As a review/giveaway blogger, I network with a lot of bloggers. People are always asking what the difference is between “No Follow” and “No Index” and what they are used for. So, I decided to make a post explaining my personal understanding of it.
Both “No Follow” and “No Index” are used in reference to search engines; Google especially. When a search engine scans your page, it references the posts and links within it. Then it places them in its directory. If you want a link to be left alone, you “No Follow” it. If you want a post to be left alone, you “No Index” it.
You might still be saying to yourself, “English, please”. If so, this is the best analogy I can think of. If you “No Index” a post, it’s kind of like asking the phone directory not to post your phone number. If you “No Follow” a link, it’s kind of like blocking a phone number.
“No Follow” is very useful when working with companies. Google frowns on accepting payment for links. Product reviews are considered payment. If you “No Follow” the link, it will make it so that people who are reading your post, can still access the company’s site. However, that link will not come up in relation to you in a web search. It is a good idea to have follow links on your page as well. Google approves of quality link building. Do not “No Follow” every link on your site. I use this guideline: company = no follow, fellow blogger = do follow. But, of course, that is completely up to your discretion. To learn more, you can read Google’s article about Quality Links to Your Site.
“No Index” is useful when you are posting something that is on other blogs. Examples of this would be affiliate posts or other blogger’s giveaways. If you “No Index” your post, it will not be counted as content on your blog by Google. Therefore, your blog will be considered to have more “original” content, which counts towards page rank.