How to Add Nofollow to Your Advertiser’s Links

This post has been updated April, 2016.Do I have to use nofollow?

According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, the answer is “YES”.  If you are paid or compensated in any way for those links, then yes, you have to use “no-follow”.  This allows the searches to be more accurate, because they wont incorporate any paid links into their calculations.  From the horse’s mouth:

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines…. 

Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:

    • Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the <a> tag
    • Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file

What this means is that buying and selling links is normal for advertising purposes.  But if a link is purchased, it must be designated as so with a no-follow tag.

Why use Nofollow?

There are two general ways of “doing SEO”:

1.  to intentionally skew search results (black hat seo) toward your site

These situations would be “Black Hat”:  a) adding do-follow links to other sites (whether or not they have anything to do with your site or purpose or content) just to “get better SEO”. b) stuffing each and every page with keywords so that it doesn’t make sense to a human reader

2.  to intentionally make your site reflect its content to search engines (white hat)

These situations would be “White Hat”:  a) adding no-follow links to other similar sites to advertise that your site exists and their readers might like it or b) others linking to your site (with do-follow links) because they like it and are recommending it (you have not paid them)


How to add Nofollow to links in WordPress

1.  Add your copy to your Post or Page edit screen.  Select it, and click on the link icon.

Link Icon

2.  Complete the link screen with your link, and title.

Insert Link Window

3.  Change to HTML view.  Place your curser just before the end of the “A” anchor html tag.

HTML view


4.  Add the new attribute [rel=”nofollow” ] without the brackets.



5.  Save.


Questions?  Leave them in the comments and we’ll answer right away.

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    1. If it is an advertiser – whether you’re an affiliate or not – I would say definitely – use nofollow. It is easy to set up and it should just stay there for the life of the ad.

      If you need any help, just let us know.


  1. What about when you are linking to a website in a giveaway or review post? Most of my giveaways are unpaid – I do receive a free item to review, but the companies don’t require me to publish their links or have editorial input on what I write about their product. Would that be considered a paid link or not?

    1. If you receive compensation in any way, you should put a rel=”nofollow” on their link. Most professional PR firms will be ok with this. They can receive advertising – like you saying, “Please visit this great site!” that is a referral or reference type of link and is valuable even with the no-follow on it. But if you’re compensated for it, then you should include the no-follow. If you have any more questions, let me know!

      1. thanks for answer on no follows on giveaways and should that be the case in your opinion if I write totally uncompensated post as well.

        Also once insert no follow code, when you click on the link there isnt anything different about the link right? I think I did it correctly but I guess I dont see any difference.

        1. Uncompensated posts are different. I write about companies I truly love -or apps – or other blog articles – all of them are regular links (follow). It is only the links that could skew search engine results that we need to be careful of (like ads, or those ppl that ask for a link JUST for the SEO benefits). I can’t stress enough that we do NOT want to be complicit in ‘manipulating search results’. Thats why I strongly caution you when hiring SEO ‘experts’. They can be an expert today and totally blacklisted by Google tomorrow!

    1. Hmm. Me neither! 🙂
      It should look like this (without the [ ]):
      My Link Text

      I’m going to look up an easier way to write html into comments now!! 🙂

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