Nofollow In Links | Canonical Pages
In this guide we look at canonical pages that have internal links pointing to them that are tagged with the ‘Nofollow’ meta robots tag. This check is performed exclusively on canonical pages (pages with a self-referential canonical tag).
What Is a Nofollow Link?
From Google’s perspective internal links pass authority to the pages that they link to. As a site can have countless internal links, this acts like a road network delivering authority to pages throughout your site. A link that has the Nofollow tag advises Google not to pass authority to the target page.
Page authority is a hugely powerful direct algorithmic ranking factor and can impact the organic visibility of a web page.
This tag is often added to internal links in order to prevent authority from being delivered to pages that do not require it such as non-indexable or non-canonical pages. These pages typically are not eligible to appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and hence do not need authority.
Although how Google treat Nofollow links has changed in 2019, they are still an indication rather than an instruction.
What is a canonical page?
A canonical page is a page that contains a self-referential canonical tag within the HTML source code. For example, if a page is accessed from https://example.com & the canonical tag has a link which matches this exactly, the page is considered canonical. This essentially means it is the preferred version of a page or content if the page can be accessed from multiple URLs.
If you have duplicated content across multiple pages, you should use canonical tags to advise Google as to which is the preferred (canonical) version. The canonical content / pages on a site are typically the ‘SEO’ pages or pages that you would like to appear in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Why Nofollow Links to Canonical Pages an Error?
Nofollow links can be deployed on internal links to focus authority to pages that need it the most, but for the most part canonical pages should have ‘follow’ links pointing to them. We highlight these links so that they can be manually reviewed to ensure that the Nofollow tag is deliberate and legitimate.
What Do We Check & How?
Our web crawler scrapes the Nofollow tag from every link that we crawl and later during the SEO analysis, determines whether the link points to a canonical page. If the link contains the Nofollow tag and points to a canonical page, it will be grouped into this dataset.
What Should You Do with This Data?
Using our software, you can identify all the links that point to canonical pages, this can be used for any of the following purposes:
- Improve / optimise internal linking
- Ensure that canonical pages have authority
- Provide the list of Nofollow links to a client
- Count the SEO errors on a site