March 12, 2008

NoFollow vs. DoFollow

First, the definition, courtesy of Dot Traffic Glossary:
A website can direct a search engine spider not to follow a link that appears on it. The idea being that the target website’s ranking will not influence the website indexed. Nofollow attribute values are most often used on sites with user generated content, like user comments and blogs.
Dofollow is basically the opposite of this. Many bloggers refer to this as link love. By allowing the search engine spiders to follow those links, you're increasing their page rank status and allowing their ranks to influence your rank. Which is not what you want if you're looking to increase your page rank, necessarily.

There's a debate raging amongst bloggers and it seems like most smaller blogs are going the Dofollow route. By spreading the link love you're helping out your fellow bloggers, who are more inclined to reciprocate. Blogroll's are a prime opportunity for this. The larger bloggers don't seem to be weighing in on the issue (at least not from what I've seen) so perhaps for a blogger with a larger audience they couldn't care one way or the other.

Since this is a bit outside my expertise, I'll admit, I posed the question to my 59 Twitterati followers for their opinions:
Shawn Collins of Affiliate Tip: "Event with nofollow in my blog comments, the comment monkeys constantly attack with their spam."
Scott Jangro of MechMedia: "I've been fighting so hard with the spammers recently, I'm starting to question my own long-time use of dofollow." He also added "I agree with Sam on the size of the blog though. Mine was until the past few days a PR6 which has me on every must-spam list."
Sam Harrelson of ReveNews & Affiliate Fortune Cookies: "I'm all in favor of spreading the love, but there are SO many gamers out there that it makes DoFollow really unsustainable." He followed up to say "Would just add that if it's a small blog, you might make dofollow work. As it grows, it's just too hard."
Of course, these opinions totally fall in line with that I've observed in looking around. The little guys are all for dofollow to get the word out, but once you cross that line you become a "comment monkey" target. Scott Jangro wrote a really reflective post about it back in February called Attack of the Comment Monkeys (don't know how I missed it from the RSS feed...).

I think one thing all bloggers and internet marketers in general can agree on is that Spam is a problem. Not only is it definitely annoying, but it also pollutes the well (as Jason Calacanis pointed out in his keynote at Affiliate Summit West last month). It makes a lot of legitimate internet marketing look bad, and it's a fine line before someone misunderstands persistent follow up and due diligence for the dreaded SPAM label.

Where do I stand? Long time readers of this blog will note that I use links a lot in my posts. Basically I do this for two reasons: 1. I like to give readers an easy reference of what or who I'm talking about. 2. It's just nice karma. This blog is hosted by Blogger, and according to their Help Center they automatically add the nofollow tag to the templates. Which is probably why I have a page rank of 0.

So I'm going to edit my template as an experiment. For anyone else curious on how to do this for blogger, there's a great tutorial online here. Let's see what happens, shall we?


Ike said...

I guess I fall in the medium category, with 230 or so subscribers and 40-50 hits a day.

I'm a Wordpress guy, and went with the newer of the Do-Follow plugins, that only removes the NoFollow after a set number of comments.

Lee Lefever over at Common Craft has been dealing with this human spam issue too.

TrishaLyn said...

I wish it were as easy with Blogger as it is with WordPress. I've found in reading various articles that newbs seem to go more with Blogger because it's totally basic and easy to start on, so the nofollow thing is something I've never even considered until now.

That plugin sounds like a great median suggestion - have you had a lot of success with it?

LaTease said...

You know, I never gave the no follow/dofollow syndrome much thought ...that is until last week.

Maybe I'm crossing over...because 3 of my posts were attacked with spam comments. I guess there is a good and a bad to everything.

Since I'm on Blogger, the spammers won't be getting anywhere huh?

Good post.

Tips 4 Blogspot said...

Trishalyn, first thanks for the plug.

The plugin Ike is referring to, is for use on self-hosted Wordpress blogs. If I am not mistaken, blogs that are hosted by Wordpress are still in the same boat as Blogger.

One common mistake I see most commenters on Blogspot blogs do, is use their Blogger Profile when they add the comment. This will link to their profile page with nofollow alright, but all the links on that page are what? You guessed it, they are all Nofollow.

When you choose your "identity" for your comment, use the "Name/Url" option. Do not use Google/Blogger, OpenID, or Anonymous. Link to your Blog homepage -- after all this is what you want the link juice for. Yah?

I just noticed LaTease's link. She not only is pointing to her Profile, but she also has her Profile marked as Private. Wow.

Lastly, you have not removed the Nofollow reference from your template Trishalyn. Perhaps you removed it from the Backlink section by mistake? You need to double-check, for your author links are still Nofollow.


TrishaLyn said...

Hi Ron,
Thanks a lot for the feedback. I followed the tutorial on your website and I did exactly what it said to do in removing the rel=nofollow tag. I'll double check it a bit later to see if maybe I just removed it from one spot instead of all.

TrishaLyn said...

Sure enough, I see the problem and fixed it. Thanks again Ron!

Claudine said...

I love Do Follow! I think that it's only fair to spread the love. Won't a spam zapper get rid of most of the spam? Maybe I'm too naive.

Webmaster said...

After reading your entry, I just changed a wiki on Cebu over to dofollow... but I'm probably going to have to enforce registration now, which I didn't before.

anunay said...

i have about 40 links of my blog which are is showing in Google webmaster tools... are they all nofollow links? please suggest.

high risk business loans said...

It always better to have Dofollow with Approval on comments, by this we can stop spams and allow visitors to get benefit in favor of their useful comments..