In Consider Carefully What Name You Use to Comment, Chris Cree responds to my post on which name to use in blog comment forms with an interesting point that still haunts blog comments: the nofollow versus dofollow issue.
…since I announced I was turning off NoFollow here I’ve been singled out by some SEO blogs as a blog with decent page rank with NoFollow off.
So now some folks come here to leave marginal comments obviously looking more for link juice than to add to the conversation.
I understand what they are doing. And I truly don’t mind if folks see SuccessCREEations as a good place to comment.
After all that was part of my intention in turning off NoFollow in the first place.
However I feel comments that use key words in the “Name” box must meet a much higher standard to avoid getting tagged as spam. If they aren’t adding to the conversation, or if I can’t see what they are getting at right away I’ll mark them as spam rather than just delete them.
I mean a spam comment is left for the sole purpose of producing a link back to the another site. I see no difference in spam left by automated machine and spam left behind by a person.
Which begs the question:
Does dofollow impact your willingness to comment on a blog post?
What is Dofollow and Nofollow?
When evil doers started abusing blog comments as a place to spread their wares, Google introduced a link attribute for taking away the “link juice”, the ability for links within comments to add to a site’s PageRank. It was called the nofollow:
<a href="http://example.com/" title="A Blog" rel="nofollow">link text</a>
If the value of links in comments was removed from the equation, then why would comment spammers continue to spam?
Because people clicked on the spam links irregardless of the lack of power in the link. Because the comments were indexed, in spite of the page ranking score, bringing people searching for those terms to the site, which would lead the visitor to click on the link in the comment.
So it didn’t work. It didn’t work because Google was the only one using it, and the other search engines didn’t jump on board. It didn’t work because the money kept coming in. It didn’t work because it didn’t hurt comment spammers. Not one bit.
Many bloggers decided they wanted to give “credit” to those who comment on their blogs, so they created the “Dofollow” phenomenon. By removing the automatically generated
nofollow from their blogs by digging into the code or using a WordPress Plugin, they announced to the world that if you comment on their blogs, the link in your comment form to your blog, and any links within the blog comments, would “count” towards points in your page ranking score. If all other things were equal, of course. There is a lot that goes into determining a site’s PageRank.
These bloggers are so proud of offering a “Dofollow Zone” on their blogs, giving value to those to comment, they believe that people comment more on their blogs because of their Dofollow policy.
Do You Comment More on Dofollow Blogs?
Does the issue of whether or not a blog has a Dofollow policy influence your willingness or frequency to comment on their blog?
Chris Cree thinks so. So do many others. Though, he mentions that he can tell when people are leaving half-hearted comments just to get the benefit of the comment link, which frustrates him.
Do you think they are really commenting just because he has a Dofollow policy?
Blog commenters run the gamut from intelligent and thoughtful comments to simple “thank you”, “good job”, and other half-hearted comments. But what is their motivation?
Do they really want to thank you? Do they really want to give you a compliment, but get something like a little stage fright when they get to the comment box? Do they get nervous and end up saying something weak and insignificant? Or are they really trolling for page rank points?
I think the weak comments were there before he started his Dofollow policy. They have always been there, no matter how hard those of us who blog about blogging work to educate blog users to comment better.
I want to know. Do you comment more or specifically on blogs with a Dofollow Comment Policy? Do you check to see if they have such a policy before commenting? Is the Dofollow that important to you?
Or do you comment because the blog post inspired you to comment?
Author: Lorelle VanFossen
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.