A top down view of a notebook in front of a laptop that reads “link building”. Learn how to build links to improve SEO for therapists by building backlinks for therapists. Find a guide to earning backlinks to learn more today.

What’s the Difference Between a “Follow” Link “No Follow” Link? Does It Make a Difference for My SEO?

In the realm of SEO, there are different kinds of links and backlinks. Not all will benefit you in the same way, but can still help improve your SEO over a longer period of time. To help clarify, today we are going to discuss the difference between “Follow” and “No Follow” links. We will also talk about some of the best ways to ethically source backlinks as well.

Follow vs No Follow LinksA graphic of a magnifying glass over a link pyramid. This could represent improving private practice SEO with backlinks for therapists. Learn how to improve therapist SEO by visiting our guide to earning backlinks.

Even though you likely have links on every page of your site, they aren’t all the same. You may not have known, but while most links will help improve SEO for therapists, others may not. Links on your site, whether internal or external, are automatically generated as Follow links. When links from other internal or external pages point back to a webpage, that target page becomes more authoritative due to the outside source referencing it. Google recognizes the quality and quantity of these links through a metric known as PageRank. This algorithm was created to help Google determine how much SEO juice a given page has, and what order the pages should be ranked in the search engine. This helps ensure that pages with helpful and trusted information are more likely to rank well in the search results. 


However, there are other types of links that exist that don’t really contribute towards SEO & PageRank.

These are known as “No Follow” links, and while they can appear as normal links on the front end of your site, they can be harder to identify. Normally, links are automatically created with the “Follow” tag in the HTML code on the backend of the site. However, these types of links have an extra piece of HTML code that marks it as a No Follow link. Thus, keeping it from contributing to the PageRank and overall rankings of your site. No Follow links are often used when a site wants to link to another site but doesn’t necessarily want to be affiliated with the source page. 

In summary, most links will help to improve your site rankings. When links point back to a webpage, this helps show Google that the page has helpful content and gives it more SEO juice. The more SEO juice a page has, the more likely it will rank well in Google. But, this history isn’t the case with No Follow links. These links don’t have the same weight, and won’t contribute to how well your site ranks in the search results. However, No Follow links can still support your site in different ways. This is due to more recent changes Google has made in the past few years.

A graphic representing an SEO funnel with different terms going into it including “follow, links, bot, html, and backlinks”. This could symbolize improving private practice SEO by gaining new backlinks for therapists. Learn more about improving therapist SEO today.

How Does Each Help SEO For Therapists?

As previously mentioned, Follow links help to improve rankings because Google takes them into account when deciding how much SEO juice a page has. These links help improve how well a page performs in the search results but can be more difficult to source in organic or ethical ways. However, there are a variety of methods for therapists to source high-quality, ethical backlinks that will support the SEO of your site. One effective method involves having guests like fellow therapists post guest blogs to your site, and vice versa. This gives you an opportunity to include links to and from your site, while still focusing on content that will resonate with your ideal client. Therapists can also appear as guests on podcasts, reach out to a reporter via HARO, or maybe create helpful infographics that help inform others. 

No Follow links historically haven’t helped to improve SEO. But, Google has made changes in the last few years that signal these links actually have more weight than they have in the past.

Instead of having no weight in Google’s search algorithms, they now act as hints to help Google better understand how to analyze and use links in their system. This makes them a bit more valuable than they were in the past. Now, Google may potentially give them more SEO juice spending on the content of the link. Sadly, there isn’t a tool that can tell you which No Follow links will help and which won’t. But, knowing that they can offer more support for your site is worth sourcing them. One of the best ways you can do this is by submitting your practice’s information to creditable directories related to the services your practice offers. Making sure the correct information about your practice is consistent across different directories will help establish authority with Google. While this may not necessarily help with boosting your SEO directly, having backlinks to your practice on other sites will help increase your exposure & make it easier for people to find your practice.

In Conclusion

A graphic of two people linking a chain, representing building links to improve private practice SEO. Learn how to gain high quality backlinks for therapists by searching for a guide to earning backlinks today. Links are the foundation of connecting the internal pages of a site as well as external websites. Follow and No Follow links are very similar, but Follow links are more valuable for improving SEO for therapists. However, Google has started to put more emphasis on No Follow links. Thus, making them more valuable for growing your practice. Both can contribute to your practice in different ways which makes attaining both an important part of your overall SEO strategy.

Start Improving Private Practice SEO with List Management Services from Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team knows it can be difficult to keep up with all the external links that may point to your site. This is why we are happy to offer support with a list management baseline report for your practice. We are also happy to offer a variety of services to support your private practice SEO. You can start your SEO journey with Simplified SEO Consulting by following these simple steps:

  1. Apply to work with us to improve your SEO
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist 
  3. Start improving your SEO!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team knows there are many aspects of SEO that you may need help addressing to improve your private practice website. This is why we offer a variety of SEO services including our Done For You SEO Services and DIY Online SEO Courses. We also offer a 12-week Done With You Intensive SEO Program. Visit our blog to learn more valuable SEO info today!

About the Author

Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He has integrated what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation, finding solutions to some of the more technical aspects of SEO, and responding in a timely manner to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them with extra problem-solving support. He now provides additional support with a variety of local SEO services. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research. By doing so, he sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!

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