I've started to realise that our website has no external links, despite there being some good opportunities for them. I've have a blog within the website that features news such as donations we've made to charities and so on so I've decided to link to them where possible.

Should we still be adding rel="nofollow" to my external links in 2016? We trust the websites that we will be linking to but we don't want linking to them to affect our own SEO efforts - not that I can see it being a huge problem but it's best to be safe than sorry!

2 Answers 2


If you trust the page don't use nofollow. How did you earn PR from external sites? Because they trust your site or the webmaster didn't care/know about using rel=nofollow. So why not return the favor?
Personally I use it almost only on links to big sites like facebook & co. For small pages that I trust I use rel=follow.

The recommendations from google maybe help to make a decision: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en

  • 1
    Why do you use nofollow "on links to big sites like Facebook" ...?
    – MrWhite
    Jan 29, 2016 at 13:27
  • I'm guessing this is because adding rel-follow will dilute your PR - hence marcus only giving followed links to trusted, smaller sites that will actually benefit from it. I do the same with my websites. Jan 29, 2016 at 13:46
  • I wonder what happens if everybody uses nofollow. Who will gain any PR and how (after the current practice)? Since the general recommendation by Google is, to build websites for people and not for the Search Engine, I would say it is fair to give PR via rel=follow to the sites you value. Might be a naive point of view though.
    – marcus
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:20
  • My first thought was to nofollow them, since the websites I'm linking to are huge anyway. Do I lose PR from linking to them without a nofollow? Decisions decisions. Jan 29, 2016 at 15:52

too many follow links, indeed, not good. I would do the same what matt cuts said about rel=nofollow. As long as it has no relevant content, I would let it with follow link. For me, the content is everything (and learn always how to write effectively and useful for others) and from the best content, we have high possibility to earn backlink like others do.

As you know that with no relevant niche, the links have small effect in PR.

UPDATED: understanding your point that Rel=nofollow is not a huge problem like you see. There are lots of things in PR aspects; e.g. authority, backlink, inbound links, content-structure and many more. I suggest: just focus on high quality content that's what user need.

  • I think I'm going to nofollow them just to be safe. Google should still be able to see that I'm making efforts to link to external websites, even if I'm not passing any PR. I don't think nofollow links are as much of a factor as they once were. Jan 29, 2016 at 16:36
  • just intermezzo. what's gonna be when all sites in this world using rel=nofollow link? :D there won't be a term of "PR and backlink", right?
    – don magug
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:04

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