How to Apply No-Follow Rule to All Your Links

No Follow LinksMany bloggers log onto their blogs and post about their day, their life, the latest giveaway or product review they have, and log off. Without understanding, in that short time, they inadvertently violated a half dozen rules and laws. But since the laws and rules keep changing, it is hard to keep up.

Case in point, Google came a few years ago and said they would shut down websites that had followable paid-links. More recently, they clarified that it isn’t just paid links but links in posts in which you may have received some sort of compensation. For example, that blender you got to review, and then linked to the fabulous blender company, in the post about said blender? Yeah, that link.

When I saw that, I went into panic mode. How many links did I have that violated this revamped Google policy? (Over 1000…apparently I link a lot.) Can you imagine having to go back and retroactively apply the no-follow rule to all your links? Luckily, you don’t.

For those of you who are really in legal la-la-land, and are wondering what nofollow is, it is an HTML attribute value used to tell search engines that a link should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. In other words, Google wants you to clean up your act so it can make its job easier.

It is rather a simple code you apply after the url. It looks like this:

rel=”nofollow”

Or even more specifically: <a href=”http://www.url.com” rel=”nofollow”

But if you have a WordPress blog, you can have a plugin do the work for you. Two great plugins to consider are NoLiP and Outbound Link Manager. The NoLiP plugin enables you to add the “nofollow” attribute into links within a post in a specific category. This plugin is useful if you are doing sponsored posts. You can set the plugin to add the “nofollow” attribute for posts older than “X” days too. The Outbound Link Manager is perfect for dealing with all those past links you need to have unfollowed. You can unfollow or even follow in bulk. There is still a bit of manual work, but it is a lot easier than going from post to post.

All in all, being a blogger is not just about fun giveaways or cool product reviews, but staying on top of rules too. Luckily, on this issue, it is easy to comply – especially with the vast array of plugins to help.

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Image Credit: My own.

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I was wondering why that new checkbox was in Blogger when linking and now I know! Thanks Charlene!

  2. Erika Souza says

    Thanks for sharing! Just ran into an issue with this on our site and it really opened my eyes.

  3. I Don’t understand. So no links to products on our blog?

    Kemavon at http://www.beautystleandgrowth.blogspot.com

  4. Kemi. You can still use links to products. People can still click on it and be sent to the website you linked too. But you need the ‘behind-the-scene’ code so when Google computer bots see the same link, they won’t follow, which is why it’s called “no follow”, vs. not usable or clickable. It is important to have on posts where you are getting some sort of compensation (affiliate links, sponsored post, free product, etc.)

  5. I feel like you are trying to tell me something but I am not following….will re read and try to figure this out as it is important! Are you at She Streams? If so , maybe we can connect…..or I hope you are talking about this subject to this group.

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