Google Webmasters Tools shows rel="nofollow" links as a backlink. I believe that rel="nofollow" helps SEO and PageRank but according to many people it is not. What is your idea about this? Did you see that rel="nofollow" links also helps your rank and SEO?

3 Answers 3


rel="nofollow" does not help with SEO. It was created by Google to combat link spam. Links that have that attribute pass no PageRank and do not count as a backlink in any major search engine. Google may acknowledge that it found a link with nofollow but that link will have no value.


How does Google handle nofollowed links?

In general, we don't follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links

  • 5
    It's always worth remembering that links are for users primarily, so a nofollow link from a high-trafficked page is better than a normal link from a low quality page. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 9:17

The nofollow links aren't supposed to be used in the calculation of the PageRank that a page receives. However, people commonly mention that some types of social media nofollow links do pass PageRank. My understanding of this is Google does at least use Twitter links but they aren't using the ones they discover via normal web spidering. Google also receives Twitter data via an API where the links don't carry the nofollow attribute.

However, I don't think the links pass PageRank in the normal way; it has more to do with the way that they rank Twitter reputation. This means that unless you're an authority on Twitter then the links will be meaningless from a ranking perspective. I'm not sure of the details about how authority is calculated but I think it's more than just your number of followers. You can find more about Twitter and how it affects SE Ranking in this Q&A between Danny Sullivan and Google/Bing: http://searchengineland.com/what-social-signals-do-google-bing-really-count-55389

In the past there was also a common SEO technique, called Page Sculpting, where people tried to influence the flow of PageRank through a site by limiting the number of internal links that didn't use nofollow. However, Google modified their algorithm so this stopped working. The nofollow links are now used to calculate the PageRank distribution so more links mean less PageRank per link; even if it's not passed on to all of them.

  • I really have to ask for sources on the whole twitter thing. It really doesn't make any sense and I haven't seen anything indicating this is the case. It sounds like wild speculation to me. Especially since PR is all about links and not reputation. And AFAIK twitter there is no such thing as twitter reputation How do they decide who has good rep? Number of followers? Number of tweets? Number of retweets? All too easy to manipulate.
    – John Conde
    Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 14:36
  • Sure, I'll add it to the post. As I mentioned, I don't know too much about Twitter reputation myself apart from that Google has a method to calculate it. Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 16:57
  • Great link! I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it. Definitely gonna have to chew on that for a while as it's a lot to absorb.
    – John Conde
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 1:54
  • Matt Cutts also mentions it in this video: m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=GB#/… Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 9:14

rel="nofollow" may have a minor SEO role is marking non content, meta, pages as no to be read. For example my login page or my contact form are pages that might not be useful for my site to have in search results and so I can mark the links to them as nofollow, in addition adding meta tags for noindex or adding to my robots.txt.

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