I’m still not changing my mind: Getting rid of
"rel=nofollow" on comments still feels like the right thing to do. However, I’m noticing more and more discussions about it that are food for thought.
A couple weeks ago, I touched on this and mentioned the disturbing trend of “seo types” listing out dofollow (the art of not using nofollow) blogs and encouraging folks to leave comments on ‘em to get some page rank love. I’ve avoided linking them, but for the sake of discussion, here’s just one: www.toptut.com/2007/06/05/get-many-quality-pr5-backlinks-for-free/
(I’m not singling out toptut to be mean — it’s just the first one I recalled as I’d dropped a comment there myself and it was fricking NOFOLLOW’d omg. Oh, the irony)
It only lists 18 of the dofollowers but offers tips on how to “spam the right way.” No, I can’t make something like that up!
Some good discussion follows in the comments. As you might imagine, some folks on the list showed up. Everyone stays rationale though. No flames.
Randa Clay, the originator of the Do Follow icon in my sidebar, has a post that lightly touches on this and mentions a new plugin that removes nofollow from trackbacks, but not comments. Interesting approach. Basically, the plugin would allow you to “reward” those who trackback to you in their own articles, but not the folks who stop by and comment. In the ensuing comments, I saw a trackback from DoFollow turning evil? which led me to eMoms at Home and her Is the DoFollow Movement Getting Exploited? article.
She pretty much sums it all up quite well. Especially eye-catching is:
Worse yet, spammers have gotten smart. They realize that if they can get one comment approved, most bloggers will let the rest of the comments through. Imagine my horror when I realize this happened to me and one spammer had built up 10 outbound links on my blog to different non-blog sites over a month, using a different name each time – but by using the same email address, they all slipped through unnoticed.
Now I really need to revisit some recent comments and wonder just how “gamed” I’ve been.
Wendy’s larger concern, of course, is that she’s running a business from the blog. Folks are potentially getting for free what she tries to sell for advertising purposes. Now she needs to decide how to proceed: Go back to nofollow or … ?
Some great stuff follows in the discussion. In particular, keep an eye on Andy Beard‘s thoughts. He keeps a “Don’t Be an Idiot” icon by the comment form. His comments policy is worth a look as well. I’m not 100% in agreement with all of it (I hates me those splogs!) but I definitely like the concept and direction.
Like I said at the top, I’m sticking with removing the nofollows for now, but I’m curious to see where this all leads — if anywhere. Is it all just a tempest in a tiny teapot? I’m not a pro and I’m not currently planning to become a pro blogger anytime soon (well, the economy may make that decision for me though!). Should I even care?