Do You Recognize a Nofollow Link?

By now you have probably heard that you need to get dofollow links and avoid nofollow links. If not you can read my other post on What is a Nofollow Link.

Anyway it may sound easy to avoid nofollow links but how do you know if a link is nofollow in the first place??

Ok, here’s the standard way of checking a link for nofollow: Use the “view source” function of your web-browser and look at the HTML code for the link to see if it’s nofollow or not. Here’s how to do it:

Right-Click Menu in Firefox
Select View Page Source from the menu

First point your web browser to the page where the link is. Second click the “view source” button on your browser. In Firefox you just right-click on any empty spot on the page and select “View Page Source” from the menu. In Internet Explorer 8 it’s pretty much the same. You right click on any empty spot on the page and select “View Source” from the menu.

You now have a page full of cryptic HTML source code in front of you. To find the link to your page in all this code you search for the url of the link. If your link points to then search for that text in the HTML source code. You open the search dialogue by pressing Ctrl-F, like in most text editors.

Now when you find the link it should look something like this:

<a href=””>Add URL</a>

Or if it’s a nofollow link it should look like this

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Add URL</a>

See how you recognize the nofollow link by the attribute rel=”nofollow” in the link tag!

In the real world there may be a lot more attributes in the link tag so you may need to look carefully to see of the nofollow is there or not.

Now how was that? Easy? Yes easy, but too much work in my oppinion!

Here’s how to do it quickly if you have a lot of links to check:

Download and install the Firefox plugin called Quirk SearchStatus (You’ll need Firefox for this)

Now the plugin will show up as a blue button down to the right in the status bar of your browser. Right click that button and make sure “Highlight Nofollow Links” is checked in the menu. If not click it to make it checked.

Now you have the ultimate nofollow link tool at your disposal. SearchStatus will now highlight all nofollow links with a red background color.

To see what it looks like you can take a look at the Secret Search Engine Labs profile at Webotopia. You’ll see that some of the links in the topmost meny have a light red background and that the “contact us” and “RSS feed” links at the bottom also haveĀ  a light red background. This means those links are nofollow.

You can also see that the links pointing back to Secret Search Engine Labs does not have the light red background. This means they are dofollow links and that this is a good place to get links from. Links from this directory passes link juice.

When I work with SEO I always have the SearchStatus plugin running. This means that anytime I’m thinking about getting a link from somewhere, from a blog, from a directory or from a wiki, I will instantly see if links are nofollow so I don’t have to waste more time getting links that have little effect on the search engine rankings.


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