Let me give you a short answer to this question followed by a much longer answer. The short answer is: yes, no follow links are really worthless, except when they’re not. Confused yet? Let me break it down for you: if your one and only question is whether or not no follow links are useful for link juice (i.e. backlinking), then they are worthless.
Beyond that though, they may yet have some real value if you use them correctly. Here’s what you need to know:
What Are No Follow Links Anyway?
For the still wet behind the ears among us, no follow links are links which include a small bit code which says “rel=nofollow” this tells Google not to index the link which is mentioned there meaning that it provides no benefit as far as Google is concerned for building the rank of a website.
Many bloggers automatically set their links to no follow for the simple reason that it helps cut down on spam since the link juice isn’t there. Others will leave it on to encourage comments but moderate and still others have automatic approval on the theory that more comments, even if they are spam comments make their blogs look busy.
Why No Follow Links May Not Be So Worthless
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about reasons why you may want to spend some time commenting on no follow blogs (this is the most common way that links get embedded, but they can also be embedded in the site itself).
Comments May Have Them Turned Off But Body May Have Them On
Often, bloggers will have do follow links in the body of an article, but no follow links in the comments section of the blog. Again, this is meant to cut down on spam.
However, from a purely Google perspective, putting in those no follow links in a comment and leaving a truly insightful comment may well be worth something. That’s because most bloggers read their comments and if they see a comment which seems particularly insightful, they may amend the original post and add that comment along with a do follow link to the main page.
Comments May Get Do Follow Turned Back On
Another reason from a purely Google perspective is that bloggers may decide at some point in the future to turn on do follow for the comment links in their blogs. This effectively means that the links you left and long since forgot about may become valuable backlinks after all.
Finally, I’ve mentioned this before – blog comments were never meant to be a way to build your backlink portfolio. They were meant to help build a community around a blog. By leaving a no follow link with an insightful comment on a popular blog, you may get direct traffic, even if you don’t get Google traffic from it.