In the beginning all links were do-follow. However, it didn’t take long before blogs were being inundated by those who left insincere comments lacking in value just so they could get a backlink, so the original reason for the introduction of no-follow links was spam.
Do-follow comment links do pass on PageRank. No-follow comment links do NOT pass on PageRank. If you need more information on link juice and how it is passed please read The rel=nofollow debate: Let’s Try and Get To Grips With It
Today many blogs and content management systems, including WordPress, Blogger (Blogspot blogs), Typepad and most of the main blogging platforms have no-follow links enabled by default on comments and to change the links to do-follow links that pass PageRank action must be taken. On WordPress installs a plugin must be installed. On Blogger (Blogspot blogs) you have to download your blog template’s HTML source code and remove the rel=”nofollow” in the comments area.
How different search engines treat do-follow and no-follow links
- Google follows no-follow links but does not pass on PageRank to outbound links.
- Yahoo follows no-follow links but excludes the link from all ranking calculations.
- Bing may or may not follow a no-follow link,s but it does exclude it from ranking calculations.
- Ask.com does not adhere to no-follow.
If you use Firefox browser a quick and easy way to find out if blogs have do-follow links is or not is to use the SearchStatus addon that will highlight all “no-follow” links on a page. It will also display Google PageRank, Alexa rank, Compete ranking and SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank anywhere in your browser, along with fast keyword density analyser, keyword highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and more.
Expert advice on no-follow and do-follow
Matt Cutts of Google has provided advice about PageRank and the no-follow attribute. If you are considering changing your links from no-follow to do-follow, then you may find the video below to be helpful.
Brett from Michigan asks Matt Cutts of Google:
“Are there negative SEO implications to having a blog with do-follow comments?
What about commenting on do-follow blogs?”
Question: Can having do-follow comments on my blog affect its reputation?
Short answer: Yes.
Question: Are there negative implications to having a blog with do-follow comments?
Short Answer: Yes.
For full answers please watch the video.
Can having dofollow comments on my blog affect its reputation?
Last year Matt Cutts also announced that page rank sculpting (the manipulation of no-followed and do-followed links) is no longer effective. Previous to that no-following comments directed more link juice to your other links but that no longer applies. Google has already done the math and has devised a way to stop manipulation.
The old practice was …
You have a PR 5 page
You have 5 links on that page
Each link gets 1 a bit of PR
You apply rel=”nofollow” to 4 links
1 page gets PR 5, the other 4 get nothing.
The new practice is …
You have a PR5 page
You have 5 links on that page
Google knows there are 5 links
If you apply rel=”nofollow” to 4 of those links
the 1 remaining normal link gets PR of 1
Advice when changing from changing from no-follow to do-follow
Changing your blog from no-follow to do-follow means you must become more vigilant about the kind of comments you approve and post. These days there are not only bots leaving comments, there are also humans who are paid to leave bogus comments. That means that you will have to exercise discretion, moderate all comments, and be very careful about screening them. Hence it pays to run a bad neighborhood checks on any links that give you a “hinky” feeling. The rule of thumb is it looks link a spam comment, it probably is so don’t post it.
Also keep in mind the reason that no-follow links were introduced. It’s not always a good idea to brag about your blog being do-follow and to promote it as a do-follow blog. Hanging up a “this is a do-follow” blog sign will definitely result in some people making opportunistic comments just so they can get a “juicy” link. If you are considering changing your links from no-follow to do-follow you may find this article to be helpful: Do You DoFollow?
- Write high quality articles that others in your niche will want to backlink to and discuss.
- Avoid linking to unrelated sites.
- Avoid entering reciprocal link exchanges with unrelated sites.
- Link only to related sites in your niche.
- Avoid creating “blogrolls” or long lists of links.
- Exercise discretion by moderating all comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, and be very careful about screening.
- Build authority by leaving quality comments on related blogs.
- When it comes to commenting on do-follow blogs, remember do-follow passes PageRank from the linking site to all the other links so (a) your PageRank 0 blog doesn’t really benefit, and (b) the more (spam/real) comments you get on a blog the less Page Rank there there is to allocate among the links out anyway.
Related posts found in this blog:
Understanding Reciprocal and Non-Reciprocal Links
Natural Linking Strategy for Bloggers
Getting the Perfect Link
SEO Basics for on Page Optimization
Link building strategy: Locating similar sites
Links: No-Follow and Do-Follow