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When you link to resources or original source, and in particular.... Well, lets just do it this way. I have two particular examples:

Situation 1

Say I have a website about boats and have an article about rules and fines for speed of the boat. I'd then link to the official law document from the government. Should such a link be dofollow or nofollow?

Because in this case, the link is not relevant to the niche at all (boats). But on the other hand, it is a trusted link and can be useful for the readers of the article.

Situation 2

Lets take the boat website as an example again. This time I'd have an article about gas and oil for the boat. Now I'd want to link to some websites or companies with good quality oil. It would NOT be sponsored or paid for in any way. Should the link this time be dofollow or nofollow?

Since in this case, the link is a great resource for users and they would be trusted companies. But again, the particular companies have nothing to do with the niche (boats, while these companies are just general gas and oil companies)

And also..

What if you have a lot of outgoing links to a lot of original sources and resources? Because if you would use dofollow, wouldn't it come across spammy for Google (even though it would not be spammy and just legit)?

Would it be better to actually limit outgoing links and only use the best links or is it fine to just link a lot of good resources?

Hopefully I explained it properly. I'm really not sure what would be the best practise for SEO and haven't been able to find the answer on such specific questions.

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    How is a link to an article about rules and fines for the speed of a boat not about boats? Jan 14 at 9:23

1 Answer 1

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In my opinion you are overthinking this.

I recommend using dofollow for any link that you as the writer endorse as worthwhile, relevant content.

I recommend using nofollow for any link that's been submitted by a sponsor or by a site user, or that you otherwise don't endorse as worthwhile or relevant.

trusted link and can be useful for the readers of the article

would NOT be sponsored or paid for in any way

link is a great resource for users and they would be trusted companies

I recommend you use dofollow for all of these links in both Situation 1 and Situation 2. As long as you are linking out to high quality resources that are relevant to the article and relevant to the reader, any concerns over site niche are irrelevant.


Note: When I say "use dofollow", I don't mean to bother explicitly adding the "dofollow" attribute to your links. What I mean is to just not use "nofollow".

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    I'd recommend never using nofollow. I'd now use rel=sponsored for ads or rel=ugc for user generated content. developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/… Nofollow is dead. Jan 14 at 9:26
  • @StephenOstermiller I differ a bit in my opinion on that, I would say only bother to do that in situations where it takes no additional effort beyond using nofollow, since Google says nofollow is "still an acceptable way to flag them". There seems to be no downside to still using nofollow, and the only upside to using sponsored and ugc at this point appears to be to volunteer more data to help Google train their machine learning models, though admittedly that may change in the future so it may be helpful to be ahead of the curve. Jan 14 at 17:02
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    That's fair. In my view ugc and sponsored are much clearer. If you limit yourself to just using them, it's a lot easier to see which links should have them in which link should not. Jan 14 at 17:04
  • Does anyone use explicit dofollows? Is there any reason?
    – Džuris
    Jan 14 at 18:18
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    @Džuris Edited! There's no reason afaik to use explicit dofollow, implicit is always the way to go. Jan 14 at 18:40

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