Don’t Nofollow

Stop the nofollow attributeI’ve come to despise the “nofollow” attribute of links. When a link includes rel=”nofollow” in it, search engines are not supposed to follow the link or use it to increase, for example, the linked page’s Google ranking. The idea originally was to reduce spam. If spammers knew that their useless blog comments wouldn’t increase their ranking, the theory was, then they wouldn’t post useless blog comments. Boy did that not work! I have 4 levels of spam protection on this website and still I have to hand delete between 5 and 50 entries per day.

Unfortunately, few people seem to have noticed that the “nofollow” attribute is useless. Go to just about any blog and leave a comment with your website address. On almost all sites, the link will be displayed with a “nofollow” attribute. To me, that’s mighty un-neighborly. I like it when people comment here. The least I can do is admit that my blog is in fact linking to their sites. It makes me think of neighborhood girls when I was 12 who told me to pretend I didn’t know them when alpha boys were around.

Of course, it isn’t that most bloggers feel this way. I suspect that very few of them even know what the “nofollow” attribute is, much less that they are using it. But most blogging software adds this attribute by default. Thankfully, the software I use (Nucleus) does not do it by default. But when I added BB-Code, it added “nofollow” by default.

I have two points in writing this. First: you should know about “nofollow” and remove it from your blog if you have no reason to use it. Sometimes there is a reason to use it. Earlier today, I added a “nofollow” attribute to the link to, because they annoyed me so much. But if you are automatically adding it to all comments on your site, you might want to give this some thought. This is especially true if you approve all comments.

My second point? You are welcome to comment here; we won’t treat you like a trespasser. (At least, not after we approve your comment!)

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