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Previously I created a website for promo codes and coupons. That have hundreds of external links to the Retailer's websites and I used rel="nofollow" tag. But my site SEO rank was very very... bad especially on Google.

So then I removed the rel="nofollow" tag, but no improvement.

The only difference between this site and my other sites is "External links". My other sites have good ranking on Google.

Now I'm creating a site for reviews. So this is also similar situation for me.

I just want to know about how does SEO react with external links? and then what possibly happened in my case?

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2  
Sounds like a linkfarm, which gets bad points :) I suggest you read up on proper linkbuilding. And rel="nofollow", because im not very sure you use the proper implementation :) – Martijn Jun 11 '14 at 12:38
    
@Martijn maybe you are right. But then what do you suggest me to do for a coupon site and review site that have external links. – Anonymous Jun 11 '14 at 12:43
    
I'm not very sure your site was bad in Google because of rel=nofollow link attribute. This attribute has been implemented by Google for safe external linking if you are not sure about site you are linked to. – Marian Jun 11 '14 at 12:43
    
I properly explain and write good content for each coupon that I used so every link is relative to landing page. – Anonymous Jun 11 '14 at 12:48
    
The only difference ... is "External links" - Do the other sites not have external links, or are they nofollow (or follow)? – w3dk Jun 11 '14 at 14:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Nofollow should be used on untrusted links only.

If you are curating these links to the retailers' websites (and it sounds like you are) then there is no reason to use nofollow.

If users are posting those links, then you should either use nofollow, or implement a whitelist of sites for which you omit nofollow.

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