DoFollow defines links that are not modified with the “NoFollow” attribute. Learn more about what they mean for your backlinking campaign, and why they’re important for ranking websites in general.

Times have changed, and this resource has evolved to be more relevant for 2012!

What is DoFollow?

Understanding DoFollow

“DoFollow” is simply an internet slang term given to web pages or sites that are not utilizing “NoFollow.” NoFollow is a hyperlink value that tells search engines not to pass on any credibility or influence to an outbound link. Originally created to help the blogging community reduce the number of inserted links into a “comment” area of a blog page, the attribute is typically standard in blog comments. It helps overwhelmed webmasters disallow spammers from gaining any kind of advantage by inserting an unwanted link on a popular page, and has become an integral part of Google-specific SEO.

How DoFollow & NoFollow Have Affected Link Building

As a result of the implementation of NoFollow, the process of building links has taken a steep turn. Many sites, including wikis, social bookmarking sites, corporate and private blogs, commenting plug-ins and many other venues and applets across the internet began implementing NoFollow. This made effective link building difficult for both honest people and spammers alike. It also made DoFollow links become the “Holy Grail” of SEOs everywhere, who seek them out as expensive collections to their off-site optimization repertoire.

NoFollow Isn’t Bad

There’s nothing wrong with getting NoFollow links. In fact, you’ll want to get an equal amount of them as well. While they don’t pass on link juice, they do help associate your site with anchor text (the keyword phrase that makes up the URL pointing to your site). They also increase the exposure of your site, overall, which may eventually lead to you getting more mentions via DoFollow links!

How Search Engines Use NoFollow

DoFollow’s impact on the web

Search engines each interpret NoFollow in their own way. Here’s a list of the major search engines with a short description about how they handle DoFollow and NoFollow:

  • Google follows NoFollow links but simply does not pass on credit [page rank] to an outbound link that is tagged with the value.
  • Yahoo follows NoFollow links, and excludes the link from all ranking calculations.
  • Bing may or may not follow a NoFollow link, but it does exclude it from ranking calculations.

DoFollow Links As A Part of Link Building

draft_lens1600994module4463962photo_rel-nofollowWith all of the above being said – it is rather difficult to find sites that have sections enabled for “DoFollow”…however, they’re out there! Listed below for your convenience are running lists of multiple categories of sites that are DoFollow, and great candidates for your next backlink.

Don’t Be A Spammer – Be A Value Provider!

Spamming Dofollow resources will not give you results…not only that, it hurts the entire community, and it persuades Dofollow providers to convert their sites to Nofollow. Be sure that all of your link-building exploits are done so tastefully and honestly. If you don’t cram keywords and give an honest account of what your site is about, search engines will reward you for it!

Multiple DoFollow Links from One Source

In getting links, regardless of if they’re DoFollow or not, please note that Google and other search engines are rather smart these days. If you have multiple links pointing to a page from one DoFollow source, or if that source is also linking to other places that are giving you backlinks (such as your Blogspot or WordPress account), search engines will notice and may devalue your links to the point where they become worthless. Build links naturally and over time. Provide value and they’ll be quality links. Otherwise, you’ll hurt your website’s link building efforts in the long-run. By the way — when it comes to link building, only the first link pointing to a site counts. Posting more than one hyperlink on the same page to the same source won’t help in any way.

Passing On Too Much “Link Juice”

You may have heard of the slang term “link juice,” when the topic of Page Rank or Trust Rank is being discussed. Basically, every link on your page passes on some of the “juice” of that page. So, a highly credible web page that has a lot of great content, credibility and links pointing to it will “leak” some “juice” on to whatever other pages it is linking to, both internal and external (unless those links are marked as NoFollow links).

This is why it’s recommended not to have too many links on a single page. More links = more juice going out of the page. Lose too much juice, and you’re left with an empty glass.

When you set up your site, be sure to make absolutely sure which links should remain “DoFollow.” Make sure they’re used sparingly. It’s always safe to leave internal links as “DoFollow” if they are pointing to something relevant to the topic of that page (such as a breadcrumb link, external link to a trusted/authority site, or to related articles). Everything else – including header & footer links, affiliate links, banner ads and other worthless stuff should be marked as “NoFollow,” which effectively plugs up the holes in your juice glass.

Do DoFollow Linkwheels Really Work?

draft_lens1600994module120875901photo_1285032019dofollow-linkwheel

Above: A very basic concept of a linkwheel, intended to strengthen a dofollow backlink

What Is A “Linkwheel?”

A “linkwheel” is a process where you build backlinks to a backlink. In other words, say you have a backlink pointing to your site from Squidoo.com. Instead of bookmarking your website on 10 other bookmarking sites, the “linkwheel” methodology teaches you to bookmark that “Squidoo.com” page instead, building up its presence and integrity. This fostered the belief that the practice creates a more powerful link than all of those other 10 bookmark sites combined.

Building Linkwheels: How It’s Done

An illustration of such a “dofollow linkwheel” is seen in the example above: here, I illustrated how you’d build links to a Squidoo page which has a backlink pointing to your website. Instead of putting a backlink on all of those sites, you’re only getting one link. This process can get very involved: picture 10 additional sites pointing to the “WordPress” icon in the chart, above…and so forth. 100% of the strategy relies on how legitimately and tastefully you’re doing things. Don’t even think of spamming, you’ll ruin your chances of building up a good DoFollow link. Also, note that both DoFollow and NoFollow links have been mixed in this chart.

Does This Seriously Work?

This method has been used over the past several years with varying reports of success. Some truly believe them to be a more effective way to build links than through traditional bookmarking, while others say it’s a dying fad. As with everything else, the process of building linkwheels may very well become “grayhat” someday, and deemed ineffective.

What’s the Best Way to Get DoFollow Links?

Being that search engines are getting smarter than ever, they’re also more able to notice patterns. That includes you creating multiple accounts on free blog or social bookmarking sites, for the sake of gaming backlinks to your own sites. Long gone are the days where Google doesn’t notice that your one bookmarking account happens to have multiple links to multiple websites you own.

Do You Deserve Them?

To get a quality DoFollow link, your site has to be quality. Building links is best done when others do it for you. That’s why things go viral or get so much attention – they were worthy enough of getting 10,000+ backlinks in a single day. That’s usually more backlinks than most webmasters get in an entire year of manufacturing backlinks the hard way.

Ask, and Ye (Might) Receive

Another popular and highly successful method is to contact bloggers or webmasters in your niche and simply ask them for a link. Or, ask to be a guest blogger for the sole sake of getting a link to your site. Perhaps, you can also meet others in message boards (reviewers, authors, professors, enthusiasts, topic experts or anyone else) who run websites in your niche, who might be willing to reference your site in their content.

Here’s another idea: search the internet for the keyword you really want to rank for – “antique clocks,” or whatever. Look at who is ranking in the top 5, and consider contacting those people to ask for a link to your site, which also talks about the topic in-depth. By getting a link from their site (which was obviously deemed “important” enough by search engines to be ranking in the top 5), you’re not only getting the possibility of a quality DoFollow link, but maybe some of the traffic will stray from their site to yours, as well.

This is truly the best way to score a great DoFollow backlink.

Diplomacy is Necessary

As you may have imagined, many people get annoyed when others ask them for backlinks – I’m one of those people 😉 So, you’ll have to get around it somehow. Get to know that webmaster by participating on their site in a meaningful way. Once it gets to a comfortable level, ask for the link. Or, you can just cut to the chase and say “I’ve really been working hard on my site – I’d appreciate it greatly if you could stop by sometime” and offer their interactivity on your site. Then, give them a backlink. Undoubtedly, they are using Google Analytics or similar, and will notice this. The favor is typically returned.

How to Spot NoFollow/DoFollow Links

draft_lens1600994module65333361photo_1256656878find-dofollowIf you use Firefox, a quick way to find DoFollow links is to spot the NoFollow ones! A free plugin called SearchStatus does just that: it will highlight all “NoFollow” links on a page.

Everything not highlighted is DoFollow. It’s a quick and easy way to do a background check on your backlinking resources to see if they’ve retained DoFollow status!

List of DoFollow Blog Services

What to do with them?: Create a free blog. Write a keyword-rich (but not spammy) article promoting your site, with strategic backlinks. Name the blog after an important keyword, like silver-dog-collars.blogger.com. Create new posts and promote your site’s individual categories & pages, using strategic keywords tailored for each individual post and the page it’s linking to.

  • WordPress.com – WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to self-promote (86 points)
  • Blogspot – 65 points
  • Tumblr – 34 points
  • LiveJournal – 17 points
  • Blogsome – 7 points
  • Blogetery – 5 points
  • Blogster – 4 points
  • BlogoWogo – 3 points

List of DoFollow Social Networking Sites

What to do with them?: Add your sites and socially promote them by complementing others, and asking them to take a look at your site. Politely leave your link in their comment area (at your own discretion, this is typcially seen as spam). These sites involve the most time out of your daily schedule.

  • RateItAll.com – 15 points
  • Tweako – Notice: Tweako has become a spam haven and links more…8 points

List of DoFollow Community-Ranked Article Submission Sites

What to do with them?: Submit your blog with a brief review. Use an interesting title that will stand out from the others. Do NOT sound like a salesman! Give a “short but sweet”, yet engaging description! With these services, other people can rate/rank your article.

  • Ezine Article Submission – 46 points
  • GoArticles – 24 points
  • Reddit – 16 points
  • Slashdot – 5 points
  • SpicyPage – 3 points
  • KillerStartups – 2 points
  • Dzone – 1 point
  • ActiveRain – 1 point
  • Pixel Groovy- 1 point
  • Care2 News – 0 points
  • Thoof – 0 points
  • Protolize.org – 0 points
  • RealEstateVoices – 0 points

List of DoFollow Article Submission Sites

Much like the category above, you can submit articles here, but they are not voted on by the public. Write and submit a quality article…but don’t duplicate your other(s)!

  • EzineArticles – 45 points
  • Idea Marketers – 12 points
  • Article Dashboard Directory – 9 points
  • SelfGrowth – 5 points
  • Bloglines (requires RSS feed) – 2 points
  • UnArchived Articles – 1 point
  • ArticlesFactory – 0 points

List of DoFollow Social Portal Sites

What to do with them?: Create pages with strategic page names and titles. Point them to corresponding pages on your web site. Use strategic keywords, make things interesting, and promote each page as if they were individual web sites. Add them to related groups, if the sites have this feature. Work up the page rank.

  • Squidoo – Dofollow links for live lenses (green checkmarked) 75 points
  • Hubpages.com – Dofollow links only for a score of 75+32 points
  • Zimbio – 3 points
  • ListAfterList – 1 point
  • Blog.co.uk – 0 points
  • Work.com

List of DoFollow Social Bookmarking Sites

What to do with them?: Bookmark your site with a captivating title – they must stand out amongst long lists of other bookmarks! Keywords are everything: use multiple variations of relevant keywords plus misspellings, and keyword strings. Take your time doing this – keywords are everything with social bookmarking sites.

  • LinkedWords – 5 points
  • Leenks (work warning) – 1 point
  • BuddyMarks – 1 point
  • OYAX – 1 point
  • Clipmarks – 0 points
  • BmAccess – 0 points
  • A1-Webmarks – 0 points

More About Dofollow

Tips and tricks you won’t want to miss, when it comes to creating that backlink pointing to your site!

Google Blog: Good times with inbound links
A lesson on creating effective backlinks, straight from the horse’s mouth. An invaluable article and a must read.

SearchStatus plugin for Firefox
If you use Firefox (and chances are that you do), this plugin helps you instantly locate dofollow links on every site you visit. It has a many other great information tools, too.