We’ve talked about nofollow links before, and anyone practicing SEO should at least understand the basics of what they’re for. Essentially, they let you tell search engines not to count a certain outbound link as a vote, or endorsement, of the linked content. What this does in practice is limits the amount of effectiveness your link will have in making the target rank, because when you nofollow a link it passes less (but still some) PageRank.
When is it a good idea to use the nofollow link though? Of course you’d love to use it on every external link, but such a blanket approach is never a good idea in the SEO world. Don’t worry though, you can nofollow MOST of your external links, and certainly add the rel=”nofollow external” to anything you don’t love, but an occasional link to a friendly site or another expert in your industry that is followed and passes full rank won’t just help that other page, it will help your page by showing that you’re not completely selfish. Much like kindergarten, Google values sharing and caring.
For more information on the nofollow tag, check out this great infographic. It covers all of the basics and is great for when you need to quickly consult something when you forget exactly how to use the tag. Of course, after you get in the habit of using it, you’ll have this whole thing memorized in about a week!