Should I Use NoFollow On Affiliate Links?

color rubber bandsRecently I added a few affiliate links to this website. One of which is BOTW.org, which requires no additional affiliate code to track referrals. Technically speaking, it should be getting its full share of link juice. I have always recommended Best of The Web Directory to my readers and my clients, and was blogging about them in a positive light long before I ever added them to the sidebar. So here’s my question for you: should I fear being penalized if I don’t use NoFollow on the outbound link?

Using the NoFollow attribute is unnatural for me. I have never recommend a company to my readers that I wouldn’t use myself. I think the only NoFollow attribute I use is in the comments and in the footer of this blog; and that is only because I don’t know much about the company who created this template. However, at the same time I feel kind of bad about that because in my eyes they’ve earned a DoFollow link by creating the very template that i like and use for my website.

I don’t actively sell links on this blog, and when anyone has contacted me to add a DoFollow link to their website through a product reveiw or similar, for compensation, I have denied. In some cases, if they had a product that I felt might be a good fit for my readers, I have offered to let them write a guest post with a DoFollow link as long as the post was informational and not promotional, and the links complimented their message. Also I’ve said they could put one non-promotional link in their author bio at the end of the post.

What are you’re thought on using NoFollow? When and where should it be used when putting advertisements on your website? Am I doing it properly on this blog?

I’d love to hear your experiences and opinions. Thanks!

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  • March 30th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    I’ve decided it was in my best interest to add nofollow to the sidebar links. I guess it’s better just to play it safe. :/ .

  • February 26th, 2011 at 10:55 am Hussam said:

    I think its safe to use the nofollow ones in order to not having any problems with search engines!

    Thanks

  • March 8th, 2011 at 9:20 am Steve said:

    So, if you are against using nofollow on your outgoing links,

    why did you add it to your link BOTW.org ??

  • March 8th, 2011 at 10:58 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Steve, as noted above, BOTW does not require affiliate code to track referrals from their affiliates. That’s what sparked this post for me. I was curious what other people thought about linking to them directly, as an affiliate, with or without using nofollow. After I wrote this post, I started tracking my referrals to them throughout the rest of this site using 302 redirects via a WordPress plug-in called Ninja Affiliate. I did this so I could track how many referrals I was sending them and other partners. Even though I probably don’t need to add nofollow to these links because 302 redirects don’t pass any link-juice, I decided to do it anyway, just to stay consistent. I left the direct BOTW link here, with nofollow to be safe, for the purpose of this post.

    However, I did link to them directly elsewhere on the site without nofollow because I was not using the link in a promotional sense, and don’t suspect that link will ever attribute to a commission. I felt it was only fair that I send them a normal link where it was appropriate, because I do highly recommend them and don’t think they should suffer a normal backlink from me just because they have an affiliate program.

  • March 8th, 2011 at 11:04 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    So, if you are against using nofollow on your outgoing links,

    why did you add it to your link BOTW.org ??

    Because I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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