SEOs Split On Buying Links Have The NoFollow Attribute

Aug 6, 2008 • 8:27 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

Poll On Nofollow Links - Would you BuyIn May I ran an informal poll asking Would You Buy a Link With a NoFollow Attribute? In short, a nofollow attribute is an HTML attribute you add to a hyperlink that tells the search engines that you do not vouch for this link. Most search engines will not count that link as a vote for the site it is linking to.

I was actually surprised by the results. They were split down the middle.

Of the 177 responses, 50% or 89 people said they would buy a link with a nofollow attribute. While 45% or 80 people said they would not. 5% or 8 people said, it depends.

Here is the break down: :: Yes said 89 respondents or 50% :: No said 80 respondents or 45% :: Other said 8 respondents or 5%

Forum discussion continued at DigitalPoint Forums .

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08/06/2008 02:12 pm

I think "Yes" is the only rational answer, given the limited parameters of the question. It's not an SEO-only question, it's a basic marketing question. I mean, if Marshall Simmonds offers you a dirt-cheap nofollowed link from the front page of the New York Times site, and the ad is perfectly qualified for your site, you're really *not* going to buy it based on your principles? I think not.

Dan Durick

08/06/2008 02:27 pm

Voting for "It Depends" then is a "Yes" vote, because the rationale really is they (those who voted "other") want more information prior to saying "yes", and the heart of the question concerns whether or not, given *any* parameters, the respondents would *ever* purchase a nofollowed link.

Alexander Langer

08/06/2008 02:28 pm

It may not make sense from a technical point of view, but if you consider showing your presence on a website with an appropriate (and countable) audience for what you're linking at, it may make sense. It may not get you a better rank, but it gets you into the heads of people and isn't this the ultimate goal of SEO? Consider it as an advertisement, not as SEO. I don't care whether visitors come from search engines or related sites where they saw my link / textad / whatever.

Michael Martinez

08/06/2008 05:31 pm

Links can be great sources of traffic and if people are going to buy links then they should be buying links that drive prequalified, converting traffic. In that kind of market, nofollow is irrelevant.

Nick Wilsdon

08/07/2008 09:52 am

I agree with the commenters on the post. Of course you're not going to turn down a front-page link from the NYT if it has a nofollow on it. You would be daft not to factor traffic, visibility, conversion and price into the equation. If you have a high-end product even a few targeted referrals can pay off. You just have to work out the cost/benefit on each placement. In general though I'd imagine life has got harder for small-time bloggers. If they want to switch to nofollow they would now need some traffic statistics to fall back on.

Lex G

08/10/2008 09:34 am

Would depend on what the collective status buying no follow links is with me. Who knows what's going to happen when it becomes a market ... Pricing plays a part as well ...

Syed Khaled Hussaini

07/08/2011 10:49 pm

Would definitely buy nofollow links if they are placed at the right website at the right place.  Depending on nature of website and the content, sometimes a link could produce higher CTR than an image ad. Also, Nofollow on high authority sites is known to pass some that would be a bonus.

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