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I have a website that have links to companies, something like a community directory.

Today I receive a complain of a company asking me to add rel="nofollow" to their URL.

I don't have any advantage to give backlinks to these companies, but I never thought about adding rel="nofollow".

Apparently this company made some SEO audit and they want some backlinks removed.

Should I add rel="nofollow" to all companies websites in my platform? Could this affect my own SEO? It's my only concern.

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Using rel="nofollow" on external links will not increase or decrease your own rankings. It may however increase theirs or decrease. Generally when SEO link audits take place they look to remove low quality links.

Low quality links generally consist of low quality page content or pages with many outbound links may also been seen as undesirable. Them requesting you to nofollow will likely be one of dozens or hundreds of sites with similar requests.

Personally I would just remove the link entirely.

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  • well, the domain authority is lower than my website. I can't remove the links, so, I will add rel="nofollow" to all companies, not just to this particular case.
    – anvd
    Oct 31, 2017 at 22:55
  • @anvd That is a very reasonable solution. This will solve any future requests. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Nov 1, 2017 at 0:32
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Outbound links can send a signal to Google that you are familiar with authority sites in your field. It would be odd no to link to the players if your own site is to be considered an authority. (Of course, I understand that these companies might not be key players.)

It's hard to know precisely what Google does with the nofollow attribute. But linking to authorities can help your SEO and nofollow could inhibit this.

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