Give a little link love say no to nofollow remove the link condoms

Give a little link love say no to nofollow remove the link condoms

Nofollow and wordpress why I’m removing the rewrite

linklove.jpgI was having a read here and there today about nofollow, and was left saying to myself hmmn well at least I don’t employ the damn thing, and if I do its usually with a nudge and a wink poking fun at something or other. I then fired up the firefox search status plugin and switched on the highlight nofollow option and carried on flicking through various tabs and links surprised to see the number of red rel nofollow flags popping up here there and everywhere.

It was kind of ironic to read Andy Beal’s mini diatribe about wikipedia only to see his comments section littered with a whole lot of red dashed boxes! Every single link in every commenters comment, including the link to their sites are nofollowed, even Andy’s own!


Ok, so this isn’t Andy Beal’s fault, he like me is just using the standard WP install, which adds a rel=nofollow to both the url of the poster and any links contained in the comments of what the poster says. I laughed until I went through some of my earlier posts and saw I was doing the very same!
So, whats the problem with that you might ask, why do I care that a person who has dropped by and taken the time to say a word or two on an opinion I’ve voiced be nofollowed? Well, see, people like Matt Cutts say this

“From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn’t a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted”

Yahoo on their searchblog had this to say.

By adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to hyperlinks, webmasters and weblog owners can tell search engines that the links are effectively untrusted.

MSN or Live as they are now calling themselves had this to say

One thorny source of spam that we’ve seen is people stuffing blogs with comments that include links back to their sites. We have taken some steps to combat this – but we really wanted to find a way to put bloggers back in control.

I was excited to wake up this morning to an email from my long-time friend and college roommate who is currently an engineer working on search at Google. Don’t worry Paul – I won’t blog any outrageous stories about our time at Princeton. :-)

Paul told me that Google is planning on announcing support for a tag on individual links. Any link with this tag will indicate to a crawler it is not necessarily approved by this page and shouldn’t be followed nor contribute weight for ranking. Our Search Champs suggested this and it has been a part of our plans since, we think it’s a great idea.

In principle, yes great , hell why not. Who’d really want to give comment spammers the added incentive of link love? The whole I don’t trust this link idea was vaunted as a huge step forward in the fight against blogspam and comment spammers intent to gain links in numbers. For the search engines there was an added bonus in that they proffered the suggestion that it would also help in their battle to save their link text based algo’s from any SEO manipulations. It then went on to become a stick to bash text link traders and site owners looking to capitalise on any marketing opportunities brought about by way of weight applied to their sites by IR ranking systems. Use nofollow in your sponsored links or else suffer a ranking consequence, at least that’s what’s inferred.

Getting back to the point though, about trust and why I’m removing this nofollow injection. Its like this. I pre moderate all my comments. I read every single thing that people take the time to tell me about. I follow the links they post, I read what they have to say. If I think its nothing but a self promotional comment, then I delete/edit as I see fit. In other words, if the comment is here on my blog, then I’ve personally taken the time to evaluate what they’ve said and effectively sanctioned the reason why they’ve decided to link to whatever it is they are linking to, to support their viewpoint. I trust them.
Why would I want to nofollow them all? Where is the respect due to my commenters there? Why shouldn’t they get a little bit of extra reward via some miniscule amount of rankjuice for their efforts?

Hey, thanks for commenting dude 😀 I don’t trust you, or what you had to say, so I’m going to do those search engines a big old precautionary favour and nofollow your links.”
Gee thanks Rob…

I agree too, not nice, or necessary even.

Ok, so I could well be a pagerank hoarding mudder fudder intent on holding what little linkjuice I have for personalised projects; you know the drill, funnel that ol pagerank down a little tube and point it at something I want to promote.You know what though? Longterm, that approach will die a death, if it hasn’t done already. Waste of blooming time and energy if you ask me.

Anyways, all my comments are now dofollow, read, vouched for and trusted. 😀
If you want to do the same and have a wordpress install then go to your install directory and look for functions-formatting.php and comment-functions.php. You basically want to look for the word nofollow in links and replace it with emptyspace.

(Click image to enlarge)


64 thoughts on “Give a little link love say no to nofollow remove the link condoms

  1. SEO Guy leeds

    Hi Rob,

    thanks for the kind words. The problem at the moment is that I’ve just about got time to get the posts out, but not much for the marketing. I seem to have about 10 projects on the go at the moment, as well as all the little inhouse ventures I’m keen on working on. Think I could be overstretching myself, but better that than a quiet life.

    BTW, have you noticed the improvements to the sitemap algo over the past few days – a couple of my sites just appeared showing a decent chunk of the sitemap in the SERPs for the first time. I haven’t worked on one of these in months so I’m assuming its something at Google’s end.

  2. robwatts Post author

    Sitemaps: Chris, can’t say I have no; I assume you are referring to the xml feed types?

    Are you saying that you’ve seen an increase in indexing frequency of traditional types/both?

    I am of the view that indexing frequency very much depends on the accepted traditional s of site authority, number of links in, age etc. Or maybe Ive got the wrong end of the stick!

    Busy sure beats being idle thats for sure! I’m snowed under right now and really could do with a time contraction device to fit a few more things into my working day 😀


  3. SEO Guy leeds

    Hi Rob,

    the sitemap algo is what decides whether you get a basic listing in the organic results or one with a small site map e.g. it appears underneath ‘cached similar page note this’ and gives a list of other pages from the web site like

    links – gallery – services – products
    more results from

    This is the first time I’ve seen anything of mine pick this up.

    All Google have to say about it is that the website must be spiderable and authoritative to get in there and that they are improving the algo, but there looks to be more to it than this and it certainly looks like quite a few more sites are starting to get the benefit over the past few days or so. Just also noticed it happening for BlueClaw for ‘SEO in leeds’ which they’ve never had before.

  4. Geek Mother

    As someone who is new to blogging and having purchased Geek Mother recently I have found it quite fascinating researching the link love situation. For example those who sponsor templates seem to do quite well as there will always be a small number of people who keep using the sponsored template as as they grow their sites then they will get a good long term benefit from the footer links. As reagrds the spammers then as I have been touring various blogs then I think that it is relatively easy to spot those who are out for simply the link in the post – BTW I have not posted a link in a post yet anywhere! As regards the anchor text then I am fairly relaxed about this – I use Geek Mother because I think it is quite catchy and already rank no 1 for the phrase so if I was really out for the link benefit then I might use something like Gadget reviews or about 1000 possible alternatives and rotate them on blogs where I post. I think that if matters do get out of hand then there are always ways of controlling matters. So, I am already a converted blogger so to speak and I have to say that I really enjoy reading other peoples stuff and commenting upon it – for me it is all part of a learning curve for me to learn how to build my owm blog site that people may be interested in. So in a couple of weeks time then Geek Mother will rise from the ashes and begin her new life!

  5. robwatts Post author

    Hi GM, it certainly is a massive topic with all sorts of angles and counter angles from the various competing constituencies!

    Im with you on the blogger front too, theres definitely a community type feel to it all and it’s great to interact with people with similar aims and objectives or completely different and opposing stances even!

  6. SEO Guy leeds

    Just a quick one to say well done Geek Mother – I just had a look at your blog – 5500 inbound links on such a new domain and 3 .edu links as well! That’s impressive. Quite a lot of the inbounds are using the dreaded nofollow, but if you’ve got something to say on a blog its worth saying irrespective of nofollow.

    As an aside if you get the Search Status plugin for Firefox you’ll be able to tell which blogs are using nofollow and which aren’t.

  7. Geek Mother

    Just did a nice long reply and forgot the spam numbers, clicked back and lost all my comment, etc!!! At least I am learning.

    Thanks for the tip! A I said earlier I purchased Geek Mother ( I have dangly bits in the wrong places to be a mother but it is easy to get into character mode! As I run several other successful websites using different business models then I thought venturing into a new world would be fun. It struck me that with Google telling the world to nofollow everything and with social networks, in the main, tyrning into Google lapdogs it struck me that links on blogs would have real value from an SEO standpoint. I soon found the stuff Google movement aka ‘U comment, I follow@ and what Randa Clay started appealed to my sense of values so I thought that I would dig a little deeper. Then I found that on nearly all wordpress blogs the theme attribution is nearly always a dofollow and so my search began to buy a blog with a theme that it owned and had distributed. I then met Geek Mother , we fell in love with each other and four days later she was mine ( and all for less than £200 ( I know she won’t mind me telling you that! ) and we are now very happily married to each other! I can seeing us having some children once I have worked out that elusive strategy to slap Google in the face – early days yet but I am getting there slowly and I really appreciate good blog info like Rob provides. So somebody teaches me something new about blogging and possibly I can share something on SEO – that’s how the internet ought to work and not being used as basically one big advert shop!

  8. MSN hacken

    I hate nofollow so I figured out how to use the DoFollow plugin and installed it on my weblog. So now every commentor I follow and give him some link juice

  9. robwatts Post author

    Good for you msn hacken, unfortunatley I couldn’t allow your link as I can’t read what you were saying there. Hacken is very close to Hack and if your page is discussing how to hack MSN then I’m afraid I want no part in promoting it.

  10. Motorcycle Parts

    nofollow sucks. if someone is leaving you a commment they should have a thank you in return.

  11. SEO Guy Leeds

    Well said Motorcycle parts. There’s always an obvious difference between someone desiring a link in return for their contribution, and a lazy spammer, who drops by to say ‘nice blog thanks and here’s some keywords’

    This post in itself goes to show what a two way street blogging is, and no follow just skews the relationship between blogger and commenter in my opinion. lazy spammers often don’t even take the trouble to work out whether a blog is no follow or not, since it only takes a second to drop by and paste in a generic comment.

  12. BloggerOfTheWeb

    I turn off NoFollow some time back and so far other than getting more spam everyday, I don’t see any side effect about it. However, to fight spam, one way is to install answer bots in your post before your reader can leave a comment. This is rather effective way.

    Keep your DoFollow on! Support the DoFollow community!

  13. BloggerOfTheWeb

    Hello friend,

    I would like to invite you to add your DoFollow blog to my DoFollow & CommentLuv Directory to increase your blog exposure. I will be marketing my directory alot hence you should rest assured that many bloggers will see and visit your blog soon. This is a very cost effective way of driving more visitors to your blog and making them to leave comment or subscribe to your RSS if your content is good.

    All I need is just a reciprocal link from you.