Nofollow and wordpress why I’m removing the rewrite
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.I was having a read
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)