No Follow Or Do Follow?

Link popularity is the fundamental concept of how major search engines rank sites in their SERP. This led to the abuse of this concept by the so-called link spammers in which blog comments are mostly targeted. To prevent the abuse, just over two years ago Google introduced the nofollow attribute. This is what Matt Cutts explained about it,

The rel=”nofollow” attribute is an easy way for a website to tell search engines that the website can’t or doesn’t want to vouch for a link. The best-known use for nofollow is blog comment spam, but the mechanism is completely general. Nofollow is recommended anywhere that links can’t be vouched for. If your logs analysis program shows referrers as hyperlinks, I’d recommend using nofollow on those links. If you have a wiki that anyone on the web can edit, I’d recommend nofollow on those links until you can find a way to trust those links. In general, if you have an application that allows others to add links, web spammers will eventually find your pages and start annoying you.

In combating blog comment spam, blog software providers including WordPress, Bloggers, LiveJournal and others have since supporting this by default.

Other than blogs, as a great resource Wikipedia is one of those web properties that had been suffering from link spamming. Basically everyone is allowed to freely edit or add links to it. This led to Wikipedia introducing the nofollow attribute to its all external links. This as a whole may have killed the concept behind link popularity as no one ever gets any link weights from this resourceful site!

To appeal, certain blogs (like Marketing Pilgrim) are very against this idea of Wikipedia and even went all the way to include nofollow attribute to all outgoing links to Wikipedia.

Further support of concept of link popularity can be seen. On his blog, Vinny Lingham even went on to install a piece of software (Do Follow plugin) to disable the WordPress default setting of the blog comments. This allows any comment links on his blog to pass link weights back to the original commentators.

Whether it is to no follow or do follow, as a blogger it is certainly your choice.


6 Responses to “No Follow Or Do Follow?”

  1. Real Adsense Blog Makes Money » Blog Archive » I have been leaving comments on other blogs, and I have been, in some cases, leaving links to to my site. on April 11th, 2007 2:26 am

    [...]   No Follow Or Do Follow?   [...]

  2. Cade @ Write To Right on June 10th, 2007 10:53 pm

    I have to say that it really comes down to wether or not people leave comments with content. If there is value in the do follow comments then it is worth it. I think that is why blog owners should evaluate their posts and be involved in them.

  3. Melo Villareal on July 9th, 2007 10:06 pm

    I dont think blogs should be punished by automatically puting “no follow” at the link attribute… If they want to prevent spam… they just need to moderate the comments

  4. Gordon Choi on August 5th, 2007 6:19 pm

    You got the point :-) … It may be a bit time-consuming though, that’s why I’ve been moderating the comments on my blog.

  5. Gordon Choi on August 5th, 2007 6:23 pm

    I agree. I may be one of those few blog owners who still manually moderate my blog comments.

  6. SEO Report on January 27th, 2008 6:01 am

    I think Melo hit the nail on the head and I’m glad you agree with him Gordon. I never comment on a Blog or even a Forum unless I have something useful to say. I do promote myself at the same time and I think it’s just fair that way, if you contribute, you get some sort of recognition at the same time. It is up to the Blogger to Mod his own property and decide what’s best. When I started my site about SEO I had to think long and hard whether I was going to add a blog or forum to it, I choose forum because I didn’t want to be forced to add a plugin, or keep up with desicions that I didn’t think were correct. Part of what I learned about SEO and Internet Marketing came from contributions others have made and I now use. Leave the choice up to us.

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