How to See if A Link is DoFollow or NoFollow?

Even in 2015 building backlinks are still very important. You should just be building quality backlinks.  Anyone buying packs of backlinks on Fiverr or another service is just asking for trouble, unless they know exactly that they are getting. My theory is, do the work yourself, and over time you will reap the benefits. That and you’ll be able to sleep sound at night without worrying about waking up to see that your domain has dropped off the face of Google. Believe me, spending weeks digging through your backlink profile and disavowing links is not a fun process; I speak from personal experience.

What are DoFollow and NoFollow Links?

Follow Links or DoFollow

Links that count as points, pushing SEO link juice and boosting the page rank of the linked-to sites, helping them go higher in the SERPs as a result.

NoFollow Links

A link that does not count as a point in the page’s favor, does not boost PageRank, and doesn’t help a page’s placement in the SERPs.

Source: Follow Links Vs. No Follow Links: Should You Care?

Now does that mean you should just disregard all links that are nofollow? Of course not. Many nofollow links, especially on high traffic and high PR sites can provide you with a lot of referral traffic. Example, your pinterest URL on your boards profile is no longer a follow link. However, don’t you think people click on this to get to your website? Yes, they do. So that is a nofollow link that is still very important to build and have.

How Can I Check if a Link is DoFollow or NoFollow in Firefox?

There are many tools and addons out there to check these types of links but my favorite has to be the NoDoFollow Firefox plugin. It is very lightweight and won’t slow your browser down. Follow the steps below to install it and check a link.

Step 1

First head over to the NoDoFollow Firefox plugin download page and click on the “Continue to Download” button.

nodofollow continue to download

Step 2

Then click on “Add to Firefox” and “Allow.”

add to firefox

Step 3

Then click on “Install Now” and restart your browser.

firefox install now

Step 4

To use the plugin simply right click and select “NoDoFollow.” It will now highlight all the links on the page in either red or blue. Red stands for nofollow links. As you can see in the first example below, the link on our pinterest profile page is nofollow.

nofollow link

In the second example you can see that my WordPress profile page has a follow/dofollow link because it is highlighted in blue.

follow link

How Can I Check if a Link is DoFollow or NoFollow in Chrome?

Unfortunately the same plugin isn’t made for Google Chrome. So for Chrome I tend to use the SEO Toolbar by Moz.

Step 1

Download from here: http://moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar. It will launch in the Google App store, simply click on “Free” to proceed with the installation.

seo toolbar free download

Step 2

Then click on “Add” when you see the prompt.

mozbar add

Step 3

To launch it you can either click on the little “M” icon in the top right of your browser or use the hotkey: CTRL + Shift + Alt + M

mozbar icon

Step 4

In the bar that appears after you launch the toolbar, click on the “Highlight” marker icon. You can then activate highlighting of followed links and no-followed.

mozbar highlight links

You can then see it will highlight them on your webpage.

highlighted nofollow follow links

Option 2

And if you don’t want to use an extension you can always look at the source code on the page to see if a link is dofollow or nofollow.

Step 1

In Google Chrome for example, you can simply right click on the page and click on “View page source.”

chrome view source code

Step 2

You can then inspect the link code and if there is a “rel=”nofollow” then it is a nofollow link. Otherwise it is a dofollow link.

nofollow link

It is also important to note that some links having masking on them. For example, a nofollow link created with the WordPress pretty link plugin will show as a dofollow link because the nofollow happens upon redirect. So you won’t see it in the code, even though it is a nofollow link.

You then want to take into account what the anchor text is because that will reflect in your overall backlink profile. But that is for another post. I highly recommend using a tool like Web CEO to check your backlink profile. It is powered by Ahrefs and can show you toxic links.

For another great resource on some alternative backlinks, make sure to check out Brian Dean’s post on 17 Untapped Backlink Sources. I have a client who specializes in a lot of infographics and Brian’s tip about Visual.ly instantly gave us a PR7 backlink, plus a great source of referral traffic.

As always feel free to leave your comments below.

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35 thoughts on “How to See if A Link is DoFollow or NoFollow?

  1. Hi Brian, how nicely you have described to identify a link is follow or no follow. It is really helpful one for the newer. But what do you think about if the follow links really have extra ordinary importance than no follow?? And don’t the no follow links create any effect??

    • Thanks for your comment Antar! Follow links are definitely important. Google looks at these inbound links, and the quality of sites they come from. The more inbound links you have (and quality) the more Google will prioritize your page in SERPs as one of importance (just one factor of many). Nofollow links are still important as well. Even though Google doesn’t look at nofollow links, there are a lot of nofollow links that have incredible CTR. Example I used above is Pinterest. Your Pinterest URL on your profile is a nofollow link. However, it has a great click through rate and one you definitely want to have. I suggest building both kinds of links, they both have their benefits.

  2. Thanks Mr B for great info, i’m always trying to discover new links and somtimes i want to know is the link Do or No Follow, even tho both links are useful for link building, but thanks for the info

  3. How do i know if i`m linking to websites with spamming bots? what should i see (and where) that may lead me to decide to place a no-follow link.

    and another question that i have , this might be based on a myth but i want to get another opinion –
    is google expecting you to have no-follow links aside of the dofollow link in order to give you higher ranking points ?

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