(SEG Bootcamp articles are no-frills content designed to bring small business owners up to speed on the concepts and techniques needed to market their businesses online.)
We've seen a couple of posts popping up in our Small Business Ideas forums asking if links from a specific site are being nofollowed or not. With that in mind, I thought a quick tutorial on how to find out if a link is nofollowed might be handy for some of our readers.If you're not familiar with the nofollow issue, you might want to catch up by reading my five-part series on the issue.)
There are two primary ways to find out if a link has been nofollowed. You can check the code on the page or you can use a third party extension for your web browser.
Checking for Yourself
If you're the old fashioned kind of person, or don't use a browser that allows for extensions you'll need to look at the code to tell if a link has been nofollowed. To do this, go to the web page featuring the links you are wondering about and then follow these steps.
Step 1: Select "View" and then "Page Source" from your browser's menu bar.
Step 2: Click the "control" and "F" buttons at the same time to launch a search of the source code. To find out if the site uses nofollow at all, use "nofollow" as your search term.
If you want to know if a specific link has been nofollowed, type the anchor text in to the search box to jump to the code for that link. You'll be able to spot the rel="nofollow" attribute in the code of the link if it's in use.
Of course all this takes some time and effort. Since we live in 2008, why not just automate the process like we do everything else?
Using a Third Party Tool
If you don't want to bother checking the code, (and let's be honest, who wants to check the code every time they want to know if a link is nofollowed?) you can always install a browser extension that will dig up this information for you.
The team at Quirk have put together a great little Firefox extension called SearchStatus that will actually mark any link on a page with the nofollow attribute applied. I've got this program running on Firefox.
Here's a quick screen grab of a post over at Andy Beard's blog. Note the text that is highlighted and surrounded by a red box. That red box tells me a link has been nofollowed.
Either one of these methods will help you figure out if a link has been nofollowed, but if this is an issue you find yourself wondering about pretty frequently, I'd suggesting installing an extension like SearchStatus to save some time and energy.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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