Follow vs no-follow links: what are the rules?
Google recommends to use no-follow or follow links depending on the following criteria:
- If the site owner does control the content that is published and in particular the content the site links back to, then the use of "follow" for these back links is recommended;
- If the site owner doesn't control the content that is published - for instance user-generated content sites or comments section in blogs - and in particular doesn't control which sites are linked back to, then these back links should be "no-follow".
Follow vs no-follow links: why do such rules exist?
Because backlinks to low quality sites could in theory damage your own site's reputation and ranking. Using no-follow links is the site owner's way of telling Google (and other search engines): "I don't know if I can trust this backlink because anybody could have published it without my prior consent." Spammers in particular are frequently abusing comment sections of blogs to post links that point to various low quality or dubious sites. Using "no-follow" links in this case tells Google you're not one of them.
What do the follow vs no-follow link rules mean for content curators?
Scoop.it conforms with Google's recommendations by using:
- Follow links to the original source when the curated content is published on your own domain (through our domain hosting feature or one of our CMS integrations such as Wordpress, HubSpot or Drupal). Because in that case you, as the content curator, controls what you publish on your own domain.
- No-follow links to the original source when the curated content is published on the scoop.it domain. Because in that case we (the domain owner) have no control about what you, as the content curator, decide to publish.