What is Nofollow, Dofollow?
Nofollow is an attribute that can be added to a hyperlink preventing Google from passing link credit to that site rel=”nofollow”. Link credit is one of the major factors Google considers when determining how authoritative your site is. You will these tags on to blog comments, and on sites like Wikipedia. It was created to fight dirty spammers, spam bots, and anyone trying to get a free link without adding any value to the site.
Dofollow is the practice of removing the nofollow tag from your links. In certain circles it is becoming the “in thing” to spread the link love.
Example badge from U Comment I Follow wordpress plugin
Share the Link Love
If a webmaster posts a legitimate comment, then does it really hurt to share the link love? Everyone wants to build their link popularity, but if it can be done by helping to contribute to other’s thoughts and ideas then it seems natural.
Reward people for taking the time to write quality comments
You don’t need to accept every comment. One that is not legit usually screams spam.
Discount Canadian Pharmacy Says:
“Your post is good. I know many peoples who also have this problem”
It isn’t hard to filter out the blatant spam. If you get hundreds of comments to your blog, then you might want to consider the Link Love Plugin, which allows you to specify the number of comments required before the visitor gets a link credit.
If you are interested in dofollow plugins Andy Beard has The Ultimate List Here. He has become a dofollow evangelist, with a great amount of information about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the dofollow movement
Encourage cross linking across sites
Allowing link credit naturally encourages cross linking amongst similar sites. You say legitimate comments should come from the heart right? As an SEO, much of my time is spent link building as opposed to leisure blog reading. If I can provide a meaningful comment to a blog and gain a backlink as a result, I will read and contribute everywhere that I can.
Note: You have to actually READ the article, and write a comment that isn’t limited to “Nice”, or “Cool…”. You still have to read articles and posts that interest you, so you can provide a meaningful contribution.
May cause comments to be less genuine
If you advertise your dofollow blog, chances are you are going to get more spam. This is just a natural result of sticking your bleeding finger into an ocean of sharks. You may start to get comments from people who just breeze over the article, and post a comment. This amigos, is called manual comment spam.
Not to say that these comments aren’t genuine, but you just have to be a little more careful while accepting comments.
Too many external links
If you have a lot of comments for a particular post, you might end up with hundreds of external links. This has been known to dilute the sites page rank, and cause it to loose favor with Google.
Vandelay experienced a direct decrease in traffic after removing the nofollow link. Read the post here.
You might have people who write genuine comments, but link to a bad neighborhood… EG link farms, spam sites etc. If your site passes link credit, then you might get penalized.
I am all for giving back to contributing readers, but it requires a careful watch. Removing the nofollow attribute might be something to consider if you have time to ensure the commenting doesn’t get out of hand. Plugins like the Link Love plugin, allow you to give something back, while still maintaining the integrity of both your posts and your posts page rank.