I Dofollow Comments

My nofollow comment status is coming down.

Dofollow Comments as a Linking Philosophy

A good conversation is worth fistfulls of gofollows or nofollows or any kind of follows. Why? Because people who have participated in or read a good conversation on a blog are likely to come back and do it again. Unlike Search Engine algorithms, people develop loyalties, and blogs live and die by loyalties. Develop the network and the links will come. Use keywords and the Search Engines will also use those keywords – to make sense of the links.

Putting links before people is backwards, especially for blogs.

Risks of Removing Nofollow from Blog Comments

I’ve been thinking of removing nofollow for a while, and I’ve had reservations. I don’t like the idea of being sought out by quasi-commenters who search specifically for dofollow blogs. I imagine them using the search status plugin for Firefox to see just how “dofollow” a blog’s comments are, and deciding to make some lame link drop comment based on that.

I’d really rather never deal with link drops. Ever. Anywhere.

The fact remains that though a blanket nofollow on comments may make sense where comments aren’t carefully moderated and the blog’s owner isn’t around much, that’s not the situation here. I’m in here every day, and I’m a compulsive spam zapper. As as a forum moderator I have some serious practice at being consistently and conscientiously compulsive about such things.

And, the forum thing also has me predisposed to going the extra mile for a readership.

Once in a while someone will leave a comment that has a bit of their heart in it. For that, I’d like to hand out party favors or pour ’em a second cup of coffee, but being as this is a blog and I already serve up full feeds, the tender I’m intending to add to the pot is a little thing known as dofollow.

I’m removing nofollow from the comments on this blog, with some caveats.

Dofollow Comment Spammers Beware

  • I’m not allowing signature links to bad neighborhoods, no matter how wonderful the comment.
  • I don’ wan’ no stinkin crazy quasi SEO signature link text
  • Dofollow only kicks in for those who have been commenting here for a while
  • Last but not least, no “junk” comments. Some kinds of one liners with sig links are not comments.

“Thanks for sharing. Great blog.” Is not enough of a comment to disarm my anti spam radar. Likewise to a “Look here for your answers” that stops short of adding to the conversation here, and links to your own services. If you’re out searching for dofollow blogs that also have green fairy dust page rank, tread gently when commenting. I am a generous linker when someone has established themselves as a generous contributor. Otherwise, don’t poke the bear.

In short, I’m putting Lucia in charge.

Lucia’s Linky Love

Lucia’s Linky Love was is a beautiful dofollow plugin. Check out some of the configuration options:

  • Dofollows are added to the author “name” and links in comment text after a commenter leaves some minimum number of comments. The blogger can set this minimum number to anything between 3 and 10. This encourages regular visitors to comment, but discourages spammers by forcing them to visit your blog many times before they get “dofollows”.

  • Gives peace of mind. Dofollows will not be added to comments left more than 14 days after you published your most recent post. This is a safety feature that prevents your blog from becoming a link farm should you ever be unexpectedly absent from your blog due to illness or any other major life event.

  • The blogger may refuse “dofollows” to “names” that contain too many characters. This can be used to avoid giving “dofollows” to commenters who claim their name is “cashmere dog sweater”.

More About Nofollow and Dofollow

Ultimate List of Nofollow & Dofollow Plugins – Andy Beard’s February 2007 post is still a good resource, over a year later. He has this to say about Lucia’s Linky Love: I was going to liken this plugin to a Ferrari, because it is built to be fast, but it is probably more like a Subaru, not just fast but designed for rugged terrain and can handle the twists and turns of comment spammers without slowing down.