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.
What is a Dofollow Backlink?
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 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👇
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 Hunter.io to extract email addresses of websites linked to your competitors’ blog previously.
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:
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:
Reason for choosing the topic (high search volume\latest news\expertise)
Have you ever wondered how it is possible that every time your product owner brings in some new feature topic, the team response is they need to investigate technical possibilities and create some form of design before they can be sure how to develop that feature? Then that’s most likely because you have no Architecture Runway in place.
Google Docs does a great job of keeping things simple. The default page setup works great for most documents, and common formatting options are right on the toolbar. However, when you need to do some advanced formatting, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.