Last Friday Steven of Some Minor Issues asked how he could increase the number of comments on his blog. I jokingly replied he should install the NoFollow Free WordPress plugin. Jokingly, because common blogging-sense claims that nofollow prevents people that are just looking for pagerank from posting irrelevant comments on your blog(*).
But then I began to wonder; why should I be afraid of not having “nofollow”? WordPress has great spam-detection (Akismet) and I don’t allow comments to be published automatically anyway. Why not give people who contribute some pagerank-juice in return? So yesterday I installed NoFollow Free and configured it to remove nofollow for commentators who have 2 or more published (i.e. relevant, approved by me) comments.
So that’s that, this now is a dofollow blog. Now let those comments start pooring in! ;-)
(*) The ranking of your site in search-results depends amongst other things on the number of links to your URL. That implies that if you’re able to “seed” your own link in blog-comments, Google will like you more. To prevent this from happening, nofollow (which is a value of the “rel”-attribute of the “a”-tag) tells Google not to consider a link. If Google ignores links in blog-comments, people who are only trying to get Google to like their site, will not bother with commenting any more. That’s why rel=”nofollow” has become default in WordPress (and other blog software) ages ago.