What Does a No Follow Link Mean?
A no follow link is a link built on a website with the following HTML code inserted into the link:
Here is a full HTML link code example of a no follow link:
<a href="https://www.dallasseogeek.com" rel="nofollow">Dallas SEO Geek no follow link</a>
If there is no "nofollow" tag inside the "a href" tag, then the link is not no follow...otherwise known as "dofollow."
Here's an example of a "dofollow" link:
<a href="https://www.dallasseogeek.com">Dallas SEO Geek do follow link</a>
What a no follow link tag really means is that a website owner wants to link to another website, but the website owner doesn't want the search engines to value or "follow" the link through to its location.
In other words, if I build a link and no follow it, I'm diminishing the SEO value of that backlink.
That said, however, no follow links can definitely help you rank!
No follow links can pass relevance, trust, and some amount of SEO link juice. Check out the types of backlinks for more information on what to expect from different links.
Most social media links, for example, are no follow, but they can still pass on trust and relevance to your website.
Are No Follow Links Important?
Yes, despite the fact that are generally of lesser SEO value than do follow links, no follow links are important!
If your website was 100% dofollow links, then that would not be natural and Google is likely to think poorly of your website and not rank it well in its SERPs.
Look to see what percentage of no follow links, on average, your currently ranking well competitors have and work to get close to matching that.
I don't think you have to match it exactly because there will probably be a lot of variation here.
When Should I Use No Follow Links?
On your own website you should use a nofollow link when you're not 100% trusting of the website you're linking out to...
When you're trying to get a backlink back to your website and you can make it dofollow, you should probably not intentionally set it to nofollow...unless you are not sure about the quality of the backlink or you're really in need of nofollow links.
Nofollow links are easier to get, so intentionally making a potential dofollow link nofollow is wasteful.
How do I Fix No Follow Links?
On your website, remove the 'rel="nofollow"' tag from the HTML code.
On someone else's website that is linking back to your website...you probably can't do anything beyond contacting the webmaster and asking for them to remove the nofollow tag.