into the twilight zone of the grey area!

grey area of links
Now it would seem obvious that having a No-follow link would be oh lets stay away from those kinds of links..they have nothing to offer!

Maybe you need to rethink this..

When you are blogging, then having a no-follow link is going to be a huge help to you and the same goes with forums! Yes Jim now I am going to talk about forums ( finally lol) You need to think about no-follow linking on forums like this… when you participate in a forum, when you are commenting on a post or article,what you are doing is adding valuable content, which will of course improve your BRAND idtenty and is a very ueseful step in becoming an autority person.

Also when you are active on a forum giving valuable and important information, people are going to want to know who your are and that my friend is when they will go to your forum signature to see where you work or what your blog is .

The long and the short of it is …a link is a link and maybe we need to stop with the archic thinking of link link link and start thinking educate, inform and  good content ( share value) to people. Regardless if the link is do-follow or no-follow makes no never mind. If a person is liking what you are doing that billboard may have as much if not more impact than the road sign.

Now is Adlandpro a Do-follow forum…some of the links are do follow and others are no-follow.

There are a couple of tools that you can use to see for yourself as to whether links are of the do-follow or no-follow links

Firefox Addons and Chrome Extensions to Check DoFollow and NoFollow Links

This is an easy to use Firefox addon to highlight links in any webpage according to nofollow (highlight in red color) or dofollow (highlight in blue color) status.

SearchStatus is a multi-purpose add-on for improving your site’s SEO. It not only lets you easily highlight nofollow and canonical links, but also displays Google PageRank, Alex ranking, and Compete ranking for any websites.

SEOMoz Toobar
SEOMoz Toolbar (Mozbar) is available in both Firefox and Chrome. It enables you access important SEO metrics as you surf the web. Mozbar is also useful for highlighting no-followed, followed, internal, external links, and keywords

SEO for Chrome
This Chrome extension can be used for highlighting nofollow links on websites. It has many SEO tools that let you perform competitive analysis, keyword research, back link checks, and other SEO tasks

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