Dofollow backlinks and nofollow backlinks are the two ways to recognize the link and let Google know how to connect the site that is linked to your site. Nofollowed backlinks hurt the visibility of your website on the search engine, particularly if they are links to important pages that you want ranking on SERPs. There might be cases when it is a good idea to reciprocate with a dofollow link, particularly if you are looking to increase traffic from your site and an external site has similar rankings as your own pages.
Ideally, you will want to have a mixture of nofollow and dofollow links on your pages, so that search engines will not see your content just as a means of earning you page rank points. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to a best nofollow/dofollow ratio, simply ensure that you are earning diverse links from different domains, all authoritative and relevant to your webpage.
Now, we can define follow links: Follow links are links that are considered as points, which promote SEO link juice, and increase a sites link-to page ranking, helping it rank higher in SERPs as a result. According to Matt Cutts, the Head of the Google Webspam Team, we should use a rel=dofollow on in-page links, since this allows page rank to be passed on to other web pages, improving overall site rankings. Ideally, every link with a dofollow tag points search engines towards relevant, up-to-date, accurate content, which, in turn, provides link juice to both external sites and your own website. A dofollow link is one that Google (and other search engines) will likely follow and potentially scan, in terms of driving traffic to the site.
A webpage, and later on, a website, which gets tons of dofollow links, quickly gains authority in the eyes of the search engines, thereby increasing its rankings on a search results page. While the nofollow link property does not let the search engines follow it, the dofollow links let all the search engines follow it and get to the website. In simple terms, nofollow links tell search engines to ignore a link, and because they do not carry page rank, are unlikely to affect rankings. If another site links to your site, and does not decide to add the nofollow tag, then search engines will come to your page naturally, and boost your overall PageRank.
If you want to keep paid links from having any sort of effect on users and their search results, be sure to change any paid links into nofollows. A nofollow backlink should be used when you do not want link juice passed on or credit a site. In other words, if you receive a nofollow backlink, the linked page does not pass the authority on your page.
Since links are considered to be dofollows by default, and they affect SEO, for instance, you might want to link to competitors without impacting their rankings. To test if a link is dofollow or nofollow, you can inspect the link HTML, use a browser SEO extension, or use backlink analysis tools. A dofollow link is called such in context only when it has the nofollow attribute value, in order to highlight that the link is not under any particular SEO directives, and must meet normal expectations, e.g.
Sometimes websites will specify they do not necessarily endorse a linked page, and this is when the nofollow value of the rel attribute is being triggered. By default, links are followed by search crawlers and they transfer the link juice back to the pages that reference them, but when a nofollow attribute value is specified, that default behavior does not apply. Adding the nofollow rel attribute to a link can prevent Google from following this link while scanning the site, and Google will not treat that link as a vote for the page that it links to.
If a link is not sending PageRank (aka link authority) your way, then it is not helping your ranking in Google. Having a link that is “followed” through on your site is essentially saying, Hey Google, I trust the web page on the other end of that link, so you should also give them some credibility. Do-follow links (from good, relevant websites) that link back to you are great for building up the SEO power of your site.
You will gain a lot more helpful insights on your link profile, and can compare it to competitors. If you are analysing the link profiles of competitors (or even your own website) and want to find out what kind of nofollow vs. dofollow mix of backlinks the site has, you will find that information in backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs or Semrush. You can use the Quick Filter to only show the nofollow or dofollow backlinks, and there is a label of NF or DF on each of the backlink rows, which indicates the attributes of the link.
Since dofollow links have no specific attributes, if your search box comes up with nil for rel=nofollow, then you know all links on this webpage are dofollow. It is important that you use dofollow only when you are intentionally linking to it, and trust in the integrity of the web page. The nofollow tag is used frequently, as it allows someone to nofollow certain links in the webpage, leaving others dofollowed.
Sometimes websites do not want to endorse a source of links, and a value of the nofollow attribute is telling search engines that a linked webpage is not necessarily what you intended for the link to give credit for. While there is no surefire answer here, as search engine spiders scan through a considerable amount of pages every day, nofollow links are typically recognized by Google two or four days after being posted. Consider the fact that the majority of posts ranking in Googles top pages have an average of 20-40% of their total links being nofollow backlinks. If you are looking to nurture and encourage good, insightful comments or discussions from users within your site, then instead, you could change their links to be nofollow by hand.