Twitter is the 9th most visited website and the 7th favourite social media platform globally. In 2021, Twitter saw 2.5 billion sessions, with more than 600 million of these unique. This tells us that everyone not only uses Twitter on their computers, smartphones, and tablets. But they also come back to the social media platform repeatedly.
In June 2022, Twitter made a change that caused a stir in the SEO and blogging community. Specifically, Twitter removed the “nofollow” attributes from profiles, tweets, other pages, and posts. The social media platform had nofollow hyperlinks on its platform since 2008 and from 2009 on all its tweets. So, why the change? What does this mean to the bloggers and the SEO community?
To find out, keep reading!
What Are Nofollow Links?
Nofollow links are types of hyperlinks with a rel=” nofollow” HTML tag. This hyperlink tells search engine bots that crawl webpages to ignore the link when they crawl pages that feature this hyperlink.
Due to this, nofollow links have no SEO value. They do not influence your PageRank and will not have any effect on your rankings. While this is true, nofollow links can help you leverage social signals and influencer marketing. They also help you create a domino effect link-building strategy and drive traffic to your blog or website—these boost SEO.
So, what are the effects of Twitter removing nofollow attributes from links in tweets?
What Are the Effects of Twitter Removing Nofollow Attributes in Tweets on SEO?
You must love link building if you’re a blogger, SEO expert, or webmaster. You probably say yes to every backlink like it’s your first date. So, the recent change by Twitter to remove the nofollow attribute from links in tweets was not welcoming. By now, you already know how it impacts SEO. If you don’t, keep reading!
Reduced Traffic to Your Website/Blog
Website owners and SEO experts have used nofollow links to help online users discover their blogs and websites. They have also used the links to increase online engagement and convert prospects into buying customers. From this perspective, it shows that nofollow links do matter when it comes to driving traffic.
More traffic to your blog or website implies more engagement which maximizes profit for your online business. So, having nofollow links in your tweets would enable you to enjoy the above benefits.
For example, in July 2018, Brain Dean, the CEO of Backlinko, posted this: “When I ask my readers about their biggest struggle, the answer is almost always the same: “Traffic!” And if you want more targeted traffic, you’ll love today’s new blog post….”
The blog post’s title was “27 ways to increase website traffic.” Thanks to the nofollow attribute, the link sent him more than 2,700 visitors. However, due to Twitter’s change, bloggers and SEO experts will experience reduced traffic to their sites, online stores, and social media pages.
Reduced Social Signals
You already know how social media platforms like Twitter can help your online success. You also know how often you should post on Twitter and others to build your audience, drive traffic and increase brand awareness. However, you may not know that Twitter and other social media platforms can build your SEO.
Want to know how? Social signals are the comments, shares, or likes your content receives on Twitter and other social media platforms. Regarding SEO and internet marketing, social signals are quite important metrics.
While social signals are not a direct ranking factor, they can help SEO. The more social media users share, like, and comment on your content, the more likely it is to be seen. This leads to many people linking and viewing your content.
Building links is one of the many tactics bloggers, content creators, and SEO experts use to improve your PageRank. This is because link building is a signal to Google that your website or blog has the quality and resource-worthy content. As such, your site will earn higher rankings. But due to Twitter’s change, you’ll now have reduced social signals, which will impact your site’s authority.
No Impact on Search Engine Rankings
In 2005, Google introduced the nofollow attribute. Its purpose was to solve the issue of unreliable links from comment spam and user-generated content. This attribute became Google’s most valuable way of flagging ad-related and sponsored links.
However, while the nofollow attribute helps flag sponsored links, it does not impact search engine rankings. Yes, Google uses links as a key ranking signal, but as aforementioned, it only counts do-follow links. According to Google, the nofollow links don’t pass PageRank. Using the nofollow attributes causes Google to drop target links from their overall graph of the web. As of March 1st, 2020, Google ignores nofollow links for indexing and crawling. This has no impact on your site’s SEO.
Nofollow links are highly valuable because they are a natural part of the internet. As such, it’s normal to have no-follow links on your website, blog, or social media pages on Twitter. Not only do nofollow links help diversify your backlink profile, but they are an essential SEO practice. But they help drive traffic, spread brand awareness, and increase conversions, sales and profit.
Having a solid brand is essential for SEO success. But with the ongoing removal of nofollow links by Twitter, it’s time businesses rethink their strategy.