What are Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks? Understanding their importance

Search engine optimization or SEO as it is commonly known as is the backbone of digital marketing. It helps rank webpages.

There are several terms like doindex, noindex, dofollow, nofollow, meta robots, etc., that hold equal importance from an SEO point of view.

In this post, we will discuss Nofollow and Dofollow backlinks.

What is a Nofollow backlink?

These are links with a rel=”nofollow” in the HTML code of the website. It tells crawlers not to follow these backlinks. Google will not transfer authority or anchor text if it comes across a nofollow link.

Simply put, nofollow links tell search engines to ignore a link and since they do not pass PageRank, they are less likely to impact rankings.

For example: <a href=”https://example.com” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>

SEO value

Nofollow backlinks do not pass on link juice. Only people can follow these links. These links do not help boost Page Rank or website ranking and have no SEO value.

What is a Dofollow backlink?

A Dofollow backlink allows search engines to follow them and reach the website. Dofollow backlinks influence your backlink profile as they send signal to search engines about what the linked website is about.

The best way to give someone Dofollow is by including the targeted keyword in the anchor text.

An example of dofollow link is:

<a href=”https://example.com”>anchor text</a>

SEO Value

If you have a Dofollow link on the website, search engines and people can follow you. They pass link juice that is beneficial to get your website rank higher.

How to check if it is a Dofollow or a Nofollow backlink?

A few ways to check whether a link is Dofollow or Nofollow are;

  1. SEO extensions

  2. HTML code

  3. Backlink analysis tools

1. SEO extensions

A few browser extensions will help you know if a link is a Dofollow or a Nofollow backlink. GrowthBar, BuzzSumo extension, MozBar, SEOquake, Mangools SEO extension, etc., are a few examples of SEO extensions that are worth trying to gain information about backlink analysis, traffic info, Alexa Rank, etc.

2. HTML Code

If you already know where the backlink is, you can simply take a look at the HTML code of the referring site.

If you know where the backlink is placed, the easiest way is to take a look at the HTML code of the referring website:

  • Right click on the anchor text. Select “Inspect element” or “Inspect” (depending on your browser). You can even press “Ctrl+Shift+I” in Chrome.

  • Check the code for rel= “nofollow”. If you do not find it, it means the link is Dofollow

3. Backlink Analysis tool

You can use backlink analysis tools such as LinkMiner to analyze your own or your competitor’s link profile. You can use the backlink analysis tools if you don’t know what backlinks the website has or their anchor texts or their placements.

To use the tool, you need to;

  • Enter the domain you want to know backlinks for

  • Click on the backlinks (left table) and once the referring website loads on the right side of the screen, click on the anchor text to locate it.


Dofollow backlinks have more SEO value than Nofollow backlinks. However, it is recommended that you have a healthy balance of Dofollow and Nofollow links in your link profile. Together they can help you earn higher rankings on SERPs.