What we think about no-follow links

Many blogs feature sponsored content such as paid posts. Up until recently, many of us may not have realised that those need to be marked as “no follow” links for the benefit of Google, to ensure good ranking and adhere to the search giant’s rules. Our stance, which we included in an article for The Holmes Report, published on Friday 27 April, is clear:

One thing is certain for right now: Going forward, bloggers will want to make any brand-oriented content – whether straight-sponsored posts, product reviews or editorial as part of wider brand campaigns – “no follow”.

For some agencies or brands, this poses a problem, because they are asking bloggers to write about their product or service and include a link as a way to positively affect their brand in search results. (We’ve heard stories of some agencies asking bloggers to wiggle round the rules by purposefully not marking sponsored content as such. To which the only response is to put down the phone.)

Google recently began stricter enforcement of its no-follow rules. For SEO-focussed blogger projects, this will have a knock-on effect for bloggers: if those brands see no benefit to working with bloggers, that’s a vanished income stream for bloggers. Bummer.

But we at BritMums, along with other agency and brand folk we’ve spoken to, think there is a silver lining. Brands will come to blogs for organic conversation and engagement rather than quick-hit SEO benefits. The smart ones will harness the power of bloggers who in turn harness the power of their own networks to talk about issues that matter to them, and by the way also help brands.

This no-follow development has put British parent bloggers into a bit of a tizzy. But in the end it may just be the thing to help focus attention on what parent bloggers do best: talk, support, chat, rage, enlighten and otherwise engage.

Here’s a step by step guide for how to insert a no-follow tag into your links below:

1. The code of a link is as follows:

Link to example website

This is a link to the example.com website, with the clickable words or anchor text being “Link to example website”

2. In order to add a no-follow you need to add the code rel= “nofollow”

3. In the code this looks like:

< a href=“http://www.example.com” rel=“nofollow”>Link to example website

Are you concerned about no-follow links? Join the no-follow discussion on BritMums

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About Jennifer Howze

Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at Jenography.net, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel, CNN.com, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.

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2 Responses to What we think about no-follow links

  1. Ray 30 April 2012 at 14:43 #

    Will this mean I have to nofollow my britmums badge for the live 2012 event?

    • Jennifer Howze 30 April 2012 at 14:52 #

      Only if someone’s paid you to feature it. And if someone has, give them our number.