When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), link building is one of the oldest and most effective practices. Backlinks, or links to your site from other websites, are a major factor in search engine rankings. However, not all backlinks are created equal. Links from educational or government institutions carry the most weight, but all backlinks should be from sites relevant to your website’s niche or topic.
In the past, some webmasters tried to “fool” search engines by creating link exchange networks where sites would exchange links with each other. However, search engines like Google are wise to these tactics and penalize sites that participate in such schemes.
One way to ensure that external links on your site don’t negatively impact your search engine rankings is to add a rel=”nofollow” tag to them. This tag tells search engines not to follow the link and associate it with your site’s rankings. However, according to Matt Cutts of Google, worrying too much about which links to follow or nofollow is becoming less important as search ranking algorithms evolve.
If you do want to nofollow external links on your WordPress site, there is a simple plugin called External Links that can help. Once installed and activated, you can access the plugin’s settings and choose which links to nofollow. It’s important to note that internal links should not be nofollowed, as a strongly interlinked website is favored by Google.
Another plugin option is Nofollow for External Link, which adds rel=”nofollow” tags to all external links and target=”_blank” to all links on your site. This plugin does not have a settings page and is a simpler option for those who don’t need as much customization.
It’s worth noting that some users have reported speed issues with the External Links plugin, so it’s important to monitor your site’s performance after installing any new plugins.
In conclusion, while link building is an important aspect of SEO, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity and ensure that all backlinks are relevant to your website’s niche or topic. Adding a rel=”nofollow” tag to external links can help prevent negative impacts on search engine rankings, but it’s becoming less important as search ranking algorithms evolve.