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When I build an SEO strategy, backlinks are a core element of it. But among the various types, I typically worry about one – Dofollow Backlinks.

Whether you’re a small website looking to climb up the SERPs or a high-trafficked one wanting to achieve thought leadership – adding quality dofollow backlinks are a must in your SEO strategy.

…But what are dofollow links? How do they affect my website?

Well! I did some digging into backlinks, exploring dofollow backlinks, what they are, how they affect SEO, and strategies to earn dofollow links for your website.

Let’s kick off by studying the logic behind dofollow backlinks.

A Dofollow Backlink is a link on the host website that permits search engine crawlers to share link equity (or link juice) with the destination website. 

💡 Know the term: Link juice is the value or authority one link passes to another domain with which it connects.

For instance, if my website has a dofollow link on one of Semrush’s blogs, the algorithm will consider this as an upvote for my domain. It’ll follow the link on the blog to my website and share some level of authority and relevance with my domain.

Because Semrush signals a ‘vote of trust’ with a dofollow link, I get loads of benefits, like:

  • Improved Page Rank (PR): Page Rank is a Google algorithm that measures the likeliness of a webpage to rank on Google SERPs based on the quality of backlinks pointing to them. 
  • Boost in organic growth: Since a high-authority website finds your page or content valuable, you get a fraction of their goodwill. Google algorithms would consider the linked content legitimate and rank it higher to give its users a better search experience.
  • Enhanced credibility and reputation: If I get a backlink from Forbes, won’t you be jealous? This is precisely what dofollow links do. Since a popular global media company links to my website, the latter also becomes a credible and trusted source for Google and fellow readers.

Technically, dofollow backlinks are just backlinks by default. They don’t require any attribution or special setup.

In fact, the term ‘Dofollow’ was coined when Google announced the ‘nofollow’ tag in 2005 to counter link manipulation.

⏪ Recap: Before 2005, spammers used comment sections of websites to drop irrelevant links. And since search engines were programmed to count every backlink as a vote of trust, spammy websites got the top spots in Google SERPs. This practice grew extensively and was later called ‘the comment scam.’

However, to counter the rigorous use of backlinks, Google released its masterstroke – ‘Nofollow Backlinks.’

Dofollow Vs Nofollow Backlinks

Although they come from the same family (Backlink), the two share distinct characteristics. Let’s break down each.

Dofollow links are default backlinks that allow link juice to pass from one website to another. They don’t carry any special attributes, nor you need to create them. 

Here’s how a dofollow backlink looks on the page and in the code.

<a href=””>Link Text</a>

A nofollow backlink prevents crawlers from passing authority from one website to another. It is of best use if you want search engines to index your web page but don’t want it to follow any other links on that page.

Unlike dofollow backlinks, these links carry a special ‘rel=nofollow’ attribute, making them easy to find. An example of nofollow backlink is this👇

<a href=””rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>. 

Nofollow backlinks give site admin control over who shares authority with their domain. They are often used to ensure that certain links, like those in user-generated content, don’t pass SEO value.

Dofollow links are typically used in editorial content to endorse or pass SEO value to the linked website.

Here’s a quick summary of the differentiation between these two backlinks.

ParameterDofollow BacklinkNofollow Backlink
ObjectiveInstruct search engines to follow the link (share link juice)Instruct search engines not to pass link juice
AttributeRequires no special attributeContains the “rel=nofollow” attribute
SEO ImpactHelps in SEO by sharing page rank, authority, and credibility with the linked domain
Protects domain link equity and SEO ranking from being passed to low-quality or spammy websites
Ranking InfluencePositive, in case of linking with high authority websites; Negative, if linked with low-quality websitesNo influence on ranking as you signal Google not to befriend links to your website
Use CaseTypically used for editorial or media sites, or when linking a stats or number.Often used for user-generated content like comments, paid links, and untrusted sources

How to Check if Your Link on a Website is Dofollow or Nofollow?

Well! It’s not rocket science. And gracefully, you can do it via two methods.

Suppose I want to check if my website’s link on another website is a dofollow or nofollow. 

Method #1

I’ll visit the section of the blog where my website is linked. Then right-click on the hyperlink and click Inspect.

The next thing you’ll see are lines of HTML code appearing from the right. However, since I inspected a particular link, it’s already highlighted on the page code. See the below image for example.

For nofollow links, make sure a rel= “nofollow” attribute is added to the link. Which, in our case, wasn’t added, and so it’s a dofollow link.

Also read: How to Perform a Thorough SEO Audit on Your Website

Method #2:

Third-party tools can help you identify dofollow backlinks. Some of my favorite dofollow backlink checker tools include:

How do they work?

Simply enter the article or blog post link and the tool automatically provides a list of nofollow or dofollow links present on the blog. This way you can focus your link building efforts on sites offering dofollow links for the highest SEO impact.

How To Earn Dofollow Backlinks: Steal My Top 3 Strategies

#1. Skyscraper Technique

Skyscraper is an old-school yet the most effective link-building tactic. It involves finding competitive content other sites link to, creating something better, and encouraging sites to link to you instead.

You see, website owners crave to link with the best possible resources. So, there’s no chance they would miss relating to your content if it’s better than what’s already on the web. 

Here’s how to get started:

First, use a keyword explorer tool like Rank Tracker or Ahrefs to figure out the top blogs that are getting a good number of backlinks in your niche.

Second, use tools like to extract email addresses of websites linked to your competitors’ blog previously. 

Next, see if there’s a topic on which you can create better content than what’s already available. 

Once your content is ready and published, contact those websites, asking them to link to your blog. The outreach can be as simple as this:

Hey, <Name>
I noticed you've linked to < Competitor's Blog>, maybe you can link to me too. Here's why...

❓Did you know: A majority of 65% of backlinks are obtained from guest posts.

#2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a tried and tested formula to earn backlinks. It’s a win-win deal for all the parties involved:

  • The host gets to publish leadership content on their website
  • You, on the other hand, earn coverage and follow links to your website

However, guest blogging is not a cakewalk. Due to its definite impact on SEO, it receives a lot of traction from fellow website owners and marketers.

I’ve been into blogging for 04+ years, and here’s my secret to a successful guest post:


Create a list of respectable websites (and those you want to write for). An easy way to find such websites is via Google search. Use the following keyword searches to find blogs that accept guest posts.

  • keyword “submit a guest post”
  • keyword “write for us”
  • keyword “guest post”

P.S Before using the prompts remember to replace ‘keyword’ with keywords from your industry.

And these prompts literally work for any industry. See the below image for example.


Generally, once you land on a website’s guest posting page, you can find the entire process mentioned there. 

The first is to email the company with your post idea. And so you know, authoritative websites get 20+ guest blogging pitches every day.

So how do I stand out?

For me, pitch and outreach must have depth and reason.

I make sure my pitch contains a detailed overview of the idea and sticks to the guest posting guidelines of the website. A typical guest blogging request email includes the following:

  • Introduction
  • Topic Suggestion
  • Reason for choosing the topic (high search volume\latest news\expertise)
  • Links to similar posts written by you (if any)
  • Ask for a revert or feedback

If you aren’t sure how to write this and want a few ideas, you can try AI writing generators.


Once finalized, write uniquely defined content, not a paraphrased one. Additionally, make it a habit to edit and proofread content before ending.

I generally pass my blog through this checklist before submitting it.

You can keep adding checkpoints depending on the content type and company guidelines.

#3. Expert Opinions

Google values opinions from credible sources. And if you’re an expert in your industry, it’s easy bring home a decent amount of dofollow backlinks. 

One way to achieve this is via HARO (Help a Reporter).

HARO is an online platform that connects journalists seeking expert opinions to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.

Suppose you are an SEO specialist and also a website owner. You can share your expertise or insights in exchange for a dofollow link.

Alternatively, if you’re more into B2B writing, you can check out Help a B2B Writer. The platform works similarly to HARO but within the B2B ecosystem. 

How Not To Create Dofollow Links?

#1. Don’t Build Links From Low-Authority Websites

It’s crucial to prioritize the quality of backlinks over quantity. A way to achieve this is to link websites with a healthy Domain authority.

💡Know the Term: Domain Authority (DA) is a ranking score that measures how successful a site is when it comes to ranking on SERPs.

A domain score between 40-50 is considered average, while anything higher than 60 is a good score. Google finds your websites credible and good enough to rank higher on SERPs.

Though Google no longer provides tools to check DA, you can use third-party SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Moz.

#2. Avoid Linking to Non-Relevant Sites

Think of it this way: If you’d like to become a product manager, you’ll likely network with people in the same profession.

The same goes for earning dofollow links. Again, quality beats quantity.

Google’s recent update, the Helpful Content update, is about delivering relevant and valuable content to users.

The update means just one thing:

Websites that cover everything under one roof will be penalized (except for news websites and recognized publishers).

And now or later, the tremors will be visible on your website since you are linked to them. 

#3. Don’t Entertain Links From Plagiarised/Duplicate Content

This is a big NO. Plagiarized content is unfavorable on all corners – be it SEO, Google, or the reader. And Google makes sure to penalize them. 

It’s a matter of time before these content pieces see a drop in SERP rankings and viewership. 

Hence, it’s always safer to backlink with well-researched websites having reader-first content and industry leadership capabilities.

Wrapping Up

Dofollow backlinks are gold mines for SEO professionals. To my knowledge, it’s the most effective SEO strategy to date. 

Proof of this is that the top result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than those in second to tenth place. 

Certainly, acquiring dofollow backlinks is a brilliant white-hat SEO technique. Until one day, you think of overdoing it!

Next up, read about SEO Vs. SEM: Everything a marketer should know!

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  • Archit Shukla
    Archit has over 04+ years of experience in content/copywriting and marketing. When he’s not crafting captivating stories, you can find him on the cricket pitch, hear him belting out tunes with his melodious voice, or move to the dance rhythm….
  • Joy R Bhamre

    Joy R Bhamre is a multifaceted professional, holding the title of Editor at Geekflare. She is a Google-certified Digital Marketing Specialist, a seasoned Editor and writer, and a Cambridge-certified English Language Trainer, boasting…

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