SEO “Do Follow” or “No Follow” – That Is The Question – But What Is The Answer?

When creating a post for your fashion blog and linking to another website do you:

A) Use a ‘Do Follow’ link
B) Use a ‘No Follow’ link
C) Have no idea what I’m talking about!

The truth is that if you’re serious about making your fashion blog a success, you need to make sure you’re using the right type of link. In many of our recent blog site reviews, we have found numerous site-wide affiliate links which ‘Do Follow’ which is danger danger warning warning for SEO! This is why we’ve put together a post outlining the difference between the two link types and why it’s important not to use ‘Do Follow’ on your affiliate links.

So what’s the difference between ‘Do Follow’ and ‘No Follow’?

‘Do Follow’ and ‘No follow’ are basically attributes that are assigned to HTML links and inform search engines what action they should take. If the search engine comes across a ‘Do Follow’ link they will index it and pass on valuable link juice from the page it is on. If the link is set to ‘No Follow’ a search engine will still index it but no link juice will be shared.

So when creating ‘Do Follow’ external links you need to take extra care and remember that they will reduce the authority of your blog post, as they will be passing link juice to the page you are linking to. If you have too many, Google may start investigating your fashion blog. See Google’s advice about using “No Follow” links here.

Why are ‘Do Follow’ links bad for SEO?

They share your SEO points 

Search engines count external ‘Do Follow’ links as endorsements from your fashion blog and will share your link juice with them, meaning the pages you add the links to lose some of their SEO points.

You don’t have control over the content you link to

Whilst linking to a website you love, using a ‘Do Follow’ link may sound harmless, the problem is that you don’t have any control over the content on that website. If it’s changed or the website is acquired by someone else who puts inappropriate content on there, your fashion blog will be associated with it and you don’t want that!

Violating Google’s guidelines

If you do sponsored posts on your fashion blogs where you accept payment in return for a post featuring a ‘Do Follow’ link to another website then you’ll be violating Google’s guidelines and may be penalized. This could lead to a big drop in your search rankings, which is sure to have a negative effect on your traffic. This is specifically associated with the Google Penguin series of algorithm updates. Sounds scary we know, so it’s something to really think about!

Sitewide links look spammy

Sitewide links tend to feature on most of a blog page as they’re often used in sidebar blogrolls, “Shops I Love” lists, as well as in the footer. The problem with these ‘Do Follow’ links is that Google and other search engines see them as a spammy way to build backlinks and may penalize you for it.

Changing your blog links from Do Follow to No Follow

So now you know the difference between the two types of links and why you shouldn’t be creating ‘Do Follow’ links (especially affiliate ones) then you are probably wondering how you can change them to ‘No Follow’?

One option is to do it manually by adding the rel= ‘nofollow’ value into your HTML links, e.g. <a href=’LINKURL’ rel=’nofollow’ target=’_blank’>LINKTEXT</a> however, if you have thousands of links to change this will be rather time consuming!

An alternative approach involves using a WordPress plugin we’ve been reading up on called LinkPatrol. This plugin basically uses a scanner to identify your ‘Do Follow’ links and gives you the option to change them to ‘No Follow’ links in bulk. Using the plugin will save you no end of time, so we highly recommend giving it a go! It’s a premium WordPress plugin so we sorted out a deal for you if you use the discount code CD20 at the checkout (valid until April 21st 2015).


Are you a chloédigital publisher? Take action with this post by submitting a request with your support specialist to have your HTML link structure looked at and rectified.

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