How Do Nofollow Links Impact the Flow of Link Juice Compared to Dofollow Links?


Nofollow links do not pass on link juice or influence the search engine rankings of the destination page, while dofollow links transmit link equity (link juice) and affect the SEO rankings of the target page. Understanding the impact and strategic use of both types of links is essential for effective link-building and SEO campaigns.

Link juice, also known as link equity, refers to the value or authority that a hyperlink transfers from one page to another. Search engines consider link juice when determining a page's relevance and ranking in search results. Higher link equity positively impacts a page’s SEO.


Nofollow links are hyperlinks where the origin website does not pass on its link juice to the destination site. The nofollow attribute is added to the HTML of a hyperlink tag using <a href="URL" rel="nofollow">Anchor Text</a>.


Nofollow links are typically used to:

  • Prevent spammy websites from gaining link equity.
  • Indicate advertisements and sponsored content.
  • Avoid endorsement of untrusted or unknown sites.

[Google Search, 2023]

Nofollow links essentially block the flow of link juice. When search engine bots encounter a nofollow link, they do not crawl the destination page, and thus, the linked page does not receive any SEO benefits from the link. This attribute is respected by most search engines, including Google.


Dofollow links are the default type of hyperlinks that pass on link juice to the destination page. In HTML, a dofollow link does not require any special attributes and is represented simply as <a href="URL">Anchor Text</a>.


Dofollow links are used to:

  • Boost the SEO ranking of the destination page.
  • Show search engines a path to discover and index content.
  • Transfer authority and credibility to the linked site.

[Google Webmaster Guidelines, 2023]

Dofollow links facilitate the transfer of link juice from the originating site to the destination site. This transfer helps improve the search engine rankings of the destination page. The more authoritative the originating site, the more link juice it passes on.

A balanced approach is essential for an effective link-building strategy. While dofollow links are critical for SEO, nofollow links can still bring value by driving traffic, protecting against link spam, and maintaining a natural backlink profile.

For instance, user-generated content or comment sections often use nofollow links to mitigate the risk of spam. Conversely, editorial links, guest posts, and partnerships typically include dofollow links to pass on SEO benefits.

[Moz, 2023]

Specific Examples

  • Example 1: Including a nofollow link in comment sections or forums to discourage spammers while still allowing users to share relevant resources.
  • Example 2: Utilizing dofollow links in guest posts on reputable websites to pass on authority and improve SEO rankings of your own site.


Understanding the differences between nofollow and dofollow links and their impact on link juice is paramount for effective SEO strategies. While nofollow links prevent the flow of link juice, they are valuable for traffic and maintaining link profile integrity. Dofollow links, on the other hand, are essential for passing link equity and improving search engine rankings. A balanced utilization of both types of links can significantly enhance your overall SEO efforts.