(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.

January 4, 2008

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.


Nice Firefox extension. I have installed it and love it.

I have external links nofollowed on my homepage, and on duplicate content pages such as categories, tags and various archives.
The same links are followed on the permalink pages.

Search Status is my favorite too, though Aaron's SEO for Firefox plugin does something similar, with a red box. The problem with the red box is that it makes the text underneath unreadable.

Thanks for the tip... I downloaded search status and will it a try. I just wanted to ad that I voted for you a time or two for these end of the year awards.

Hey! Thanks for that Boris. :)

Jennifer, this is a great supplement to my recent article on blog comments so I've just updated the article with a link to yours.

Anthony a.k.a. OldSchool

Great tip Jennifer. Thanks.

There is a faster way.

if you want to find out a link on the web page has the nofollow. Just highlight the link text that is on the page with your mouse and right click it and select "view selection source" and only the html source of your highlighted text will pop up in another windows and inside the highlighted source text in that window you will immediately see the nofollow code.

Of course the fastest is installing the firefox plugins.

Very useful article. Also very useful input from many of the posts. I think I like Nato's response the best but the plugin is certainly beneficial.

Thanks for the tip and photo demonstration. I have been using this technique regularly since I read this article.

I did not know that you could find words in your source code this way.

very nice ext. already using it and loving it. gonna have to bookmark this site.

I have changed my blog to make it more comment friendly at http://www.electricgolftrolley.net

Great tool! I will be installing this for sure.

Hey! Thanks for much for that information, I have now downloaded the relivate software you were mentioning.



Thanx Nice Post ..
The second method told by u can save a lot of time of a SEO..

Thanx for sharing it..

I also uses those kinds of tools to indicate whether the blog has no follow tag in it, its worth downloading since it will make our search more easier, but also I don't discriminate websites with no follow tag simply because we can also gain extra traffic from them..

I'm using stylish plug in to check whether the website I visit was do follow or no follow, it aids and enhances our link building skills.

Wow, this is VERY REVEALING. Thanks a bunch for telling me this. I had to comment on yours as your training shows me that your blog is dofollow, :) Thanks, once again.

This is a great tool, I only used it for looking for certain things did not think of using it to find out whether a link had a no follow or a follow.

Thank you for showing me this

You can also just right click on the link, then view source and look for the nofollow code. Thanks for the info on the plugin though.

Thanks for the tip. Just downloaded the SearchStatus for Firefox.

I've been using SearchStatus for quite sometime now but only to check on the page ranking of websites. I thought that was its only purpose. lol It is only now that I learned that it can also highlight no follow links. I'm absolutely delighted with this discovery. Can't wait to check its other features so I can maximize its use. Thanks!

Hey I've been reading up on nofollow links getting my head round everything and must thank you for the link to that Searchstatus app, it really helps... got to love firefox over ie.



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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Search Marketing Bootcamp: How To Tell if a Link is NoFollowed