No More NoFollow

Published by 58 Comments

I wrote an article titled Trackbacking Lies – How rel=”nofollow” Stops Spreading the Love which outlined how the rel="nofollow" line of code is placed on all comments and trackbacks on many blogs, including by default on any blog running WordPress, such as Entrepreneur’s Journey.

nonofollowThat line of code stops search engines following the link so as to theoretically reduce comment spam. There is an active campaign underway that argues that the nofollow default in blogs is not relevant for stopping comment spam and discourages communication between bloggers, the public and other bloggers.

My nofollow article was recently trackbacked by sw’as who has installed a DoFollow plugin that removes the default nofollow setting on WordPress. On a whim I decided to do the same.

All comments and trackback pings made to this blog will be recognised by search engines and pass on PageRank to any links listed. However because of this I am going to be a little bit less lenient with the type of comments allowed. Comments must offer something genuine and contribute to the topic and not simply be a hit and run SEO tactic designed to create backlinks. Most comments that have been left on this blog so far certainly are of value so I don’t expect there to be much of an impact, and now I will be returning the favour by giving you some backlinks in return for your continued support of this blog.

Yaro

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58 Comments

  • An interesting development Yaro. I think, as long as people keep comments relevant, and you don’t get any nutters, you should be fine.

  • Thanks for pointing out this plugin, it was just what I needed!

    I’ve always hated rel=nofollow, and WordPress’s use of it automatically for comments and trackback listings was one of the only things that bothered me about my recent move from Movable Type to WordPress.

  • [...] Yaro from Entrepreneurs Journey has posted on this before and there’s even a protest site – No NoFollow on this issue. [...]

  • I definitely agree with you. The nofollow tag is no good!

    On my blog, I also installed a plug in by Denis de Bernardy to disable the nofollow tag.

    I have many friends who also have installed similar plugins, but for those using Blogger, I don’t know if they have any options.

    Do you know if it is possible to disable nofollow in Blogger?

  • Hi 5 Minute Mom, I’m not even certain blogger has the nofollow tag on it’s comments – I should take a look.

    My advice though to anyone blogging on blogger is to switch to WordPress, which will solve the nofollow problem too after the pluging is installed.

  • The best way to stop spam would be to spend some time in moderating the comments persoanlly rather than relying on any captchas. You can go to the other extreme of not allowing anyone to comment – but then the whole essence of sharing information is lost. At least Yahoo and MSN rewards the commentators with relevant backlinks, so that is a reward which many spammers like to go for.

  • I just learned about nofollow tags, and what they are all about, I do agree with the no nofollow tags, especially because I am so new to this.
    Brendan

    • Thanks Yaro,

      I’m in agreement. Do you have any advice with regards to flickr? I have some high PR pages in my account and they crop up nofollow with every link? I am happy to share the wealth. I think Flickr should allow some sort of control over this, if you are the owner of the account.

  • I have removed nofollow from my blog, it doesn’t stop spammers and I don’t see why I should punnish non spammers who just want to comment on my blog.

  • Blog Promotion…

    A little while ago I wrote an article on Self Promotion, but basically promotion yourself in our modern world stands equal with promoting a blog. Blogs are used by everyone, from stay-at-home-moms to top CEOs. Obviously, with milions of blogs out there…

  • I disagree with Tom, because I read an interview with a blog spammer, and he said captchas were one of his biggest obstacles. So I think that’s much more effective than nofollow, which if anything has further distorted search engine rankings by deterring legitimate people who use blog comments both to contribute and in hopes of generating backlinks from relevant sites, while it won’t deter the automated spammers from finding a new way to do it. I did not even realize nofollow was the default on one of my blogs until today, because we get so much spam on it. I am going to follow your lead and disable this tag, although I am curious if you have gotten more spam since you announced that you were removing nofollow.

    Laura R.
    Online Communications Manager
    Creative Training Solutions – Experts in Trade Show Training

  • Great article ! Compliments from a Dutch guy :-)
    Let there be linklove everywhere lol

  • Great post! I’ve been involved with niche blogging for quite some time and the issue of the rel=nofollow is a new problem I’ve beenjust informed about. Even though I post my own WP blogs on my own host I’m not quite sure if I am allowed to change this to follow. I will definitely be checking out sw’as to see whats up.
    It is my understanding that the new beta blogger has the no follow as a default as well. And I was informed that it can be altered to follow.
    This would explain why my blog is getting such high PR, while my site is not doing so well.
    Hopefully I can change my blogs and start getting better PR and Traffic.
    Thanks a ton!
    Niche Blogging

  • Google is decreasing the value of the inbound links from blog sites. And if the topic is not equal to the topic of the site mentioned the value becomes very low. Owning a datingsite we know the only way to remain heving high value content is by monitoring the profiles manualy.

    • Frits above mentions that if you don’t comment on a blog post that is relevant to the backlink created by commenting that Google gives it little to no value, but I’ve heard and read over and over that this simply isn’t true. Does anybody with a TON of experience in this area know for sure whether or not this is true. It seems to be a bit odd that just because the blog you commented on isn’t within your own niche that it holds no value, especially when it is a valuable comment within the community. I have a wide range of interests, so I am always commenting within many niches and areas of interest, and while I don’t do it just for backlinks, of course it is a nice reward for adding value to someone else’s blog.

      Does anybody have any real information about this? Thanks, Jeff

  • Yaro, removing nofollow is a great practice, I use the same plugin on my blog WordPress Guides and encourage my readers to add their links.

  • We did remove the nofollow a couple of months ago and saw an increase of comments and traffic. Sure there’s still spam but it’s in no case more than when we used the nofollow. We do approve the comments manually and if the content of the comment is related to the post we’re happy to give a link to the poster :-)

  • I just removed nofollow from my blog’s comments too. But unlike you, I’ll leave all comments in there as long as they’re clearly relevant to the discussion. It doesn’t have to be ‘highly’ thoughtful :)

    http://www.wptextads.com/blog/2007/08/22/this-blog-says-no-to-nofollow-in-comments/

  • To offer this plugin is a good move by WordPress since now it gives users the option to actually contribute some of their Page Rank to their readers.

  • Luq

    But looking at it at another angle if all blogs are ‘do followed’ by default, spammers would leave thousands of comments linking to some porn or gambling site, you wouldn’t want that trust me, i doubt u guys have been spammed this way or you’ll probably look at ‘no follow’ in a different way..

  • Yaro,

    I know of Akismet, and it has stopped many a spam in the comments. Do you suggest any other plugins for spam prevention?

  • I myself have several blogs with do follow comments, i just moderate them to keep spammers away..

  • I was extremely happy when I learnt about dofollow plugins. I am very proud to say my blog is part of the dofollow revolution. I feels great rewarding commenters.

  • The best way to stop spam would be to spend some time in moderating the comments persoanlly rather than relying on any captchas. You can go to the other extreme of not allowing anyone to comment – but then the whole essence of sharing information is lost. At least Yahoo and MSN rewards the commentators with relevant backlinks, so that is a reward which many spammers like to go for.

  • Yaro,

    I have noticed that links in your comments are “external nofollow”.Can you explain what that does for the search engines?

  • Yaro,

    Thanks for the nice blog about making money on the internet.

    On my WordPress blog I did install a plug-in (Dofollow) and have the small banner on the site that says “U-Comment I-Follow” so visitors see upfront that they will get the linkback.

    No comment spam that I have seen.

  • Alex

    I am new to blogging and came to this post from Yaro’s other post on backlinks. I came with the intention of learning what backlinks are and how they work. After reading both post’s and all the comments I am more confused now than when I started my search. I guess I’ll go and google backlinks and hopefully find an answer there. Does anyone know of any articles with simpler explanations (for dummies)?

  • Thanks for this Yaro. I have been looking for this plugin for a while now. It seems that a lot of people are hitting back against the nofollow idea and I think it is a great way to encourage people to post genine comments on blogs. At least it gives some credit to people who are posting relevant ideas on blogs and helps get the discussion going.

  • Question is, how do you encourage quality comments which actually contributes positively to your blogs content? Do you spend a lot of time moderating/deleting spam/semi-spam?

    I’m all for dofollow (or against nofollow you might say, but I prefer to see my cup half full instead of half empty – no pun intended), so I’m trying it on for size on a new blog — alongside CommentLuv.

  • Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • You know Yaro, like others I had no idea that the default setting in wp is no follow.

    I have about 100 blogs with high PR on several ips and have only lately realised that the link juice I’ve been giving myself and others has been severely watered down.

    WP coders should make this apparent and build in a means to choose as a default value,whether you wish your blog to be follow or no follow.

    I switched all my xsitepro sites to wordpress because the xsite pro sites were turning up as no follows also, despite having settings that supposedly made them do follow. Then I found that WP was the same.

    Yaro,thanks for disseminating this info, I’m sure most bloggers don’t realise this.

    Andrew
    Coffs Harbour

  • Thanks Yaro !

    I have been wondering how the “No Follow” system worked ever since I launched my blog over 2 years ago and today you have cleared it up for me… Thanks Mate :)

  • All my blogs are do follow. I believe in linking out to others as long as it is relevant and beneficial to my readers.

  • Hello Yaro and everyone,
    I was unaware that wordpress default was no follow, also. I will try adding the plugin to one of my blogs, and see how it goes.
    I do get mostly comment spam, comments like “great post, man” and such, that don’t give the slightest indication that they have even read any of my posts, so I am a little concerned about that increasing.
    Any feedback from anyone that has changed to do follow? Has your comment spam increased?

  • that is very generous of you Yaro.

    the nofollow has always been a hot topic of discussion since it’s original purpose has long been throw out as many SEOers try to utilize it to sculpt their SEO juice.

    There has been lot of talks especially since Matt Cutts talked about the nofollow about a month or two ago and how Google has been devaluing it’s use.

  • I’m curious…with more and more blogs changing to DoFollow, when will the search engines think of this as spam? I suppose if one posts blog comments with informative tips or info. then there should be no problem, but it seems the search engines – at least the big one(s) tend to “catch up”.

  • Ely

    I was long time supporter of no-follow tag until I discovered reCaptcha. It seems to work real well against the robots, which was the biggest concern which gave the life to no-follow tag. And I agree, human comments should be moderated by humans. It’s not easy though.

  • I am using the plugin Dofollow Case by Case because many spam bloggers in Germany setup nofollow trackbacks to get backlinks :(( This plugin allows me to mark it by myself as follow or nofollow

    Cheers,
    Volksphone!

  • Thanks Yaro for this article.

    I just want to thank you for the information and articles you provide. I am a beginner to the social media/blogging world and your articles are easy to understand and EXTREMELY useful.

    I need all the help with the use of WordPress plugins.

    I am interested in when your next class will be given?

    Thanks again,
    Nicole

  • Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

  • Amazing Yarro, The date of the first comment to this article is August 23 2005. I received the email this morning, realised its relevance and clicked thru to read more. 4 Years old – and still a good trick! :) Wonderful.

  • Yaro, thank you so much for this information. I wasn’t sure how to do a trackback. You have made a trackback more understandable by a new blogger, who has followed your “blueprint” to the letter. I will try a trackback to you very soon.
    Diane

  • Yaro,
    I think “nofollow” is needed at some places, for example flickr PR:9 and if everyone opens an account or even many accounts with his blog/website, then that person will have good google ranking who opens as much accounts as possible ;)
    But thank you for giving this information about how to do a trackback in wordpress :)

  • Yaro,

    I have noticed that links in your comments are “external nofollow”.Can you explain what that does for the search engines?

  • I have removed nofollow from my blog, it doesn’t stop spammers and I don’t see why I should punnish non spammers who just want to comment on my blog.

  • Great article ! Compliments from a Dutch guy :-)
    Let there be linklove everywhere lol

  • I never understood what dofollow meant and you have explained it wonderfully so that now I do. Thanks so much for this valuable post.

    Lori

  • I have read about trackbacks and pingbacks and nofollow quite a bit but your post on spreading the love explained it in a very lucid manner.I think i understand it much more clearly now.

  • Great tip Yaro, I’ve installed the Do Follow plug-in. Do you know if it works for the old comments too? I’ve installed it but watching the Html of the older comments, it still appears the default rel=nofollow

    Thank you!

    Francesco

  • I myself have several blogs with do follow comments, i just moderate them to keep spammers away..

  • I have removed nofollow from my blog, it doesn’t stop spammers and I don’t see why I should punnish non spammers who just want to comment on my blog.

  • Unaware of the default setting of ‘no follow’ of WordPress it was on that setting on a blog of mine for a couple of years. This blog gets ‘hammered’ by spammers so it didn’t seem to work as a deterrant. I now use the Thesis skin and it offers choices by simply checking/unchecking a box. Easy!

    Thanks for the ‘love’ Yaro :)

  • Thanks a lot for this great tip. It’s really helpful. I know one thing that’s if you know it, you know it and if you don’t know it, you don’t know it. Knowledge is all we need. I can see the great impact of this tip.

  • Thanks for this info.

    Going to install the “DoFollow” plugin right now =)

  • what a nice post.

    Thanks
    Misbah Mumtaz

  • Hi Yaro,
    It think it’s a great idea to let fellow bloggers know that their contribution (by leaving a comment) to your blog is appreciated. Getting rid of the nofollow attribute is a way to do that. Sharing the ‘wealth’ and creating cooperation!

    As to nofollow links stopping bloggers from getting the ranking benefits and such, there seems to be experiments lately that indicate the opposite. Here’s a link that I have no ties with…not trying to get any link juice. Just adding to the discussion:
    http://www.socialseo.com/blog/an-experiment-nofollow-links-do-pass-value-and-rankings-in-google.html

    These guys ran a 4 week test on 2 domains and measured rankings based on nofollow links pointing to those domains. Check-out their results.

    Whatever the results, I still think using the nofollow plugin and letting fellow bloggers know of it is a good way to build peer relationships and contribute to a cooperative and quality internet environment.

    Thanks for the great plugin suggestion
    Louise

  • I would like to say that all links (both do and no follow) generate targeted traffic to a website. So, that’s why it is expedient to comment do and no follow topic related blogs. But, an entrepreneur should be mainly concentrated on do-follow links.

  • I had no idea that comments were nofollow on WP. Here I thought I was giving everyone I approved a link back. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I do believe in spreading the link love as long as the comments are useful or related to the content. Down with spam links but, up with love links if you know what I mean, man? Peace. Lol. Yep, I grew up in the ’60s. Groovy huh?

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