Years ago when I was a newer blogger, I was introduced to the idea of allowing my comment links to be followed by search engines. This was done by way of the WordPress DoFollow plugin. This was the opposite of the default behavior of WordPress blogs, which is to mark the links left by commenters with “no follow” tags. The purpose of this was to give a useful backlink to the blog/webpage of someone leaving a relevant comment that adds value to the conversation.
The problem with all of this is that a number of commenters leave a comment just for the backlink. These comments range from the “Me, Too’s and Way To Go Dudes” to ridiculous nonsense. I’ve noticed a trend over time toward more and more spammy comments on FreshBlogger as well as a number of highly irrelevant comments (followable links to something that has nothing to do with the content of the actual post).
I’m also concerned that the search engine rankings of this blog have suffered due to having a large number of irrelevant links, as well. I’m not going to pretend that the affects on revenue aren’t also influencing this decision. At one point, FreshBlogger had a PageRank of 5 and has since gone down to PR2. I realize that this isn’t the ultimate indicator of popularity, but it is indicative of a generally downward trend that has definitely been felt in terms of income.
So, while I welcome all comments that add something interesting, I’ve decided to stop using DoFollow. I realize this may cause some visitors to be less likely to leave a comment here. Fair enough.
I’ve done some searching and found that a few others share this sentiment and have likewise removed DoFollow from their blogs. A couple that I’ve come across are RT from Untwisted Vortex, “No More ‘Do Follow’” and Stephen Cronin from Scratch99, “Bye Bye DoFollow.”
What I can offer, though, is this: Since this is my personal blog and I tend to write about a number of different topics, I would be happy to link to your post or web page if I find it interesting or think it would be interesting to others who read this blog. Please feel free to leave a comment here or use the FreshBlogger Contact page to drop me a line.