The topic "NoFollow" links has been a big topic since the Google Penguin update. Even though it is not so present anymore, you should still think about the effects of backlinks.

Although Google, some time after the penguin update, made the statement "spammy links are simply not rated" and thus do not pose a risk for a warning, most "experts" agree that a clean link profile is absolutely important.

Now the topic backlinks is not only about links that refer to your website but also about links you refer to.

Especially "older websites" with a lot of articles have in the past still linked to everything that seemed important to you in a lively and funny way.

Basically: I personally am of the opinion that as a webmaster you don't have to worry about this.

Honestly, even if links have been "sold" (oh what an evil statement 🙂 ) - I don't really see the big risk. In the end everything should and must be done in a healthy way.

For all those who think it makes sense to set all outgoing links to "nofollow", the following "snippet" offers a quick and easy option

Set all outbound links to nofollow

Copy the following into the functions.php of your theme:

add_filter('the_content', 'my_nofollow');
add_filter('the_excerpt', 'my_nofollow');
function my_nofollow($content) {
    return preg_replace_callback('/]+/', 'my_nofollow_callback', $content);
function my_nofollow_callback($matches) {
    $link = $matches [0];
    $site_link = get_bloginfo('url');
    if (strpos($link, 'rel') === false) {
        $link = preg_replace("%(href=\S(?!$site_link))%i", 'rel="nofollow" $1', $link);
    } elseif (preg_match("%href=\S(?!$site_link)%i", $link)) {
        $link = preg_replace('/rel=\S(?!nofollow)\S*/i', 'rel="nofollow"', $link);
    return $link;

Quick and easy

The snippet now ensures that all links in the articles or content are set to nofollow immediately after it has been saved. All automatically and without any work or effort, so it's ideal for people with little time and desire.

So if you want to set all your links to nofollow, just add the snippet above to your functions.php and you are completely happy. At least I hope so, because otherwise the tip was in vain.

Solution with WordPress Plugin

As always, there are of course also solutions via plugin. Up-to-date to recommend would be here:

Rel Nofollow. Even if few reviews, at least it is tested with the current 5 version of WordPress.

Download Rel NoFollow

Somewhat better known but not updated for several months is the plugin "Nofollow for external link. Currently 20,000+ installations.

(Basically it doesn't have to be a bad thing if plugins have not been updated for a longer period of time - in many cases this is simply not important for the functionality)

Download Nofollow for external link

Footer links should be nofollow

The most important finding of the article: footer links should probably be placed on nofollow, actually all links that are visible everywhere on the website. Especially links in the style of a "Design by", "Make with" or "Powered by"However, the statement rather indicates that external links in the footer, the blogroll (which usually no longer exist) etc. should be nofollow.

Just don't support other websites, that's what webmasters say, because Google makes the laws and we all play puppet. Although the statement could be interpreted differently and one or the other might say that his footer links have not yet earned him any punishment despite dofollow, but nobody should be too sure anymore.

Permanent fear of punishment

At the end you almost ask yourself what else is allowed to follow. Especially the blogroll used to be a possibility to support colleagues and blogs one appreciated a little. This is still possible today, but only nofollow, so that no kind of trust or ranking is passed on.

Sad, actually, even if such links were often misused for that very purpose. Personally, I have become very careful with follow-links, only linking directly from posts in a natural way. But even there, a link on another blog that seemed a bit off-topic broke my neck or brought me an unjustified manual punishment from Google. To be honest, I'm getting tired of it all.

Instead of concentrating on the content, I am forced to constantly deal with Google, their policies and updates, just to not risk punishment.

Update: 05.30.2019

About Christian

My name is Christian and I am co-founder of the platform fastWP. Here in the magazine I am responsible for the more "technical" topics but I like to write about SEO, which has been my passion for over 10 years now.

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