Do-Follow, nofollow. Do you even know where you’re going?

by Alex on October 10, 2010

Do Follow, Don’t follow

No Follow?  guess!

It’s beginning to sound

A bit Dr Suess.

I recently installed the Google Do-Follow Blog Search to my sidebar to try and help everyone (myself included) find good quality do-follow blogs to comment on, but recent commentators have pointed out – and I have since confirmed, that the search actually brings back no-follow blogs as well – thus making the point of its very existence mute. (I am leaving it there but I am thinking of renaming it to ‘The Australian Labour Party’ in honour of this point)

So I decided to once and for all answer the No-Follow vs. Do-Follow questions, and give you a definitive guide as to what they are, how to find them, why you want them, and which tools actually help.

So what IS Do-Follow and No-Follow anyway?

what is a do follow link anyway?In a nutshell: It is a piece of HTML code added to a link that tells the search engines whether or not it should pass authority along. (Note that it will STILL Follow the link)

The Do-follow backlinks get followed by the Search Engines and authority is filtered down to your site. It is the default attribute or value on any link, so you will not find it written anywhere in code. If you want to stop the follow, or you’re searching for it then you look for (or add):

<a href “YOUR URL” rel=”nofollow tag”>

But remember that the Search Engine will still follow the link. The nofollow tag simply tells the indexing spider to leave the authority of the referring site at the door – so to speak.

You need a mix of do-follow and nofollow links.

Because the nofollow tag only stops the authority of the site, it still shows the search engines a link. When you are building backlinks through blog commenting it is HIGHLY advisable to mix the Do-Follow blogs you comment on with nofollow blogs as well. You do this for two main reasons:

  • High PR nofollow sites will still contribute to your overall SEO.
  • Building backlinks from a mix of do and nofollow sites will make your link building look more natural – thus increasing your rank in the SERPs

Do-Follow Blog vs. Do-Follow link

It is important to not that only a link can be do-follow, not a site. The attribute of do-follow and “nofollow” are applied to individual links, not domains  as such. Most bloggers who fix this issue will do so across the entire site, so for arguements sake, it becomes a “do-Follow Blog” and the point becomes mute. Anyway… it’s still good to know.

How to find a Do-Follow link

There are heaps of free tools to help you find out whether a link is do-follow or not, but for the sake of this post – this is what you would do.

  • Find a link on the page, preferably from another commentator – and see what the text says.
  • Right click on the page and ‘View Page Source’
  • Hit Ctrl F (brings up FIND function) and search for the text in the link
  • Look for the rel = nofollow attribute – or lack thereof.

Alternatively, you can search for ‘nofollow’ but since there are a lot of standard links on a page (read: social bookmarking buttons etc) that are by default nofollow, you don’t want to be scrolling through them all looking for one that might not even be there.

Free Tools to find Do-Follow links

OK no one is seriously going to go through the above process each time (but it is good to have the knowledge) and that is why there are tools, plug-ins and extensions that will do the job for you.

Here are two that will work first time every time.

  • NoDoFollow
    This Add on for Firefox highlights links in a document and color codes then according to follow/nofollow – simple.
  • SearchStatus
    A Firefox SEO Toolbar extension that does a lot more than just advise on nofollow links. But the fact is – it DOES this, and does it well. (see the below screenshot and take a sneak peak at what else searchstatus does)

how to find do follow blogs with search status

How to find a Do-Follow Blog

Seeing as my Google Do-Follow Blog search is a big fat FAIL, let’s look how you can use Google to find Do-Follow Blogs to comment on.

The plain and simple truth is that there is no guaranteed way of finding dofollow pages every time, the fact that Google’s very own custom search is not 100% just proves that point, but there are definitely ways around it.

If you want to find blogs to comment on that are do-follow then you need to look for other signs, like Commentluv. This is the perfect sign to look for if you ask me, because it’s so good for aiding your blog commenting/link building campaign and (again this is not a guarantee) I have found that a good 75% of the blogs that have CommentLuv installed are Do-Follow blogs.

So to find them I simply go to Google and type the following

title=”CommentLuv Enabled””YOUR KEYWORD HERE”

This search returns all blogs that have CommentLuv installed and mention your keyphrase somewhere on the same page.

It works, it’s simple and it’s what I personally do to find blogs to comment on. The only downside to this is that I do not get the PageRank of the homepage, but that’s fine with me and I’ll tell you why in the conclusion.

So what’s the plan Stan?

It’s Alex actually… but, WHATEVER.

  • Use the search string above to get results
  • Utilise Search Status to get PR and Do-Follow attributes
  • Comment and add blog to an Excel spreadsheet

I create a list (over time) of 50 or so PR7 –PR3 blogs to comment on that are usually around 75% Do-Follow. This list then becomes a valuable asset to any site I build within a similar niche – and is something I will leverage later on down the track.

find do follow blogs to comment on

Awesome Do-Follow Resources

Editors note: All of these links contradict the point of this post, but that’s neither here nor there, and besides, if you look over there!…

I tried these and I found that the higher the PR, the more limited the results, and again some were actually nofollow – but it’s still handy to have as a quick way to find high Pagerank blogs in  your niche. Just enter keyword and search to find:

This Resource does not necessarily dilute the do from the no follow, but it is the BEST resource for finding relevant sites to comment on full stop.

Drop My Link (dropmylink.com) is an incredible resource that allows you to search for blogs based on keyword as well as for edu and gov sites, forums – you name it.

Brilliant, brilliant resource. Bookmark it – and thank me later ;)

This guy Pixelrage also created a nice Squidoo Lens which actually lists Do-Follow everything. The lists are not too extensive, but its definitely worth bookmarking for future reference.

That’s it from me – hope this post cleared up some of the confusion and made the process of finding relevant Do-Follow blogs a little easier, if not – sorry.

I’d say Google it – but that’s just a bad idea (trust me). Typing ‘find chuck norris’ and hitting ‘I’m feeling lucky’ however, is hours of knuckle headed fun. :)

“FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER” – sorry social marketing Tourettes. (I was hoping nobody would notice)

{ 147 comments }

career test December 7, 2010 at 3:17 AM

In the body, I can alternate between the two keywords, and once or twice mention it the way I suggest using it in the Title & Headline.

QMS December 8, 2010 at 7:19 AM

This is a lot of very good information I use do follow and no follow backlinkin and it seems to be working very well.

Larry Puckett@window cleaning Roanoke VA December 8, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Thanks Alex!
I have been trying to optimize my company’s website for about 3 months now and I knew absolutely nothing about SEO when I got started. I have had to learn a tremendous amount in a short period of time. I have spent many hours entering info into web directories and submitting to search engines,etc. only to gain about 60 Links acording to webmaster tools. I had just decided that I needed to start blog commenting and Article marketing for a larger number of links in a shorter amount of time when I found your blog. The timing couldnt have been more perfect! Thanks again and I will definitely post again after trying out several of your strategies!

Alex December 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM

No worries Larry!

I appreciate the awesome feedback and I am glad you are finding value here at alexwhalley.com

joy @ popart December 10, 2010 at 10:18 PM

whoa thanks a lot for the code, I am always having a hard time looking for do follow blogs and am really glad I have discovered your blog. I was disgusted before I discover your blog because I came across to numerous no follow blogs and I’m already getting frustrated. I was relieved when I read your blog. Thanks a lot.

Alex December 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM

My pleasure Joy! Thanks for taking the time to comment as such :)

Alex December 14, 2010 at 1:42 AM

That’s a funny typo :)

Gulam Ali December 16, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly.
Why valid html code is important to your web site’s search engine optimization efforts and consequent high rankings! Such invalid html codes… A single missing bracket in your html code can be the cause your web page cannot be found in search engines… Providentially, there are free services that allow you to check and fix the validity of your html codes.

RisetoWealth December 18, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Alex – thanks a lot for this info, this is helpful – checked out the squidoo link also – much appreciated

All the best,

CM

Pricy@ harley davidson motorcycles December 21, 2010 at 5:34 PM

It is really very hard to search the do follow blogs and Google gives only priority to do follow. Searching in perticular niche is another problem. I am searching for auto related but hardly i got 1 to 2 blogs in a day.

Alex December 22, 2010 at 2:56 AM

I hear you Pricy.

I think no matter how well they try to create a process for this, nothing beats the good old fashioned method of just searching manually.

Pokemon DVD Set January 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I have been using do follow links yet and yeah it comes out very well. but after reading your poet I think why can’t I try for both? It is really worth reading lol! you have really done a great effort and hats off to your research and your mind too for posting such good info for other’s benefits . Ty.

Alex January 10, 2011 at 12:06 AM

Thanks Pokemon DVD Dude!

I appreciate the comment, really!

Twitch@Biker Clothes January 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM

You know, this is probably one of the best articles I’ve read on do-follow and no-follow. It’s amazing how many people out there don’t really understand what they are and how they work, and how important both of them actually are.

Joel@håravfall February 10, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Dude, those dofollow-lists last got updated back in freaking 2007. There’s nothing to see there, except for dead links and possibly a post or two with nofollow disabled.

/Joel.

Fix iTunes February 17, 2011 at 3:51 AM

I’m still confused with do follow and no follow. Does do follow and no follow only apply to blogs? Or are regular websites also in this? I don’t know where to get all the information for this in one place. I’ve gone to so many different websites and not one has it covered in it’s entirety. And some even speak words that I don’t understand. So making that article or post completely useless. As a newbie it would be great that all the language is understandable. On another note I just went and subscribed to your newsletters so hopefully I will learn something from this site. It looks like I would! :>)

Alex February 17, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Hey Fix iTunes – the man with the Oxymoron for a name (look it up, I am sure you will agree with me ;) )

Dofollow and nofollow are attributes applied to a link irrespective of where that link comes from. Therefore the attribute applies to ALL LINKS wordpress and normal static site does not make a difference.
Every link is by default a do follow unless the nofollow rule has been applied to it (ie the attribute added to the HTML in the link)

Hope this helps

Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing February 19, 2011 at 1:05 AM

A slight correction, for lack of a better word…..all manual links (links you and I provide) are do follow by default. All WP comment links are no follow by default, hence the plugins…..no one knows why, including WP. LOL

Fix iTunes February 18, 2011 at 1:26 AM

Oxymoron? Sorry English is not my first language. :>) Appreciate you explaining this better now it makes sense. I suppose I have to make sure I get links back to my sites with dofollow links rather than nofollow links. So a nofollow is applied by the owner of the site and they apply it so that they keep link juice going back to the follower? Do I finally have this all correct? If so phew that took a while. I will now understand your article above. Another thing that I read on many sites and blogs were to have rank checker installed which I did but I suppose figuring that would is going to be a bit complicated. I have it highlighting with a pink highlight which I don’t know what that highlight means? Any explanation? Your help is very appreciated. Thx. :>)

Alex February 18, 2011 at 11:33 PM

haha it sounds bad I know.
An Oxymoron is a saying that goes with something that contradicts itself or is in its very nature impossible. in this case that is FIX and ITUNES because I dont think itunes can be fixed LOL

anyway…..

the nofollow is applied by the owner of the site so that all the PR Juice on their own page is not stolen by all the outgoing links.
By saying nofollow, you are telling google not to follow it, and therefore it cannot take your PR and run.

I recently went nofollow in my comments because I lost PR – and I think with over 5000 comments it was stealing what little page rank I had away.
As for the rankchecking thing, I think you mean the toolbar that does everything from check rank to highlight no follow links in a pink highlight (thats what you mean isnt it/ :) )
The highlights mean that the link is nofollow – so now you know.
look at the link you get when you respond here, you will notice that it is highlighted pink, because its a no follow link (sorry no more link love from here anymore LOL)

Now I think you definitely get it – hope it all helps :)

ronika February 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Thanks for an excellent breakdown of an extremely confusing
concept, Alex. The comment luv enabled blogs have always seemed to
be more attractive simply because it also provides a link to your
last post. That being said. I tend to comment if I either liked an
article and it provided me with some value or, in limited cases, if
I totally disagree with the writer’s position. I figure that if you
do it enough, regardless of dofollow attribute, this should
contribute to a strong backlink profile.

Alex February 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Thanks Ronika.

I think your comment summary is a great way of looking at it!
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, glad the post helped :)

Lynnea | QuickBooks Accounting Bookkeeping February 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Frankly, I was entirely confused as to the importance and differences of commenting and linking from do-follow and no-follow blogs until I read your primer. Thanks Alex (and Gail for referring me)!

Alex February 28, 2011 at 8:48 PM

My pleasure Lynnea!

Glad I could finally clear the confusion, I know until I wrote this post I was completely befuddled :)
Thanks also for sharing how you came here, its always nice to give recognition where its deserved – and now I will go and thank Gail.

Have a great day Lynnea

SeoWeb Consultor March 4, 2011 at 4:07 AM

Hi Alex,
first of all thanks for providing such good information, but I have a problem. I tried with the – title=”CommentLuv Enabled””KEYWORD” – in Google, and got no blog dofollow back. Just “your query got no result”.
Maybe I didn’t understand you because my english is not excellent, I have to type that query in the http://www.google.com? or in the new source from Google to search code?

Alex March 4, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Sometimes the strings are not working orthey change or your keyword simply has no results.
Ill go you one better
Check out dropmylink.com and all the codes are preinserted so you choose the type of link you want from a drop down :)

SeoWeb Consultor March 5, 2011 at 2:28 AM

I have already checked it out and it is very helpfull por seo link building, thanks a lot pal. ¿won’t you know some similar source in spanish? :-)

Kirsty March 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Honestly right now, it is hard to find dofollow links compare with nofollow. Out of 100 blogs that you will check, only about 15-20% that is dofollow and the rest is nofollow. It maybe hard but all we need is the dofollow links right so we really need to review more links before compiling numbers of dofollow sites :)

Surfer Jerry March 21, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Thanks for the tip on the search string, I’m going to go try it out after I leave here and do some heavy commenting tonight!

Alex March 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM

hahahah well you have a fitting name for it ;)

Charles March 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Thanks for these tips! I’m trying them out right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some dofollow linkbacks! oh plz god!!! =]

Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Lol! Nice Charles. Thanks for your entertaining (and relatable) commebt

Rae March 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Very good post. dofollow and nofollow is hard to do. it is an eye opener for some reason.

mikes May 6, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Thanks for these tips! Very good post. dofollow and nofollow is hard to do.I think your comment summary is great way of looking at it! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, glad the post helped

Alex May 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM

I’m gladthe post helped too ;)

Ron S July 6, 2011 at 3:30 AM

Hi Alex, for example if I drop comment in high PR blog such as problogger.net which is nofollow, are this links count as 1 backlinks or just nothing?? I don’t really understand about how nofollow’s work.

Ben September 3, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Alex, this is a great breakdown of dofollow and nofollow, which I think there is a lot of hype around. I see so many people stressing about finding only dofollow links, and having been in the SEO game for a while, I am certain that, like you said, a site has to have a mix of incoming dofollow and nofollow links. Very unnatural in the eyes of Google if you have a thousand dofollow links, and one nofollow link.

Alex September 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Cheers Ben, and you are exactly right – nothing natural about it at all.
Appreciate you taking the time to comment mate – have a great weekend

Expart September 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I see so many people stressing about finding only dofollow links, and having been in the SEO game for a while, I am certain that, like you said, a site has to have a mix of incoming dofollow and nofollow links.

Janice September 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Absolutely! I always don’t know where to go in finding a do-follow links. Greatly in certain like you do that it this two goes together. Anyways, I’m grateful for taking time to share your thoughts.

Konrad Kafarski September 30, 2011 at 7:13 AM

Thank You. Now i can difference between no follow and do follow blogs. I want to know more about non follow blog. where we use non follow blogs.

Software Development Australia December 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Thanks for the tips about differenciation about do-follow and nofollow backlinks

MB March 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

I also think that a good mix of do follow & no follow is best practice.

Bredbånd guide December 8, 2011 at 5:59 AM

I think a good mix of no follow and do follow is best, i dont think you should think so much about it.

Anuj@TourRajasthan January 8, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Very good information about demarcation between “DO Follow” & “No Follow”. Is it harmful from Seo point of view to get all backlinks to your blog which are “Do Follow”?

Jupiter Jim@Thesis Tutorial, Thesis Theme, WordPress Tutorial March 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Feel free to delete this comment after reading.

I believe you meant to say “note” where you used the word “not” in the following sentence:

It is important to not that only a link can be do-follow, not a site.

Alex April 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

damnit, the grammar police got me! LOL thanks Jim

Jupiter Jim@Thesis Tutorial, Thesis Theme, WordPress Tutorial March 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Alex,

this is practically a definitive guide on DoFollow and NoFollow links. Glad you explained everything so well so that I can still see the benefit on commenting on blogs with NoFollow. If you are using the chrome browser, just mouse over a link and right click and left click on “inspect element” and it will give you the HTML code for that link so you can see if the link is NoFollow.

Amidst all this great information, I am still not sure if you explained how to make the links to the websites of the blog commenters so that they are “DoFollow”. In other words, I am still not sure how to turn a blog into a DoFollow blog if it uses CommentLuv Premium or does NOT use that plugin. Maybe it’s there and I missed it.

Great info though!

Thanks!

– Jupiter Jim

Alex April 2, 2012 at 12:12 PM

There is actually a plugin you can install that turns the default no follow of comment links into a do follow.
I think its called follow me or something really obvious, search WP and you’ll find it

Sarah August 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Thank you so much for this Alex. This would be of great help. I’ve really been looking for blogs/articles to help me improve my skills in SEO.

iPhone App Development September 20, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Great post! I appreciate it very much, the goven Google search comment for finding dofollow blogs is very helpful for me. Thanks

Felipe Porto Alegre May 24, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Alex, I was just trying to get a link but ended up finding the most complete page about basic SEO I could only dream of. It’s a true guide, which I bookmarked for using later and consulting every now and then. Thanks!

{ 17 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: