There are two types of backlinks you can get. Dofollow links and nofollow links. Dofollow links transfer authority which means your website is scoring SEO points with Google for having such links.
In essence, there isn't a "dofollow" tag, only the "nofollow" tag exists which tells search engines crawlers no to follow that link and in essence stop counting it in terms of backlink profile authority. If a link doesn't have a "nofollow" tag it means that link is essentially "dofollow" and in truth should transfer part of its authority to the domain and page it links too.
So, what are the most common type of websites that use the "nofollow" tag and does it worth getting backlinks from such sources?
1. Social media websites.
Every social base website will have a nofollow tag implemented for all their links. This includes Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and everything in between.
2. Q&A and Content Communities.
This includes websites like Quora, Reddit or Youtube
3. Popular Websites.
Most popular websites where user-generated content is a thing will probably have the nofollow tag implemented.
This includes blogs, big publications, forums, review websites, new sites, etc.
In the past, SEO experts used to used huge amounts of time looking for websites which allowed dofollow backlinks. Entire lists based on niches were built and I remember SEO experts valuing such list like nothing else because once these lists went mainstreams a huge amount of spammers would usually follow leading the way for a nofollow tag implementation from the webmasters of sites that were targeted/attacked.
Recently big publications that allowed dofollow backlinks like Huffington post and Wallstreet also tagged their links with "nofollow" essentially killing an industry built around getting dofollow backlinks.
So what are we left with if everyone sets a "nofollow" tag? How does Google figure out link authority when everyone gives out nofollow backlinks?
Well, dofollow backlinks still consist an important ranking factor, but not as huge as it once was. I always thought that Google acknowledged nofollow backlinks to some degree and now that everyone is implementing the nofollow tag there are very few sources remaining to back out user experience, content quality and overall importance of a page.
Although nofollow backlinks won't be acknowledged the same as dofollow links I bet Google counts them and has been doing it for a while now.
Quality nofollow backlinks from big publications and websites can still drive traffic. So you can still profit and convert from such backlinks.
But the most important factor of nofollow backlinks is exposure. Exposure to people and publishers across the web and a real opportunity for people to find your website and consume your content. So in essence, the more exposure you get the higher your chances of getting dofollow backlinks from other people get.
This is why I believe nofollow backlinks are powerful, not because of link juice or traffic, but because of pure exposure and if this exposure is done in major publications like Huffington Post or big communities like Quora you are going to win and dramatically increase your chances of getting dofollow backlinks from totally different sources and essentially getting SEO juice and value which in terms will lead to better rankings and an increase in organic traffic.
What is your opinion on this new trend where everybody, including major publications which were once dofollow, is now implementing the nofollow tag in their backlinks?
Do any of you use nofollow when posting backlinks? Do you agree with this new policy of avoiding spam but at the same time killing any possibility of getting high-quality dofollow backlinks?