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The NoFollow attribute appeared in January 2005 in order to prevent comment spamming. In September, Google was recommending to use it for paid links as well. Indeed, some commenters were trying to fool Google’ ranking algorithm by integrating links with a lot of over-optimized keywords. Certain websites were over ranked in the search engine results because of the high amount of artificial links pointing toward them.
In fact, NoFollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of the HTML code to tell search engines not to count a link in the search engine’s index and therefore not to distribute page rank to the page it is pointing to. It aims to avoid issues like influence selling or cheating SEO practices.
To transform a regular link into a NoFollow one, you just have to add a short code in the link area :
It can be added manually but many CMS offer that option.
You might need to use it in different situations:
Despite what Google says, it seems like those nofollow links are still followed. However, even if the link is followed, it does not get any page rank.
Even if a nofollow attribute is not as efficient as a dofollow, they are not totally useless. Some SEO experts tend to say that the nofollow attribute can bring authority or trust, but nothing has been proven.
If you are developing a netlinking strategy, it is not stupid to have some nofollow links pointing toward your website. It could be seen as strange for Google to have a website only receiving dofollow links. This would be considered as non-natural.