Follow tags are on-page directives that tell bots to count the link equity directed to an inbound URL from a destination domain.
This is important as it helps improve the rankings of the destination page by passing along “votes of confidence” from one domain to the destination domain that they reference with their links.
Not all links are Do-Follow links, meaning that they do not all pass along link equity.
Common no-follow links include ones from PR posts, sponsored blog posts & links that are contained within the comments sections of websites & social media posts.
The Benefits Of Do-Follow Links & SEO
Do-follow links are the links that are counted by search engines as a ranking signal.
Obtaining do-follow links from other sites improves rankings, especially when they are obtained from highly trusted websites, such as .gov, .edu & sites with high domain authority, such as news sites.
When a site has many do-follow links from sites such as these, it is deemed that their content is trusted by other trustworthy sites, and so they are viewed as having authority on the linked to page’s topic.
Do-follow links are also more difficult to find, as most places such as social media or comment boards where anyone can post to only give out no-follow links.
This ensures that link equity is not being manipulated by SEOs, which used to be a problem when webmasters would pump out wheels of links with poor quality content to boost the rankings of their pages.
As search engines seek to only feature meaningful, valuable content this became problematic, and they began to not count links that came from these sources or paid sources.
If a link to your site is placed organically by a credible site but is listed as no-follow, reach out to their webmaster to see if there is a way to get it changed in order to take advantage of their link equity.
Similarly, anytime you post outbound links in your content, be sure that it abides by the do-follow vs. no-follow link usage guidelines.