Nofollow in HTML and HTTP header issue means that website has pages where a ‘nofollow’ directive is specified in both the meta tag and in the HTTP response header (X-Robots tag).
The importance of the issue
This guideline tells a search engine that you want to put less weight to the links at the current page and grant them no internal weight. All links at the page grant some weight to other pages with the help of the links. You can exclude links from the process using nofollow. This can affect the impression of important pages of your website you refer to.
John Mueller, a Google employee, tells about nofollow links:
“So it’s not a 100% directive like robots.txt, where you say these are never going to be crawled. But it does tell us that we don’t need to focus on them as much.”
Google blog for webmasters:
rel=”nofollow”: Use this attribute for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.
How to check the issue
Using any browser is enough to check the issue. Open the source code of the flawed page. To do this, click the right mouse button at any spot of the page and choose “browse the code” option, or apply an online tool https://codebeautify.org/source-code-viewer
Find a directive <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />. If the value of the content = nofollow, there is an issue at the page.
To check the server’s response, use a tool https://redbot.org/ or any similar tool. The presence of an X-Robots-Tag: nofollow in the server’s response means there is an issue at the page.
How to fix this issue
When using <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” /> substitute nofollow value for follow.
When using the X-Robots-Tag: delete nofollow from the server’s response.
Note that it is necessary to check both options, as using one of them does not exclude the use of another one.
Detect pages with nofollow directive
Crawl the website to collect all pages with nofollow directive in HTML and HTTP header