Make your blog link love compatible

by Martin Reed on 4 April 2007 in Snippets

Community Spark is now ‘Link Love Compatible’. I have installed a plugin to prevent your URL from being marked as ‘no follow’ when you comment. Therefore, every comment you now make which includes your URL will be counted by the search engines as a real link.

Why is this included by default in WordPress?

The default inclusion of this feature is justified by the theory that using the ‘nofollow’ attribute will deter spammers as posted links will be ignored by the search engines. Of course we know that spam happens regardless, so why not enable links to be followed and counted by the search engines?

Why should I remove the ‘nofollow’ attribute in WordPress?

If visitors come to your blog and know that the URL contained within their comment will be counted by the search engines, they have more incentive to post as they know they will be adding value to their own website each time they comment.

Comments on a blog enhance the user experience and encourage others to become more involved in your community.

If you decide to remove the ‘nofollow’ attribute, be sure to tell your readers! This gives them yet another reason to contribute to your blogging community.

How do I remove the rel=’external nofollow’ from WordPress?

I chose Oliver Bockelmann’s Nofollow Case by Case plugin. The beauty of this plugin is that by default it removes the ‘nofollow’ attribute, but makes it easy to add it to individual comments should you feel the need.

If you find a link you wish to reinstate the ‘nofolllow’ attribute to, you simply open the comment and edit the link, adding ‘/dontfollow’ at the end.

Community Spark – Now Link Love Compatible!

So now you know that all your comments will provide value to your own website, I want to see some comments! You don’t have to register to post here – just fill in the comment field, include your website and you will be getting some link love. Enjoy!

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Tim April 4, 2007 at 5:12 pm

This, like so many other things, is a good idea as long as the majority refrains from it. If WordPress removed the nofollow attribute, we would surely see a surge in spamming because of the increased incentive to spam; however, by disabling it on a couple of blogs, only the commenters register the change.

Also, I probably wouldn’t have commented unless the nofollow attribute had been removed :)

Martin Reed April 4, 2007 at 5:59 pm

Hiya Tim – welcome to the blog. I am not 100% convinced that the widespread removal of the nofollow attribute in WordPress would lead to a surge in spamming. To be honest I think the spammers would continue to strike regardless – just ask popular blog owners about the levels of spam they receive!

I do accept though, that spammers are always changing tactics – the key to the game is to keep one step ahead of them, without removing valuable site features or facilities for ‘real members’ in order to try combating their techniques.

Mark April 5, 2007 at 2:50 am

The blog I’m working on isn’t online yet, but I think I’ll probably keep the nofollow, just because my visitors aren’t going to be too technology-literate and I doubt the vast majority would even know what a nofollow link is. So comment numbers would stay the same, and though I don’t know how true it is, I’ve read before that too many outgoing links can have a negative effect on SEO.

And I’m not just commenting here because of the removed nofollow. Honest. :P

Martin Reed April 5, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Hi Mark – welcome to the blog. Sure, I think that if your blog is not technology focussed then you can probably keep the nofollow attribute. Only the more ‘web-savvy’ users will be aware of the restrictions this attribute comes with, so for a general blog it would probably make little difference.

Bri April 6, 2007 at 6:43 am

Martin – Way to go. As you know, I followed this path as well.

Tim – I would agree with Martin that spammers are going to be there regardless. Also, if you use Asikmet, then the spamming is really pretty much killed.

Mark – The effect of outgoing links and how they affect pagerank is debatable. In fact, many people think that linking out to high profile sites will help your pagerank.

Martin Reed April 6, 2007 at 10:44 am

Hi Bri – welcome to the blog, thanks for your post. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

Vin April 8, 2007 at 7:43 am

Here is the hack for removing no-follow in the New Blogger :

Remove Nofollow Attribute on Comments

Martin Reed April 8, 2007 at 10:41 am

Hi Vin – thanks for the link; sometimes I forget that there are bloggers out there who don’t use WordPress!

Claudio April 11, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Link love :) I added your link to my blog a while ago. Do you see it as a link in your stats? (I guess so, because you visited my blog via your admin pages).

Martin Reed April 11, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Hiya Claudio – welcome to the blog, and thanks for the link. Good to see someone watching their traffic logs!

spitbook April 19, 2007 at 3:51 am

which plugin did you use to remove the no-follow?

Martin Reed April 19, 2007 at 11:02 am

Hi spitbook, welcome to the blog. I posted a link to the plugin I used in my article.

The plugin is Oliver Bockelmann’s Nofollow Case by Case and the link is:

Freelance Writing May 3, 2007 at 11:26 pm

You would think that removing the nofollow tag would promote spammers and random, meaningless comments, wouldn’t you?

Martin Reed May 3, 2007 at 11:31 pm

Oh nooooooooo, Michael! ;)

On a more serious note though, I believe that the vast majority of comments made on this blog add value to the site and Akismet blocks pretty much every piece of spam.

I feel that my removal of the nofollow attribute (and publication of this fact) has helped this blog no end.

Best CD Rates May 4, 2007 at 8:41 am

interesting idea.. with increasing SEO awareness among bloggers this may be a good way to differentiate yourself.

Martin Reed May 4, 2007 at 11:32 am

Thanks for the comment: so far, so good I reckon!

The Lazy Hippy May 4, 2007 at 6:10 pm

What a good idea! Just off to get it installed now! Great blog btw, very informative – added to my reader :D

Martin Reed May 4, 2007 at 7:24 pm

Hey Hippy – glad to see you are happy to reward those that take the time to comment on your blog :)

Do let me know if it increases the number of comments you receive.

jack May 5, 2007 at 3:44 am

I love the Love Link Idea :)

Martin Reed May 5, 2007 at 11:23 am

Glad you like it Jack – perhaps if you set up a blog, you will install this feature too :)

accessible web design ireland May 6, 2007 at 5:32 pm

big up on the link-love sharing.. I see a few blogs are following suit and this has to be good, since everyone has spam filters in action.

Tim Spangler May 7, 2007 at 8:12 pm

It’s fantastic to see more and more blogs doing this as SEO-saviness spreads through the blogosphere. I was looking for an ideal plugin to ax nofollow from my WordPress links and this post helped me decide on one. Thanks for the tip and for the backlink!

Martin Reed May 7, 2007 at 8:21 pm

You are welcome Tim – I hope you come back and get involved in the blog :)

BONTB May 8, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Love that idea of nofollow :) Cool post!

Outlook Express AntiSpam May 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Seems there are a few blogs around that offer this “link love” and I think that even the most protected site will get some spam if it has lots of traffic. So a big thumbs up to all that share this love around. Happy blogging to all.

Martin Reed May 14, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for your comment – if you run WordPress, I highly recommend the Akismet plugin. Since installing this I think I have only had one or maybe two spam comments appear.

Outlook Express AntiSpam May 15, 2007 at 11:00 am

I have it installed on two of my blogs , on one of them it’s doing a pretty good job but on the other one is almost impossible to keep up> I receive on it almost 50-100 spam a day and that is pretty nasty.
BTW, I’ve decided to spread the love on my blogs. Don’t know if I’m allowed to post theme here. If you allow me I will post them in another one.

Martin Reed May 15, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Wow, that is a lot of spam although I think this blog is getting close to the same.

Akismet has blocked pretty much all of it, although it is a pain going through the list just in case any legitimate comments have been hit by the spam filter.

I think as long as you check the trap each day it is pretty manageable. Feel free to post your link love enabled blogs here – so long as there aren’t hundreds!!

Justin May 20, 2007 at 10:00 am

I think it’s great you’ve enabled this. I will most likly doing it to my blog as well.

Martin Reed May 20, 2007 at 11:56 am

Glad to hear it Justin; just make sure you publicise the fact your blog is ‘link love enabled’ to reap the maximum benefit!

DanaRVT May 21, 2007 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the tip and the plug in link! Once again I turn to your blog for help with my site and you have come to the rescue once more! We use Akismet and I don’t know what we would do without it, Akismet manages to catch around 500 spam a DAY, and I honestly don’t mind sharing the love from REAL readers who post comments.

Martin Reed May 21, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for the comment – it is a real pleasure to know that this blog is so useful to you.

500 spam comments a day is a huge amount! I too, often wonder where I would be without Akismet. I long for the day when something similar can be packaged with the more popular pieces of forum software!

michael benabib June 3, 2007 at 8:57 pm

so the bot will follow?


Martin Reed June 3, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Michael – normally yes, the bots will follow. However as your comment is purely made for search engine love, I have re-enabled the ‘nofollow’ attribute on your link.

By all means contribute, but comments that are posted solely for the link benefits will not be rewarded!

liam June 7, 2007 at 8:32 am

That’s so cool, I had no idea! I’m going to make sure to set this up on my site as soon as possible. I think it’s a great idea to remove nofollow on a new site that’s just trying to get traffic (like mine). I’d rather get and catch spam all day and get traffic and comments then have no one commenting! Thanks for this great tip.

Martin Reed June 7, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Hey liam – welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment. I am glad to hear you’ll be ‘link love enabling’ your blog – make sure you advertise the fact to your readers, too!

John June 13, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Just wanted to say that this is a very nice blog that you have, my advice is to change the background and choose a better looking theme, anyway since i like it am gonna dd it in my directory in the blogs section.

Martin Reed June 14, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Hi John – Thanks for your comment. I have had both positive and negative comments about this blog’s design – I think people are a little unsure simply because it is so different to other blogs out there.

I have a new theme in the works though which I plan on trialling and asking readers their opinion on so stay tuned.

TheCuso August 3, 2007 at 11:33 am

ive just deleted the nofollow code for my magic blog.
lets see if i have more comments :)

Martin Reed - Blog Author August 3, 2007 at 6:58 pm

TheCuso – Nice one! I’ll be sure to take a look at your site when I get a spare moment. Make sure to tell your readers your blog is now ‘link love enabled’! :)

AmreekanDesi September 22, 2007 at 2:40 am

Thanks for the helpful info. I am trying to remove the nofollow tag from my site, but i read somewhere that blogs posted on cannot do that. Do you know of any solution ?

Martin Reed - Blog Author September 23, 2007 at 3:57 pm

AmreekanDesi – I have little idea about what you can and can’t do on a hosted blog. You really should get your own domain name and hosting, and have full control over every aspect of your blog.

Rishi October 12, 2007 at 5:37 am

Wow cool! LinkLove is really amazing plugin, I like it! :)

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 12, 2007 at 11:42 pm

Rishi – Is your blog link love enabled?!?

abbigliamento October 18, 2007 at 5:07 pm

where to find link love enabled blogs? anyone have a idea.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 18, 2007 at 6:01 pm

abbigliamento – Check out the D-List by Courtney Tuttle.

Darshan October 27, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Hi everyone,
I think this “No Follow” tag is good and bad at same time, on one hand it discourages spam but on the other hand it also discourages a genuine person, because in todays world no one does nothing without something in return.

segnala sito October 27, 2007 at 6:20 pm

D-List is really good list.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 29, 2007 at 8:11 pm

Darshan – I don’t think the ‘nofollow’ tag discourages spam at all; you’ll get bombarded by comment spam regardless. That’s why I like to reward those that contribute to this blog by giving them a full return link.

segnala sito – I am glad you found it useful.

Albergo November 11, 2007 at 10:02 pm

It’s really nice to know that tere are still alive blogs link loveable. at this moment all blogs using nofollow to prevent from spam… i think they prevent also from comments.

Martin Reed - Blog Author November 12, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Albergo – The ‘nofollow’ tag does nothing to reduce automated spam so I think it is only fair it is removed and readers who add value to the blog by commenting are rewarded with a full return link.

Ed December 3, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Im a big fan of following links. I run a wordpress blog, and there is already an option to add no follow to links. I have that unchecked. does that mean all my links are following? or does this option just affect in post links and not comments? should i install the plug in anyways?

Martin Reed - Blog Author December 6, 2007 at 2:31 am

Ed – I am not sure; the easiest way to check is to go to your blog and view the source code. You will then know whether or not you are giving out the link love juice!

Ed December 6, 2007 at 3:37 am

yeah martin, it was just as i suspected, the wordpress option is for in post links. downloaded and installed plugin.

Eric Martindale February 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Wow, look at all the comments! This is what you get when you’re link love enabled. Not a bad thing by any measure!

Martin Reed - Blog Author February 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Eric – I think it’s only fair to give something back to the people that take the time to get involved in the blog ;)

Flash design April 25, 2008 at 6:17 am

I definitely think this is the right direction to be going. It has clearly showed that blogs still having/using the nofollow tag is still being spammed. Just have some good spam protection and you’re all set. :)

Martin Reed - Blog Author April 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Flash design – Blogs with nofollow receive just as much spam as blogs without the attribute as most is automated. If I were to reinstate the nofollow attribute on this blog, I wouldn’t use automated spam as an excuse!

Ali June 28, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Use of nofollow is individual decision and you cannot say if using it is good or bad. It all comes down to personal choice.
Although some people might say that using nofollow may result in page rank bleed but in the long run it will definitely have good results for the website because no matter what it will increase no. of users. Plus the home page doesn’t have any comments so it won’t matter much because mostly home page remains the highest PR and it won’t loose it.

Martin Reed - Blog Author July 17, 2008 at 1:38 am

Ali – You’re right; it is an individual decision. I don’t care about any ‘Page Rank bleed’, of more concern is any increase in spammy comments – if they become unmanageable then my current ‘dofollow’ stance may have to end.

Scarpe Hogan September 15, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I find that more and more people are making their blogs “dofollow” to have a more “lively” blog. Sure the spam problem is real but one can always delete the too spammy comments.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Scarpe – Exactly; and the fact is, most spam is automated so regardless of whether you are ‘follow’ or ‘nofollow’, you will still receive spam comments.

Max November 29, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Thank you very much. I was wondering how to turn off “nofollow” on my blog and you were to first result on Google. So again, thank you for your help.

Martin Reed - Blog Author December 6, 2008 at 12:26 am

Max – Great stuff; glad I could help :)

John May 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

I know this post is quite a bit old, but Martin, how much time per week do you spend moderating comments due to nofollowing? Seems like that could become a serious time-suck

Martin Reed - Blog Author May 22, 2009 at 11:15 am

John – Maybe 1 minute per day; so less than 10 minutes per week. Akismet stops most of the junk automatically.

Shug July 26, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I’ve never had a problem with moderating comments so I’ll be getting this on my blog. The individual comment override could be a useful idea.

Steve August 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I don’t get so much spam on my own blogs so it’s probably worth removing this to encourage people to comment, thanks!

Bethany Trinoble August 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Certainly well worth considering, as long as the moderation doesn’t add to much time to the upkeep. I have one or two blogs that I’ve closed to comments because it was too much hassle keeping on top of the spammers

Lisa Hirst Carnes October 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Good point – I think I’ll be removing the “no follow” attribute too. Bonus – more people will comment.

Matthew March 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

It’s ironic that many bloggers talk about going dofollow but then they actually use nofollow. Thanks for this project coz I too feel that bloggers should be rewarded for their thoughtful comments.

Christina March 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I am about to launch my blog and have been debating whether or not to remove the no-follow attribute. I find myself commenting on do-follow sites most of the time. After reading your post and some of the comments, I have deciding to make my blog do-follow. If it doesn’t affect the amount of spam, I might as well let others benefit from do-follow.

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