Link-building is one of the most important activities you can do to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) for your website; it's also one of the most daunting. Luckily, there are dozens of sites you're likely already familiar with that can get you started. These sites provide dofollow links – also called backlinks – which incorporate HTML markup that informs the search engines to follow the destination inside the link. With the ability to influence the target page’s PageRank, dofollow links require minimal effort and, for the most part, are under your control.
Dofollow links offer a wealth of benefits:
- They help improve indexing when good quality links are created;
- They increase credibility and ranking in search engines;
- They boost traffic to your website.
Many sites alternatively use nofollow links, so it’s imperative to understand the difference between the two. Every URL on a webpage is either a nofollow or dofollow link. A nofollow link means that the HTML code instructs search engines to ignore the link, meaning the link’s target page will get no benefit.
Because the vast majority of social media sites only provide nofollow links, it's important to concentrate only on those sites that allow dofollow links. Here’s a guide to getting those backlinks:
- YouTube: The video sharing platform allows you to add a description to any uploaded video and to include a website address. However, links in those sections are nofollow. To get a dofollow link, the URL must be placed on the YouTube channel header.
- Hub Pages: Hub Pages is picky; to be able to have a dofollow link, you must meet its requirements. Your account either needs to have a certain number of points (75) or the score of a particular hub needs to be at least 40 to create dofollow links in hubs. Dofollow links are not allowed in comments or profiles.
- WordPress: When you create a post on a free-hosted WordPress blog, you have a choice of making the links in the entry either dofollow or nofollow via the content management system; however,all comment links and profile links are nofollow.
- Blogger (Blogspot): As Google property, Blogger links that you get from posts are dofollow, however links in the comments area are nofollow.
- Tumblr: Tumblr is another popular blogging platform whose trackbacks from reblogged posts are nofollow. However, if you share a link to content on Tumblr by clicking the green "Link" button, those links will be dofollow.
- Reddit: Reddit links to your post directly (not via a redirect), and all links from it are dofollow.
- LinkedIn: Your LinkedIn feed is full of short links to third-party sites that are dofollow. These pass PageRank via a 301 redirect,but many are not searchable on Google and likely not taken into account in determining PageRank. However, those in the "My Publications" section in your public LinkedIn Profile are dofollow and are accessible via 302 redirects.
- BizSugar: BizSugar is a great social media platform that allows you to share small business news and tips on topics such as entrepreneurship. The links you add on your content are dofollow.
On Google+, not all links are created equal. For example, the links you get when sharing text content are nofollow, as are the ones in the comments section of posts. However, if you specifically go to the "Share what's new" section and click on the link icon, you will be provided with a dofollow link.In the latest Panda 4.0 release on May 19th, it appears that Google has shut down the dofollow link capability, and has made Google+ profile links nofollow.
With the sites above, you will have a great start to your link-building efforts. Don't have time to post to several different sites? Social media management tools can help you manage many of them. Once you get started and begin to see results, it will become a habit that's worth continuing.
Edit: Entry was edited to reflect Google+ capabilities changes.