Implemented to prevent comment spamming and other black hat techniques, the NoFollow attribute appeared in 2005. Actually, this attribute is used to inform search engines not to follow a link and thus not distribute any page rank to the destination page. On the other hand, the follow attribute tells search engines to follow a link and give it the link juice deserved. The page rank of the linked-to page will thus increase.
With OnCrawl, you can easily check your links breakdown and see your links attributes. In fact, you can monitor your internal and external links whether they are in Follow or No Follow.
For instance, if you click on the ‘Internal | Follow’ you will access a more detailed report with your URLs data and settings.
Best practices to Follow NoFollow
In order to prevent from spams and black hat techniques, you should use the NoFollow attribute, even if it doesn’t pass any Page Rank. You should use it in the following situations::
For paid links: if you do not want Google to penalize you for paid outbound links even if you know these quality links will drive traffic to your website
Comments: if you are not doing any comments moderation, they could contain harmful links. Use NoFollow to prevent your website from commenters publishing bad links
User Generated Content: as the previous one, if you let people contribute to your website without any moderation, NoFollow can help you protect your content from fake links
Embeds: use NoFollow if you are loading videos or infographics you do not want to favor
Duplicate content: you might not want to see your PDFs ranked by the search engines for instance since they are duplicated with the same HTML
Even if the NoFollow attribute does not pass any link juice, those links can still bring a qualitative referral traffic. Also, Google gives attribute to other criterias like social signals that are delivered by social platforms like Facebook or Twitter that are however in No Follow. And then, those links can help you build trust. So do not neglect No Follow attributes.
How to implement a NoFollow
To transform a regular link into a NoFollow one, you just have to add an attribute in the form of a short code within the link tag. For example,
<a href="http://www.example.com/">link to a page</a> will become
<a href="http://www.example.com/" rel="nofollow">link to a page</a>.
It can be added manually but many CMS can add it for you.