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nofollow is a non-standard HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of spam indexing, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spam indexing from occurring in the first place.

However, this technique has been implemented as a result of spammers, and, consequently, almost all modern blog platforms adopted the tag rel="nofollow". This technique might hurt your blog commenters, who, let’s face it, sometime comment on your article just for a back link. But if they’re sincere and write something useful, why not appreciate it and not follow their links. What can you do about it? Turn off “nofollow”. Show your readers that you really appreciate them.

While all engines that support the attribute exclude links that use the attribute from their ranking calculation, the details about the exact interpretation of the attribute vary from search engine to search engine.

  • Google takes “nofollow” literally and does not “follow” the link at all. That is supposedly their official statement, but experiments conducted by SEOs show conflicting results. They show instead that Google does follow the link, but not index the linked-to page, unless it was in Google’s index already for other reasons (such as other, non-nofollow links that point to the page). Links with NOFOLLOW are included in the back-links reporting data at Google’s Webmaster Central.
  • Yahoo! “follows it”, but excludes it from their ranking calculation.
  • MSN Search respects “nofollow” as regards not counting the link in their ranking, but it is not proven whether or not MSN follows the link.
  • does not use the attribute for anything.

So, go ahead and install the doFollow plugin for WordPress and place a link somewhere on your blog indicating that you DO follow comments.

This is what Randa Clay thinks about nofollow, and here is a great list of bloggers who support the “No No Follow” movement. And I wish this page had an English version. And here is the ultimate list of dofollow plugins.

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12 thoughts on “Fight Spam. Not Blogs.

  1. Thanks for the write up and links. Now you just need the blogroll on your site to get listed on the do follow blogroll. ;)

  2. I don’t know if it’s good or not to use this one on my site , but i will defenetly think better about this. What do you say ?

  3. Well, I think you should make a post about that. After seeing your blog, you will only benefit from an article like that. There’s nothing to lose.

  4. most Blog’s do the same for trackbacks is there a good no follow trackback plugin.
    A good plug in would have options to stop bot post by blocking IPs and URLs but should add the link instantly but should have a option for moderation if you start to get too much spam. Instant links would encourage others to link to your post

  5. i always wonder should i use it or not…
    it can spam comments in a big way & decrease comment quality!

  6. stimulating and informative, but would be suffering with something more on this topic?

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