Building Do Follow Links with High Quality NoFollow Links

If you’re an SEO, you might walk right by a nofollow linking opportunity as if you were the Googlebot yourself. Hold up! Have you forgotten the fundamental value of a link? A link is more than a ranking factor; It can be good exposure, a traffic source, and something valuable even if it doesn’t pass PageRank.

Most social networking site links are nofollow, but I’d doubt you would scoff at the thought of your content being shared by an authoritative user on Twitter or Facebook. Why? Because you know that a tweet from Robert Scoble endorsing your startup will drive traffic to your site, will bring in revenue, will put you in front of your target audience, and that you may pick up some regular followed links as a result.

Paul, are you telling me that it’s ok that the exact match anchor text that I’ve included in my press releases isn’t gushing with link juice?  Yes, yes I am. Did you get a link from The New York Times as a result of the exposure it gave you? Indeed! Thats the benefit of a good nofollow link, the exposure it gives you. Just be thankful you didn’t get slapped with a link penalty for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.


Let’s get the typical arguments about nofollow links out of the way. Here is what Google says regarding its treatment of nofollow links:

“In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.”

From the ambiguity of this statement, we can come to understand that rel=”nofollow” may still have direct benefits, even in Google’s eye. Beyond, the value they offer for traffic, visibility, and as source of latently built followed links, numerous tests have indicated that these links may still be used for discovery.

There are some lesser benefits to acquiring nofollow links too. Smaller search engines may ignore the rel=”nofollow” attribute and help visibility on those search engines (although most have adopted it).

There have been claims that nofollow links aren’t completely ignored by Google as a ranking factor, and there is some older research (see #1 from 2006 and #2 from 2010) supporting this. However, I am inclined to believe that if there is any effect on rank, it is not coming from PageRank and isn’t very significant in weight.

I’m working under the assumption here that a plethora of nofollow links can neither positively or negatively affect your search rankings directly. Google’s John Mueller has given us reason to believe that any number of nofollow links will not harm your site rankings. Matt Cutts has gone on to say the same thing, citing an extreme spam example as something they may possibly take manual action on.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we may return to the real reason that rel=”nofollow” links can be very valuable. The good nofollow links I am talking about are any that can be found on a relevant and authoritative website. They may not directly increase your search rankings, but they shouldn’t be disregarded for search marketing purposes either.

The right nofollow link can earn you a multitude of follow links. All you need is a journalist or a blogger to see it and click. Nofollow links can get before influential eyes just as easily as regular links. When that journalist is researching a topic for his next article and he comes to your site in the footnotes of Wikipedia, is that not better than a follow link on a lower-quality directory website?


Here are some places where you can consider getting nofollow links for the purpose of gaining traffic and attention for your website in order to latently build do follow links:

  • Reddit comment links are nofollow and can sometimes bring in a great deal of traffic, especially if it has a lot of upvotes within front page story.

  • Wikipedia links are indicators of good resources.

  • A Quora answer with many upvotes can get seen by a lot of people. Quora answers are also easily embeddable and are a great resource for content creation ideas for others. This is also true of sites like Yahoo Answers

  • High traffic blog comments can bring you a lot of exposure. I’m not saying to engage in comment spam, but if you leave a real comment that really connects with an article and supply a link that happens to be a good resource, it can be beneficial to everyone.

  • Press releases are good for getting in front of journalist eyes.

  • Advertorials can be very effective advertising, and it is the case with advertising that your are buying good visibility, which gets you links.

  • Paid Links can be thought of as advertisements, and as long as they are nofollow they can bring you a lot of traffic and won’t get you dinged by Google.

  • Social media links are some of the best nofollow links around. Target influencers and get your content in front of the right eyes to gain some great links.

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Adopting MVPPC For Faster Learnings

Here at Higher Click, we love inbound marketing. In fact, we love it so much that we do it full time for our clients. However, we’re not ignorant of the power of other online marketing channels, especially PPC. In case you didn’t know, PPC is actually becoming cheaper these days, mostly due to the increasing number of venues offering paid traffic options (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc).

While most businesses view PPC as an expensive strategy and inbound marketing as a comparatively cheap one, I actually disagree – if you follow the principles laid out in this post, you’ll find PPC to be a economical and efficient option. Getting a good inbound marketing funnel going, on the other hand, takes tens of thousands of dollars and/or hundreds of hours. Read more

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Matt Cutts on Guest Blogging – Reading Between the Lines

“Guest blogging”, or “guest posting”, as a method of generating links has come under a lot of scrutiny lately. This is largely a result of a method but not a mentality shift from article marketing to guest posting. In my previous post I wrote about how SEOs were treating guest posting as an opportunity to get lots of high-PR, anchor-rich links and rank a site that way.

Having run Higher Click for three years now, we’ve produced thousands of guest posts for hundreds of clients in dozens of industries. I’ve seen time and time again people react to these Matt Cutts videos in the wrong way and wanted to state my opinion on the matter. Read more


Interview With Shane Melaugh of IMimpact.com on Lean Marketing

Hey guys, today I’m trying something new with the blog! I outreached to someone I considered a successful marketer, Shane Melaugh from IMimpact.com, and invited him to share some of his knowledge with us. I interviewed him for 45 minutes and asked him questions I thought would be relevant to you guys.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How to apply the lean startup methodology to product development
  • How to outsource product creation while keeping quality standards up
  • What vanity metrics you should and should not look at
  • The #1 mistake most marketer make when launching a product
  • Whether marketers should learn how to code or not Read more

Hybrid Connect Review: Grow Your List Faster Than Ever Before

“The power is in the list”. Sound familiar? It should, because it’s one of the oldest tips in the book for successful internet marketers.

The issue for most people though is actually building the list or having it build itself on autopilot.

Well that’s exactly what Hybrid Connect can help you achieve, helping you grow your email list faster, with more ease, and in a highly optimized fashion. Read more

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10 Things You Can Do To Drive Traffic And Links To Your Latest Blog Post Today

While it’s true that content marketing is all about the long term, it’s always nice to publish a blog post and see hundreds of people making their way over to your site to read it. For me personally, this both helps me to stay motivated and allows me to enjoy a nice bump in followers and subscribers every time I publish. So instead of sitting and waiting for readers to appear after making a new post, I created a series of small promotional processes that only take about 15 minutes each, but that bring some juicy targeted referral traffic to my sites. Read more


Shades of Grey: How link building used to be done and why things changed for the better

For a considerable amount of time, links have been a core weapon in an SEO’s arsenal. The way those links are acquired, however, has undergone massive changes in recent years. I wanted to publicly give some insight into how we, as an industry, used to use heavy grey hat SEO tactics. I also wanted to explain why SEOs did this and why most of us moved towards a white hat approach to link building and inbound marketing in general.

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Unbiased Opinion On Buying Fake Likes And Twitter Followers

So this week held an interesting debate on Twitter between Martin Macdonald, CCarter and I. The premise of this debate was a follow-up of a blog post by Martin that basically explains both the power of social proof and how social media embodies it on the internet but also how easy it is to uncover fake fans and followers. Here is some of the conversation that happened on twitter following my retweet of the article:

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Forget traditional link building, do these 6 things instead

After being 4+ years in the SEO industry, I can say links rule this industry. If you have been caring, even a little about their organic search traffic in the past few years, you’ve been caring about links. And this makes sense, if you’ve been following industry surveys and studies, links still are the core of how Google and other search engines sort search results. Read more


The 6 commandments of the productive Internet marketer

This post is an excerpt of my free 30 pages ebook on doing the right things for internet marketers. If you enjoy this post, you should consider downloading the book.

Mindsets are merely a set of beliefs and a philosophy of life that guides your actions. Adopting the right beliefs and “inner game” is absolutely mandatory to really make it big. This section will contain a collection of mindsets you should consider adopting when you’re working in IM. Read more