In the world of SEO, there are a few terms more notorious than “no-follow”. After all, the whole point of link building, as an aspect of SEO, is to boost one’s rating through quality content linking towards the client’s domain. This makes layman link builders dismiss them as a waste of time and resources but is this really so? Well, not necessarily. In fact, no-follow links may bring your brand more than a few perks you aren’t even aware of. Here are some of them.
Raising brand awareness
Just because a Google won’t reward your client directly for the piece of content you wrote doesn’t mean that your client won’t benefit from it in other ways.
We are not just talking about the traffic boost that comes from clicking on the link, but about the brand mention. A positive brand mention goes a long way and, a few years back, there were even plans for these brand mentions to replace links altogether. While this plan was partially abandoned, no one can know for sure if this trend will get revitalized in the following several years.
Apart from this, you might have heard about the rule of seven. According to it, a customer is highly unlikely to buy a product or hire a company they hear of for the first time. Building credibility takes time and the rule of seven claims that an average person needs to hear of your brand at least seven times before they agree to do business with you. The brand mention that you make in that particular piece of content might serve as one of them.
So, this leaves us in a bit of an awkward situation. In short-term, your SEO campaign should ensure a higher rating of your website and while no-follow link makes this less probable it does contribute to your brand as a whole. In other words, even though you don’t get the immediate rank boost you have expected, you may receive a boost in your overall brand strength, which was always the end goal of a well-planned SEO campaign.
A boost in traffic
Another thing you need to keep in mind is a fact that a link (of any kind), leaves an opportunity for a boost in traffic. Of course, this directly benefits your clients in more than several ways. First of all, Google is much more likely to get interested in a website with a higher traffic, which means that you will get indexed much faster.
Still, this is a double-edged blade. If your content is original, organic and the anchor text is relevant to the topic, you will do just fine. On the other hand, clickbait and similar black-hat tactics will make people abandon the target website in droves, mere seconds after they first arrive. This boost in bounce rates can drive your rank into the ground and, seeing as how you don’t get any rank increase from the link itself, it is a clear lose-lose scenario. Therefore, one needs to be extra careful when no-follow links are in question.
A bit of diversity
The next thing you need to keep in mind is that Google is getting smarter by the hour. Unfortunately, this means is that it is getting more suspicious, as well. Even though Google needs SEO it still dislikes the idea of its algorithm being exploited. This is why it hates patterns and also why uniformity of your links might get you in a no small amount of trouble. When you think about it, this behavior may seem a bit spam-like and if there’s one thing that we can say about Google it is that it just hates spam. Because of this, no-follow links may be used to break this uniformity a bit and give your company a bit more colorful portfolio.
Links generate other links
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that if your link is particularly useful for the overall content, other bloggers might decide to re-use it in their own posts. In other words, a no-follow link may generate you a dofollow link on its own, or several of them for that matter. The examples of this happening are numerous and those who persisted in this practice often found that there is a pattern behind it.
In other words, the probability that others will use your link is not nearly as unpredictable as you may assume. Still, they are influenced by the quality of the content and how organic you make the implementation of the link in question. To make the long story short, there is a great chance that a great no-follow link might start a domino effect in your favor.
Earlier on, we mentioned that no-follow links still generate traffic for your website, however, this is not just any traffic we are talking about. You see, if the link is on a blog that is of interest to the business you are representing, then the readers of the blog are their target demographic. So, if the link you leave is relevant to the topic at hand, people who follow it will be qualified leads (the so-called low-hanging-fruits). This also means that they need minimal persuasion to make the purchase or, at least, convert into subscribers.
Nonetheless, for this to take place, the niche of the blog needs to be the right one. From this, it is easy to deduce that even though the quality of the blog may not benefit your rank directly, its niche may result in the direct boost of the conversion rates of the target website.
Even though the above-listed five benefits may seem as great selling points, this doesn’t mean that no-follow links are always beneficial to your business. Sure, if the link and the content you use are of high value to both the reader and the blogger, they might still get you the results you need even if they are no-follow. Then again, this all rests on your ability to find the right blog and make the content that meets both their standards and those of your readers. At the end of the day, the type of link matters far less than its quality, as was to be expected.