One of the most asked questions in our group, Female Travel Bloggers, is in regards to
FOLLOW LINKS, NOFOLLOW LINKS, INDEX AND NOINDEX
Before we get started it is important to define the terms we’re going to be talking about. This will help you learn to independently recognize when to use each one.
A link that pushes authority from one site or page to another.
Think of this as the link or connection a search engine bot follows from one site to another. As it travels it picks up some of the authority from the first page and drags it to the next page. So, if a page with an authority of 45 includes a follow link to a page with an authority of 25, some of that authority will travel increasing the authority of the lower page. Some people also call this link or SEO juice. The higher performing page is giving the lower performing page some of
This authority distribution works for both internal links within your site and external links to other sites.
The opposite of
The bot or connection is still flowing from the one page or site to the
When a library of your pages is stored online to fill a large database of all sites and pages. Think of this
The opposite of indexing. Your page will not be placed in a database to recall. It is hidden from bots. This does not make your page private, as people can still access it by direct link.
WHEN TO USE FOLLOW AND NOFOLLOW LINKS
Alright, now that we have our terms defined let’s look at when to use follow or
When to use Follow Links
This is your default setting and what you will use most of the time. If you add links to your page with no setting or code changes, you have a follow link. You want to use this when bloggers guest post (unpaid) on your site, you find a fantastic blog post you want to recommend to your readers, internal links to your own pages, or you’re doing an unsolicited review of your favorite restaurant down the road.
You also want to get follow links back to your site. According to Google the best way to do this is write content people want to naturally link back to. To be perfectly honest this is really hard for travel bloggers. Unless you’re writing about blogging or a top influencer or personality, very rarely does another travel blogger, let alone hundreds naturally link to you. Which is why travel bloggers have to work a bit harder to get these follow links. You can get follow links to your page or site by guest posting or link building with other bloggers. Be careful though, if you link to a blogger’s post and they link back to your same post
When to use Nofollow links
This data comes straight from Google’s Webmaster Support page on
When people figured out that sites with high authority could give their low authority site juice through links, many companies started paying for links. Thus began an era of posts filled to the brim with irrelevant links, all for the sake of making a quick buck. Can you imagine going to a site and reading about Packing for Paris and then finding 100 links to other things, like BBQ tools? Google decided this was spam and started cracking down, but that doesn’t mean people stopped trying. As a blogger I’m sure you’ve seen those emails:
Hi blogger, (we used your incorrect name because we don’t care about you or your brand)
We LOVE your site! We think a link, directing your readers to our new high-end BBQ tools would fit perfectly in your blog post titled: Packing for Paris. For $500 we would like to write our own post, or have you write one and include a follow link back to our product or site.
Shady company you’ve never heard of
This is a HUGE red flag and 99.99% of the time you do not want to bite on these emails. Google doesn’t want people to pay for links because that generally means the linked content isn’t relevant to the readers and it’s simply bought. So a general rule of thumb
An example of an untrusted source is in the comment section or a forum. If you have a forum site where people can comment all they want and add links, you want to make all links on this page
Search Engine crawlers can’t
Already have the hang of
Combining links with indexing
So, where does this index and
This is your standard setup and should be used for almost all your posts or pages. This means you want page crawlers to crawl your site, indexing them to show up in web search and you want your authority to transfer
This would be if you’re trying to keep your post or page private. Maybe this is your sitemap with lots of links where it is important for crawler bots to follow the links, but you don’t want it indexed to show up publicly. Another situation you might use this is when you’re running an email promotion. You want the links on your promotion to be followed, but you only want certain clients or readers to have access to the page so it will not show up in a search.
This would be for any sponsored content. This is also for your forums style pages and sites. The page still shows up in search, but the authority does not transfer.
This is usually used if your website, page or post that is still in development. Don’t forget to change the settings when you go live!
MYTH BUSTING: HOW MANY LINKS IS TOO MANY LINKS?
There are loads of rumors running around that too many links
However, the page authority that flows through the
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR GETTING THIS WRONG?
It’s always good to know what might happen if you mess up. Some people might think, “Well this company is paying $500 for this link and they asked for a follow. There’s no way Google will notice little old me and I really need the $500. I’ll do it just this once.” News flash, Google probably will notice little old you. Their bots are smart and always crawling the internet looking for little old you. “But how will they know I received money for this link?” Might be your next question. If you’re following most laws and being a decent blogger you’ll be disclosing and if there is a disclosure and a follow link…. chances are bots are going to put 2 and 2 together. And you know what, if you don’t disclose, take the money and insert a follow link, chances are that you’ll be caught eventually. You will suddenly lose a significant amount of authority and your spam score will skyrocket. You might be bumped from page one to page 20. Your website will be downgraded to a point where it will almost be impossible to monetize and suddenly that $500 you made, isn’t worth it.
HOW TO SETUP AND USE FOLLOW AND NOFOLLOW LINKS
The easiest way to ensure your links
After you install this plugin, or if you already have it, go to one of your posts and click edit. Scroll to the bottom where you’ll find the Yoast box. If you click on the gear for Advanced settings, you’ll see settings where you can change and combine follow or
“Well, can I just make one link
If you don’t want to install Yoast, you don’t have WordPress or want to make certain links follow or nofollow you can do the following:
<a href=”LINK URL HERE”>Text for your body</a> – standard follow link
<a href=”LINK URL HERE” rel=”nofollow”> text for your body</a> nofollow link.
It’s easy enough to do on your own just insert the rel=“
I know I told you it was easy then I gave you a TON of information, but if you’re running your generic travel blog, the main takeaway is money and disclosure =
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, just make sure you turn on the notifications for my response. Share this with all your blogger friends so they too can work their way up to SEO stardom without getting penalized!
While I like to think I am a bit of an SEO guru, all my information comes straight from Google and I just decipher and add travel blogger humor. Google is a great resource and you can read more about their
Matt Cutts also has some great videos on the topic, but trust me, I translated it all for you.
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AdminSusanna focuses on adventure travel and eco-tourism, while hitting pause for what she’s defining as hipster city travel. Follow Susanna on her blog at Wandering Chocobo