How to Add Nofollow Links in WordPress.com

Nofollow links remain invisible for most of their existence. Nonetheless, they come in handy when you need to link to a certain page but don’t want to boost that page’s search rankings.

Here’s how to set links to “nofollow” in WordPress.com and why you’d bother in the first place.

What are nofollow links?

Here’s what a standard website link looks like when we take a peek at the HTML code:

<a href="https://karol.cc/">Karol's website</a>

The href attribute indicates the destination of the link, and the text between the brackets is the part that’s going to become the active link. To every website visitor, this link will look like the following:

Standard website link example

Now here’s a nofollow link:

<a href="https://karol.cc/" rel="nofollow">Karol's website</a>

The only difference is this part: rel="nofollow"

The nofollow link looks the same as the normal link:

Nofollow website link example

For a website visitor, there’s no difference at all between the nofollow link and a regular link (a.k.a. “dofollow”). It’s impossible to tell nofollow and dofollow links apart.

This raises a question: why would you use nofollow links if they look the same?

Why use nofollow links?

Adding the nofollow attribute to a link tells Google to ignore that particular link when determining search engine rankings.

In Google’s eyes, links are votes. Whenever you link to another website from your website, you’re casting a vote for that website and helping them improve their Google rankings. Adding nofollow to the link means that your vote has no value.

When to use a nofollow link

The idea of “nofollow” was created by Google back in 2005. They did it to fight comment spam. Per their guidelines, all comment links should be set to nofollow, thus removing the incentive for spammers to comment on random blogs in bulk.

These days, comment links in WordPress.com are nofollow by default, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. However, there are still uses for nofollow links in other places around your site.

Google requires the “nofollow” attribute for links that are:

  • Advertisements

  • Sponsored links

  • Other paid links

Each of these link types is not organic but instead results from some kind of commercial agreement or arrangement. Therefore, a search engine vote shouldn’t be counted (so to speak) alongside such links.

If you don’t add the nofollow attribute to your sponsored links, you might get in trouble with Google and harm your site’s ranking.

How to add nofollow links in WordPress.com

WordPress.com allows you to easily add the nofollow attribute to any link on your site. You can do it when editing any of your posts or pages.

To add a nofollow link, proceed to edit a post or page as you normally would. Highlight the piece of text that you want to turn into a link, click on the link icon, and add the link destination. Nothing unusual so far.

Link icon for adding a link

When the link has been added, click on the “More options” icon of the current block (the three dots) and then click on Edit as HTML.

Dropdown menu with "edit as HTML" option

What you see now is the raw HTML contents of the block. Inside the link’s tag, add rel="nofollow" like so:

HTML with highlighted nofollow text

You can click on the three dots again and then on Edit visually. Your link has just been set to nofollow! Save the changes by updating/publishing your post/page.

Adding nofollow to your links is straightforward, and it helps you stay on Google’s good side. You shouldn’t neglect the nofollow attribute when creating sponsored links on your site.

Photo Source: Unsplash

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