Tinder is totally old news, I know. But having recently become a single lunatic, it’s still pretty fresh news to me. Fresh and alarming news in fact. While I couldn’t agree more with the concept of getting rid of people by basically saying “Blimey, you are a moron, why do you even exist’ (I wish I could permanently swipe left annoying people out of my life), it has enlightened me to the fact that people are, in the nicest way possible, huge bells. And I’m not being generalist here, there are genuine groups of people who should seriously rethink their life choices. Without further ado…
The “I’m Just In Bed, Hehe :)” Boy
These are the worst. I have no idea where these idiots come from, but they can usually be found lounging creepily on a pile of pillows in a dim light looking sad and tragic. Yes, these are the ones who take pictures of themselves in bed. I don’t know what they’re thinking will happen, but there is no way in good, merry England that anyone is thinking, “Oh yes, because he has a picture of himself in bed, he will probably be good in bed” SWIPE RIGHT. No. Piss off, you girl. You are a terrible person.
The “I Really Like Comatose Tigers” Boy
I will put this out there, it’s not just boys that are guilty of this. Even I once took a picture with a cheetah at a safari park. But I don’t use it as a pulling technique. Surprisingly, no girl has ever found a man with a sleeping tiger attractive. If you’re trying to show people that you are all worldly and have been travelling, get a grip. Everyone has been travelling. You don’t need a tiger to prove it. Plus, you look like you like animal cruelty. Sicko.
The “Oh, Sorry I Didn’t See You There, I was Busy Scratching My Head” Boy
Boys with sleeve tattoos are most guilty of this. Basically, they shove their armpit in your eyeline either trying to a) show off their (probably) horrible sleeve tattoo or b) flex. It’s so obvious and so upsetting, that I am willing to bet that every single one of these so-called human beings are probably criminals and/or exist only to be laughed at. Plus, it just makes it look like they possibly have lice if they can’t talk a snap without touching their head.
The “I Don’t Know How To Work an Iphone” Boy
Mirror selfies. Let’s discuss. Unless you’re showing off an ootd, there is very little need to take a mirror selfie. Because, if you haven’t heard about it yet, iphones have a REVERSIBLE CAMERA. Yes, you can take a picture of your face without having to look like a twat in front of a mirror. It just gives off the impression that you have no mates. And if your excuse is that you don’t have an iphone, then that’s as much of a deal breaker. How are we supposed to fall in magical and unstoppable love if we can’t even imessage? Snore.
The “I’m Pretty Deep and Meaningful” Boy
These oddballs can usually only be spotted once you have decided “Hmm, ok, he doesn’t seem too terrible. Let’s find out more” and click on their Tinder mini-profile. And then suddenly, you are slapped in the face with an Oscar Wilde quote. Yes, we all might be in the gutter and some of us might be looking at the stars, but right now I am looking at you and wondering whether it would be too cruel to message your mum to ask her what on earth she has raised. This isn’t Myspace. Go away.
So anyway, I’m hoping that this post doesn’t make it sound like I hate everyone (I do), but people need to fix up. You genuinely wouldn’t act so embarrassing in real life, so it’s not okay to be such a raging bell in the app world.
At 5′ and 5’2 respectively, it’s no secret that Lauren and I are the real life Little Women (minus all of the death and poverty and being American etc…) For the most part we quite like running around people’s ankles like yappy little dogs, but there are some things that make being below average height BLOODY ANNOYING…
1. The oversized trend is simply wasted on us. Boyfriend coats don’t look chic and androgynous, they look like this:
2. Similarly, the sports luxe trend had to be dealt with carefully. High tops and joggers may make you taller ladies look like Beyonce, but we had to skulk around the back alleys in case someone thought we were Year 9s wagging PE and called the truancy officer on us.
3. We can buy things from the kids’ section, which is good because they sometimes fit better AND they’re cheaper. However, we run the risk of a) looking like a massive tit when someone catches us holding it up against ourselves to judge the length, or b) accidentally buying something a butterfly on it.
4. We didn’t get to take advantage of the mid-heel coming back into fashion. While taller friends got to party the night away smugly in their new comfy slingbacks, we remained hobbling around in our six-inch heels that we have to wear in order to be able to see over the bar. Not. Fair.
5. Thigh-high boots? More like vagina-high boots. Good luck with that chafing.
Can any of you petite ladies relate to the above? Share your own short girl fashion problems below!
WELL HELLO THERE.
We have decided that summer has passed, autumn is basically here and that winter is well and truly on the way. In fact, we have been freezing our bottoms off quite frequently recently. We have nearly been forced to put the heating on (WHAT, IT IS SEPTEMBER). So, what better way to numb the pain of the passing of summer than to treat you all to a giveaway? Yes, we admit, the main reason we are running it is because we went and spent too much money in Boots and decided that the only way to make ourselves feel less terrible would be to give some of it away.
That being said, these incredible products are the tip top way to update your face for the new season, so without further ado…here’s what we are possibly sending your way.
- Barry M Smokin’ Hot Shadow and Blush Palette
- New Apocolips Matte Lip Velvet in 307 Meteoric Matte
- New Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Chai
- New Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Plum
- Maybelline Eyestudio Master Duo Liquid Eyeliner in Black Laquer
- Two slabs of Galaxy chocolate (because if you can’t get a bit chubby in winter, when can you?
Good luck, you sexy thangs.
Hiya kids! Today’s post is something completely different, and it starts with one exciting announcement: I HAVE A NEW JOB. And not just any old job; I have landed, and believe me that I’m not exaggerating, my dream job. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be starting in a PR role at a well-known cosmetics company, and I couldn’t be any happier. Firstly, a part of the reason I’m telling you all this because I’m SO EXCITED and basically want to tell the whole world (even the woman in Greggs was nearly told when I first found out). But also, I know for a fact that there’s no way I would have got this amazing opportunity if it wasn’t for this little blog of ours. I know, WEIRD, EH?!
I therefore decide to put my recent experience to use and write this post explaining the ways in which I think a blog can help you bag the perfect job. Whether you’re actively job hunting and don’t know whether your blog is worth mentioning, a student who’s planning their future career, or just wondering how your blog can help you in the wider world, hopefully you’ll find something useful in here. So, how did my blog help me get my job, and how can yours help you?
It Makes You Stand Out
We all known that job hunting is HARD, and it’s important to try to make your CV stand out from other applicants. One of the most basic benefits of having a blog is that it helps to set you apart from your fellow candidates. Not only does it make you look like a legit person who has a real hobby other than ‘reading, socialising and breathing oxygen’, but it also gives potential new employees something that they can look at as a physical example of your work. Which brings me smoothly onto my next point…
It Showcases Your Skills
The majority of us love blogging so much that we don’t actually realise how much work we really put into them, or what skills we’re developing along the way. Along with the obvious writing and creative skills you’re putting to use, having a blog will probably also mean that you’re familiar with basic HTML, can use social media to promote yourself, have used analytics software and have formed professional relationships with brands – and that’s to name only a few. It’s important to recognise how much you actually do as part of this hobby, and identify which skills can be transferred into the job role you’re going after
It Shows You Know and LOVE the Industry
This one was particularly relevant for me. I was actually completely under qualified for the job I went for, and know for a fact that it was this blog that piqued the employer’s interest in me. It’s one thing to go for an interview and tell them how passionate you are about fashion or beauty – it’s another to really prove it. Having a blog that you have worked on independently, in your own time, for no reason other than that you genuinely enjoy it, is worth so much.
As well as showing that you really are interested, it also (hopefully) shows that you understand the industry, are up-to-date with what is going on in it, and are also a part of that industry in your own right. As a blogger, you’re likely to have connections with hundreds of other bloggers as well as PRs – and this is also something that works in your favour when trying to join a company.
It Shows You Have a Personality
Putting aside all of my above points, don’t feel like your blog should primarily act as an online portfolio. While it’s great for it to showcase your slick writing skills and flair for photography, it’s also true that employers do want well-rounded individuals and a blog can be a way for them to get a feel for who really are. Admittedly when I knew that my soon-to-be-employer had read my blog, I went into a mild panic. Did she read the post where I said I wanted to punch all of my colleagues in the face? Or the one where I called myself a bellend? If she did though, then it obviously didn’t put her off; and it also meant that I went to my interview knowing that, despite my uber-professional demeanour, they also had a rough idea who I was as a person and so I felt a bit more relaxed. Some brands also value a bit of personality and humour, especially if you’re going for a job role that might involve using their social media, so don’t be afraid to be yourself (unless you’re a boring bellend… that was a joke, see?)
HOWEVER, Here’s What Might Not Help…
By now you might be thinking that your blog is your one-way ticket to career heaven, and it’s time to dedicate your CV and interview chatter solely to your little blogging baby. But WAIT. In my two recent interviews, both interviewees have asked whether my blog could in any way interfere with my role. That was something I had never considered employers thinking about, but if you’re waffling on about how many thousands of followers you’ve got, the awards you’ve been nominated for, and how your blog is your main passion, then of course some employers are going to wonder whether your blog comes first.
Be clear in your CV, cover letter or interview that while you love blogging, it is a hobby. And that while you’ve learned a lot of skills from blogging and are keen to bring these skills into your job, it is not something you plan to pursue above and beyond the job you’re interviewing for. Don’t make them think you’re so hot shot that you’re going to be running off to join Vogue at any moment (unless you’re interviewing for a job at Vogue. Then that’s probably okay).
I hope you have found this post remotely useful! If you have any other tips for how your blog can help you find a job, then share in the comments below!
(Image Source: Pinterest)
Ooh, did I get your attention with my controversial title? Good, bahaha. I’ll obviously point out that in today’s post I’m actually talking about why some bloggers need to get over themselves – the vast majority of bloggers we know are all super lovely swell people, but there is a certain attitude amongst some bloggers that’s been irking us for a while now.
As we work in digital marketing, we get to see both sides of the blogger outreach system, both as bloggers being approached and the brand approaching bloggers. And from both of these perspectives we now and then see the same things: namely, bloggers who need to get over themselves. Whether it’s making cringey requests under #PRRequest hashtag, or bitching that they haven’t been invited to certain events, I’m sure we’ve all seen this type of bad blogger behaviour.
Here are a few of my personal bugbears when it comes to bloggers:
Badmouthing a Company’s Outreach – Especially When It’s Legit
We know there are plenty of companies or individuals who are not great at outreaching to bloggers, but seeing people take to social media and blast a brand is a bit boring to read at the best of times. But what really grates on me is seeing a blogger slag off an outreach campaign simply because it doesn’t match their personal standards.
One shining example of this happened quite a few months back on Twitter. We saw one blogger furiously tweeting about a brand, and then saw her write a whole blog post about the way that this company was trying to scam bloggers. So what did this company have the audacity to do? They put a tweet out for blogger collaborations, which then turned out to be asking for bloggers to guest post for them on their own blog. Said blogger was properly furious about this, stating it was just brands getting something for free by using and abusing bloggers. I have several issues with this bloggers’ beef:
1. guest posting has been used as a way to help blogs for years, as appearing on someone else’s blog and getting a link back to your blog can help with your SEO (as we spoke about in more detail here)
2. social exposure and association with a fashion brand is surely something that, as a fashion blogger, should surely be something fairly interesting to you
3. this blogger had clearly been more than happy to work with the brand when they thought there was a freebie from it, yet not when they realised otherwise
For the record, we ended up writing a guest post for said brand. They still tweet out our article regularly, as well as promoting our other posts across their social channels, and we got a lot of traffic from it. We would rather that than a cheap freebie, ta.
Assuming There’s a Budget and They Deserve to Be Paid
Sponsored posts are fairly commonplace in the blogging industry, however there are many bloggers who are a bit too obsessed with the idea of getting dollar dollar bill. There are a lot of blogging groups out there where you’ll see bloggers slating companies who have offered guest posts or try to outreach with a ‘blog to win’ competition. Common complaints include
“We should not be expected to work for free, we’re valuable to brands and they should stop abusing us”
“There is a marketing budget for advertising so they should pay us”
“I bet the people working at the brands aren’t working for free”
First up, yes bloggers are growing increasingly important to brands, which is why so many of them are thinking of ways to work with us. However, it’s important to stay humble and also realistic. Just because you have 200 followers does not mean brands should be fawning all over you as if the fate of their company rests in your typing hands. Secondly, a blog for most people is rarely advertised as their work. Of course there are full time bloggers but what happened to all this “I blog because I love it” shit that most bloggers will always say when asked? So now writing about fashion, which you claim is your passion, is a chore? Convenient.
Next up, there is not always a budget for blogger campaigns, and this is not a snub. Often digital marketing budgets are small and paid marketing is another kettle of fish entirely to what blogger outreach falls under. Similarly, sometimes there will be no budget as brands have a policy of not paying for links (which should actually be the case, cough cough). Contrary to popular belief, marketeers do not spend their time laughing at how they’ve scammed you while rolling around in money that was originally in a bag labelled ‘Blogger Incentives’.
And finally… no of course they’re not working for free. Check out ‘blog’ and ‘job’ in the dictionary; quite different definitions. You berks.
Taking It All Too Seriously
I know we all put a lot of effort into our blogs, but the fact is that most of us set out to start a blog because it’s fun and is meant to be something we enjoy. To see people slagging off brands, making demands and slating outreach people (who are just essentially trying to do their job) just makes it look like they’ve forgotten why they started, or that they were always in it for the wrong reasons anywho.
Also, as a side note, being that outspoken and bitchy isn’t going to endear you to many PR people. Juuuuust sayin’.
What do you all think about this topic? Let me know in the comments below!
Before you all shout ‘WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT LAUREN, BRIDGET JONES IS 10 ZILLION YEARS AGO, YOU ARE BORING’, I say to you: shut up, I am very busy and important.
I realised again yesterday that Bridget Jones is possibly my favourite film ever. I’m not a big film watcher, because I don’t feel like I can commit to a full 2 hours of watching something (God help the man who decides to marry me). But Bridget is something I watch about once a month, and I will never AND I SAY NEVER tire of the brilliant woman (apart from Mad About The Boy, that was just upsetting). So, I have decided to put together a little post about the things we learned from good old BJ – because let’s face it, there are many.
1. Only Strippers and Victoria’s Secret Models Can Get Away With Pole Dancing
Haters can hate, but the whole pole fit phenom has separated the graceful girls from the horrific uncoordinated lunatics like myself. Yes, we might think that having a go on the pole will instantly make us look sexy and wicked, but no. Somehow, it makes us look even more tragic than we already are. Remember Bridget’s fireman’s pole incident? That is what we look like.
And don’t even try to upload pics to Facebook balancing about a foot off the ground with a pole mushed between your thighs, because people will laugh at you and think ‘what an absolute bell’.
2. Sexy Pyjamas Are Stupid
It’s all very well wearing a little nightie and walzting around looking fierce, but I think that Bridget has taught us a valuable lesson in pyjama wearing – i.e. matching flannels with penguins on are approximately 40 times better. But why, you ask? Well firstly, there are a lot of logistical problems when wearing nighties. For example, how on earth are you supposed to down shots of vodka? You might end up with some spillage issues, which could have been nicely soaked up by your flannels. Secondly, a nice pair of flannels allows for more movement when you’re dancing around your flat to ‘All By Myself’ – that’s something that a nightie just couldn’t offer. And of course, thirdly, your flannels will offer an extra layer of protection when you get eaten by Alsations.
3. Hair Rollers Are Somewhat Baffling
Right, as a bit of a beauty blogger, this is a bit shameful to admit. I like hair rollers, and I’m currently having a MAJOR love affair with my Sleep In Rollers but I never manage to get them quite right. All that rolling and clipping is hard for heaven’s sake, and don’t even get me started on the back of the head problem. The curls and volume I get are fine, but nothing on the K-Middy level of boucibility. Bridget knows.
4. Stalking Your Boyfriend Will Get You A Mini Break
Yes, everyone goes on about how you should trust your boyfriend and all that nonsense but Bridget has proven that stalking your boyfriend not only lets you find out whether or not the long legged lady friend he has is a lesbian, but also will basically definitely get you a skiing mini break. So, if we take Bridget’s advice, we need to clamber around our boyfriends’ houses, get some leaves stuck in our hair (so he can shake his head in amusement before he snogs you) and possibly try and get up a tree if we can. Once we’ve done that, he will say ‘You are mad, but do you want to come to France and ski?’ and you will say ‘Yes, that sounds marv’. Job done.
5. Being An Idiot Is Not Too Bad
For those who know me, I am an absolute walking failure at life. Whether its getting common phrases wrong (e.g. ‘stop twisting my leg’) to continually walking into things, I am more than a little bit silly. I try to hide it by not opening my mouth too much, but its pretty much unavoidable the majority of the time. But thanks to our dear friend and colleague Bridget Jones, I am convinced that being a ridiculous human isn’t too bad – and in fact, will get me a job on telly and I might also get a free sky dive out of it. Huzzah.
All that’s left to say really is, thank you Bridget. You are the light of our lives.
AHOY HOY THERE.
In our most recent bloggers guide to SEO, we looked at no follow and follow links and how they apply to your blog. Today, we’re going to have a look at your blog’s images and how you can optimise them for search engines. HUZZAH AND CHEERS TO MERRY ENGLAND.
So, images are a HUGE part of blogging and most of us will try our best to take the nicest pictures as possible (if you are like us, then ‘try’ is the key word here). Not only are they a great way of drawing your readers in, but they’re equally as good for backing up your beauty review or showing how you would style your fresh new threads. Whether you have an amazing camera or try your best with your smartphone, most of us fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers will include some kind of images or photos into a post.
That’s all well and good, but taking lovely photos isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about when it comes to images on your blog. INTRIGUED?! You shouldn’t be, it’s actually quite boring…
Why should you optimise your images for search?
Optimising your images for search engines if a bit of an effort, but there is a very big and chunky reason why you should be bothered. Google’s tiny little robots can’t actually see image files. They read text, so if you haven’t tagged up your images properly, then they won’t know they’re there or they won’t know what to do with them.
But if you do tag up your images, there’s a huge opportunity for your blog’s pictures to appear in Google’s Image Search. Let’s all be honest with each other, if we’re looking for a hair dye review or foundation review, we often want to see results before reading on about the product. That’s why a lot of searchers head off to Image Search to have a nosey at whether a silver hair toner or whatevs actually works. While Google Image Search isn’t used as widely as regular Google, there’s a big opportunity there to get your images on the first page – and drive more people to your blog.
For example, here’s an image I tagged up properly in my Bleach London Awkward Peach Review that pops up on Google image search.
So…how do you actually optimise images for search engines?
As most of you fabulous bloggers will know, Google works on a keyword basis – i.e. if you type in a particular keyword, pages that are optimised well for that particular keyword will appear first. The same goes for images. If you label your picture ‘BlogImage.jpg’, search engines will rank that for ‘blog image’, rather than for ‘Lancome Foundation Review’, or whatever your blog post is about. So, the trick is to label your picture with the relevant keywords.
In WordPress, it’s pretty easy. When you add an image using your media library, there is an option to add a title, caption, alt text and description. It’s mainly the title and alt text that you want to focus on, as this will be the text that Google (or the search engine of your choice) will look at in particular. Label these to describe what your image is about. For example, if it is a picture of a pair of Topshop platform heels, then you will want your title or alt text to include that somewhere. If you don’t use WordPress, there should be a similar option in whatever content management system you use – just try and have a nosey about.
The Alt Text
Seeing things like ‘alt’ and ‘text’ together makes it seem hugely complicated and gets you ready to be like NAH TA, WON’T BOTHER. It’s not actually that complicated though, and the alt text is what Google will look at and be like ‘ah, so that’s what your pic was all about’.
BUT…what’s the difference between alt text and title tags for images? Well, pretty simple really. Alt text does have an impact on SEO, whereas title tags don’t. Title tags are more important from a user perspective, and you will know if your image has a title if you roll over the image, and a little box pops up with the title in it. Alt tags will appear in the code and will be what Google will look at.
Just for a bit of clarification, WordPress will automatically put the title as what you have saved your image as. If you change the title to ‘Topshop Platform Heels’, that’s what they will put in your alt text too. You can check what your alt text is by switching to the plain text viewing option and looking out for this code:
<img src=”http://www.vanityclaire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Image-Optimising-For-Search-Engines.jpg” alt=”Image Optimising For Search Engines”>
Your alt text should include a short, key worded description of what your image is about.
The Image File Name
It’s important that you save your image using keywords too. That will further help Google to understand what your image is about. For example:
<img src=”http://www.vanityclaire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Image-Optimising-For-Search-Engines.jpg” alt=”Image Optimising For Search Engines”>
A quick note on this too – use dashes to separate your words rather than underscores. This is because Google sees dashes as word separators and underscores as word joiners. For example:
Stylingo-Fashion-Blog = Stylingo Fashion Blog
Stylingo_Fashion_Blog = StylingoFashionBlog
Naming your images properly is something that’s easy enough to do as you go along, and can really make a big difference to how your images are ranked.
The Image Title Tag
As mentioned above, the image title tag isn’t as important as your alt text but its useful to have as a hygiene factor and from a blog reader point of view. Most browsers (e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari) will take your title tag to display to your users rather than your alt text, so make sure that you bear this in mind when you pop in your title text.
There’s been a lot of speculation as to whether Google takes into account image captions or not, but I think it’s ultimately up to you as to whether you use the caption option. The caption will directly appear in your blog post, and most bloggers aren’t that keen on them. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with the caption because I don’t like the way it looks on our blog. It won’t negatively affect you if you decide not to put a caption in, so don’t worry too much about it.
If you use WordPress like we do, you will have noticed the description box and may have wondered what its for. There’s no SEO benefit for filling this in and it only appears in your media library as a way of helping you remember what each image was for. Don’t bother with it unless you particularly need to describe the picture to yourself, paha.
Resizing Your Images
As a final note, its really REALLY REALLY important that you resize massive images before you upload them into a blog post. While yes, most browsers will alter them to fit your screen, it could take basically forever to load. You might lose readers and then we will all cry together. No one likes a slow loading blog. NO ONE.
So chums, hopefully this has been a bit helpful in giving you a bit of insight into how you can make sure your images are optimised best for Google (or the search engine of your choice…)
If you have any questions, just drop us a comment and we will say NO LEAVE US ALONE.
Hehe. Me and Claire aren’t really SEO experts (we save that title for the lunatics we work with that seem to think SEO is a fulfilling hobby), but we do know a thing or two about the murky world of search (why not go and have a nosey at our SEO tips for bloggers post for the cold hard proof, homegirls).
So, we’ve decided to put together a little bloggers guide to some of the questions we see pop up on Facebook and Twitter about SEO and making sure that your website is tip-top from a search engine point of view. Hopefully, they will help to clear up some of the quezzies us fashion and beauty bloggers have about our blogs.
In our first Bloggers Guide, we’re going to have a look at…
NoFollow vs DoFollow Links
Dofollow and no followlinks have been hot topics in the blogger groups that I’m part of on Facebook, and I’m sure that you might have seen people talking about them on Twitter too. There’s actually quite a big difference between the two. While they would look the same to your average blog visitor, the real difference is how they look to Google (or the search engine of your choice, but who uses Bing really).
For those who want a bit of clarification, links are one of the ways that Google uses to decide where to put your blog in the merry old search engine rankings. If a really good website or blog links to your blog, then Google will say to itself ‘GUT GOTT, this blog must be brilliant, I will rank it number one for ‘bad bitch blog’ (erm…that’s kind of how it works). In recent years, Google have put more weight onto good quality links, rather than the quantity of links your blog has. So, if a site like ASOS provide a link to your blog, its likely to give your search engine rankings a boost. If 1000 really wubbish websites give you a link to your blog, your blog might get flagged for being really wubbish too.
On the flip side, the links you give to brands, companies or other websites from your blog will give them a boost too. Google’s Guidelines are very specific on how you should link to other brands or websites, so it’s worth having a read about what it recommended and what is not. But how does all of this apply to ‘dofollow links’ and ‘nofollow links’?
What is a ‘dofollow’ link when its at home?
So, because Google looks at links as a way of determining the quality of a website, their little computer robots will ‘follow’ links to and from a website to decide where to rank your blog. If the links you provide are ‘dofollow’, Google will do just that – they’ll take into account the link you have provided or received.
As a blog owner, you’ll be keen to get high quality dofollow links to your blog because that will help you rank better in the search engine results pages (aka SERPs if you fancy getting techie). It’s also one of the reasons why brands and companies you might work with may sometimes ask for a link in a blog post you write.
How do you know if a link is ‘do follow’?
If you write your blog in WordPress or Blogger and use their content toolbar to add in links, its likely that these will automatically be ‘dofollow’. However, if you want to check, head into the ‘plain text’ viewing option. If your link is dofollow, it will likely look something like this in code:
You can also specify if you want a link to be dofollow, but the standard link HTML above will always be dofollow unless you tell Google otherwise. This is what it would look like if you want to tell Google it’s a do follow:
<a href=”http://www.vanityclaire.co.uk rel=”dofollow”>Stylingo</a>
What are the don’ts of a ‘do follow’?
This is a subject that’s widely debated and it can be a tricky one. The main thing to remember is that do follow links must be editorially given. It’s against Google’s guidelines to accept payment in return for a do follow link. For example, if you have a guest post or sponsored post on your website with a link to the brand and you have labelled that post as ‘Sponsored’, Google will think that your blog is violating its guidelines.
Whether or not you give a brand or website a dofollow link is usually a case of common sense. If a company directly says “I will give you £100 if you do follow link to my really good viagra website’, it’s usually a good idea to say no. But if you love a brand and they send you a product that you would have written about anyway on your blog, then there shouldn’t be any harm in giving that brand a dofollow link.
The key is everything in moderation and Google will quickly pick up if your beauty blog is writing a load of sponsored posts about how to lose 4 stone in 2 days, greyhound betting and trouser snake operations.
What about those pesky ‘nofollow’ links?
As you might have gathered, nofollow links are the exact opposite to do follow links. Instead of following a link like the real life stalker Google is, search engines will – in theory – put less weight onto it.
When should you use a no follow link?
Nofollow links are best used when you don’t particularly want Google to associate your blog with the website you’re linking to. It may be that the website is a bit spammy or downright rude, but a nofollow link will make sure that Google doesn’t connect your blog with that dodgy site.
If you do accept payment for a sponsored post, then the links you provide to the brand or website in question should be no follow. Don’t be surprised if a brand or website isn’t too interested after you tell them that the link will need to be nofollow. While, of course, you will know that its against Google’s guidelines for them to ask you to give them a dofollow in return for payment – it’s unfortunately still relatively common practice with some brands to do so. The best thing to do is say NO THANK YOU SIR, and move on with your life.
If you do decide to accept payment for a dofollow link, you won’t be arrested and killed by Google hitmen. It’s common practice for bloggers to put ‘sponsored post’ or ‘this is a paid for post’ at the end of a post that has been paid for, which is a way of staying in line with advertising standards. It can be surprising then, when brands might ask you to remove those words. The reason why they sometimes ask this is because this will red flag to Google that the link has been paid for. This can have implications for both the brand and your blog too. We’re not saying that this is right, but it is something that does happen and something that is useful to be aware of. It’s up to you as a blogger to decide what is appropriate for you and your blog!
The fact is, do follow links are valuable to brands. While no follow links aren’t useless (we’ll get onto that in a mo), they’re not always what brands are after.
How do you know if a link is ‘nofollow’?
If you want to make a link ‘nofollow’, you will need to switch over to your plain text editor again and use this HTML code around the link:
<a href=”http://www.vanityclaire.co.uk rel=”nofollow”>Stylingo</a>
Are nofollow links any use at all?
You might be thinking, “if dofollow links are so great, why would anyone be bovved about no follow links?”. On the surface, they look a bit like Solange compared to Beyonce (i.e. relatively rubbish). BUT there are actually a lot of benefits to a nofollow.
Firstly, it’s worth remembering the primary purpose of a link – to let people know that you like a website and that you would like them to visit that website too. While they may have little impact on SEO, no follow links can still drive traffic to your blog or the brand you’re linking to (for example, all links you leave in the comments section of other blogs are nofollow, but they will still drive some traffic to your blog).
There have recently been articles too about whether Google take into account nofollow links, and whether they will start doing so in the future. As with most Google updates, it’s usually difficult to predict what they’re going to do too far in the future. However, it’s worth noting that spamming nofollow links can get you into trouble, just as spamming dofollow links would.
Also, a well placed link on a relevant blog post or website can drive traffic to your blog. Increased traffic can help you rank better, and a nofollow link could lead to dofollow links as more people find out about your blog, read your content and generally become fans of your face.