Founded in 2005, we're a boutique SEO consulting group with big experience and
industry recognition. We help companies reach their inbound marketing goals through
education and strategy development.
 
 
 

I’m A DoFollow Blog, And Proud Of It

Articles from

Follow me on or Twitter (@billsebald)

Like this post?  Why not tweet it! 


Like us on Facebook for one daily SEO industry article in your newsfeed.

Matt Cutts says a small majority of the web is nofollowed (which is confirmed by Linkscape data). He doesn’t say that a huge majority of the social web is dofollowed. I firmly believe it isn’t. And since Google loves editorial links, they should love the good social links – forums, blogs, voting site comments, etc.

So why is so much of the social web still nofollowed? In theory, it helps us webmasters to rank better when we link out. It helps our social contributors receive link love. It’s great for Google in general.

Oh, right… SPAM. The applications that auto-spam WordPress blogs and Pligg, and the SEnuke’s of the world. There’s plenty of them. So, Google gave us the nofollow microformat to let us help them keep the web clean(er). But is slapping an automatic “nofollow” script really that helpful?

It’s a social web. I believe it’s our responsibility as good, contributing webmasters to monitor our user-generated links. If you’d like, put up rules about what you’ll accept and don’t accept (for example, no business names in the anchor text, or no links to product sites, etc). Make these rules simple and visible. Then, routinely prune anything that fails to meet the criteria. It’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it if you love your site.

I’m a dofollow SEO blog, and though Akismet (in WordPress) catches most my obvious automated spam, I still routinely go through my comments and make edits to rule breakers. Oh well. Clearly most don’t see it my way.

But as Google grows into a more contextual, learning machine, I think these nofollows are going to be a hindrance. I have heard of the tests that claim Google may be opting to follow certain links that are marked nofollow when it suits their needs,
but I haven’t seen it yet in my tests. As Google’s algorithm gets better, and they start to better understand what they read, while simultaneously finding other ways to defend against spam, I’m sure they’re going to start hopping the nofollow fence more often.


    Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter on SEO topics from around the web.






    We respect your email privacy

    Comments

    The comments are do-follow. However, any comments that use keyword anchor text as the name will be removed.

    1. Steve
      December 23, 2010

      Bill, You’ve touched on a pet peeve of mine… no-follow.
      It reminds me of a situation like this: A group of idiots at a
      local park drink too much and then start mooning people that drive
      by. The city then decides to outlaw alcohol at local parks (rather
      than say it is already illegal to be drunk in public, and its also
      illegal to moon people). A couple with little kids goes to the park
      one sunny afternoon to enjoy a picnic and brings a bottle of wine
      and some cheese and crackers. Thanks to the new law, they are
      outlaws… The answer to comment spam is NOT no-follow. The answer
      is to moderate your blogs and delete spam, or remove any linking
      capability. Personally, I still see plenty of spam comments on
      blogs, and it bugs me, just like I still see idiots getting drunk
      at local parks (what? but drinking is illegal now! Why do they
      still do it?) Most blogs use no-follow, but spammers still spam!
      Sounds like a failure to me. It’s time for bloggers to start
      monitoring their comments. Rant over. Merry Christmas!
      Steve

      Reply


    2. Steve
      December 23, 2010

      Bill, You’ve touched on a pet peeve of mine… no-follow.
      It reminds me of a situation like this: A group of idiots at a
      local park drink too much and then start mooning people that drive
      by. The city then decides to outlaw alcohol at local parks (rather
      than say it is already illegal to be drunk in public, and its also
      illegal to moon people). A couple with little kids goes to the park
      one sunny afternoon to enjoy a picnic and brings a bottle of wine
      and some cheese and crackers. Thanks to the new law, they are
      outlaws… The answer to comment spam is NOT no-follow. The answer
      is to moderate your blogs and delete spam, or remove any linking
      capability. Personally, I still see plenty of spam comments on
      blogs, and it bugs me, just like I still see idiots getting drunk
      at local parks (what? but drinking is illegal now! Why do they
      still do it?) Most blogs use no-follow, but spammers still spam!
      Sounds like a failure to me. It’s time for bloggers to start
      monitoring their comments. Rant over. Merry Christmas!
      Steve

      Reply


    3. Tom
      January 6, 2011

      @Steve

      I agree 100% Many of our clients’ competitors have tons of links on blog comments with their anchor text, yet the blog is nofollow. Maybe the links were dofollow (I know there is no such thing technically), and the blog moderator changed it, but I’m leaning on the side of SPAM comments still existing regardless of the nofollow tag or not.

      Reply


    4. Tom
      January 6, 2011

      @Steve

      I agree 100% Many of our clients’ competitors have tons of links on blog comments with their anchor text, yet the blog is nofollow. Maybe the links were dofollow (I know there is no such thing technically), and the blog moderator changed it, but I’m leaning on the side of SPAM comments still existing regardless of the nofollow tag or not.

      Reply


    5. Doug
      March 27, 2011

      Bill’s ideas were validated by Matt Cutts just a couple of months after posting. In Matt’s 2/24 video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnVEERmbdpo), he suggested much the same thing. The whole Google algorithm is based first and foremost on links as votes, so it makes sense Google would encourage thoughtfully curated links, and resist the practice of blanket nofollows. Besides, relevant, on-topic, outbound links can provide some SEO benefit, if (as Bill pointed out) you don’t allow keywords in the anchor text.

      Reply


    6. Doug
      March 27, 2011

      Bill’s ideas were validated by Matt Cutts just a couple of months after posting. In Matt’s 2/24 video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnVEERmbdpo), he suggested much the same thing. The whole Google algorithm is based first and foremost on links as votes, so it makes sense Google would encourage thoughtfully curated links, and resist the practice of blanket nofollows. Besides, relevant, on-topic, outbound links can provide some SEO benefit, if (as Bill pointed out) you don’t allow keywords in the anchor text.

      Reply


    7. Deo@Seo Tips Blogs
      March 31, 2011

      Because every one is hungry to get do follow links in this internet world…. CHEERS!

      Reply


    8. Deo@Seo Tips Blogs
      March 31, 2011

      Because every one is hungry to get do follow links in this internet world…. CHEERS!

      Reply


    9. freenet
      May 29, 2011

      Straight up no follow is cutting down on spam sites showing up on search results. This is what google is all about.
      Do follow links can harm a sites pr. People want the sites you are linking to, not a bunch of directories.
      Of course we adapt with 3 way linking and making better comments on the sites that do lend a hand. The best way to get links is to have content that people wanna share instead of spam. If you wanna spam, pay for ads or get really good content.

      I remember a day that when you google free you had to go 10 pages deep to actualy find some thing free. So as user of google search I say good job google.

      Reply


    10. freenet
      May 29, 2011

      Straight up no follow is cutting down on spam sites showing up on search results. This is what google is all about.
      Do follow links can harm a sites pr. People want the sites you are linking to, not a bunch of directories.
      Of course we adapt with 3 way linking and making better comments on the sites that do lend a hand. The best way to get links is to have content that people wanna share instead of spam. If you wanna spam, pay for ads or get really good content.

      I remember a day that when you google free you had to go 10 pages deep to actualy find some thing free. So as user of google search I say good job google.

      Reply