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Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank?

Google’s Matt Cutts answers the question: “Are there negative SEO implications to having a blog with do-follow comments? What about commenting on do-follow blogs?”

Short Definition: Dofollow is basically the absence of the “nofollow” tag in a link which is the default setting on blog platforms such as Wordpress and Blogger. Links with a “nofollow” do not count as backlinks to Google and other search engines, so you won’t get the rank benefit. For a more in-depth discussion on this please see my do/nofollow blog post:

Dofollow on blogs has been a source of controversy for years. Although it is a noble thing to reward our readers with “dofollow” there are also drawbacks to consider.

For example the major drawback discussed by Matt Cutts in his video … i.e. comment spam links can damage our blog reputation. But one thing that he doesn’t mention is if your blog is popular it will be targeted by spam websites that list your blog as being “dofollow”, compounding the problem of getting even more comment spam on your blog.

Believe me when I say I spend far too much time weeding the comment spam out every day.

I’m not going to tell you what to do on your blog. It’s your decision. But what is important is that you understand all of the implications for making your blog dofollow, and then decide for yourself.

What about you? Are you a Dofollower?

Written March 31st, 2010 by | 34 Comments | Filed under: SEO Tips, Search Engine Tips, Videos, Wordpress Tips , , , ,

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There are 34 Comments so far to “Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank?”

  1. As long as you’re willing to be the troll under your comments section that comes out and slaps down bad links I think it makes sense. Too much like work for me, though~

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:16 pm said...

    @JohnFTM, I came to a similar conclusion. It’s unfortunate a few idiots ruin it for everyone else.

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  2. Do follow I remember that. Spent lots of time going do follow and putting in images stating my former blog was following readers comments. What a waste of time that was

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:24 pm said...

    @Curtis, but think of all those nice spammers who dropped by to say hello ;-)

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  3. I think Comment Management is the Key to What Matt is Saying I can Manage My Spam Easily using Akismet and a plugin called SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam which is easy to read but it blocks most of the Bots.But on higher Traffic Blogs this Would Still be not Enough Maybe this is one of the reasons why Seths Godins Blog has no Comments on it

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 10:03 pm said...

    @Roezer, plugins manage black lists or act as a barrier to bots. Unfortunately many spammers are real people who are not on known lists, falling between the cracks and making it a pain to manually delete them. A lot of these spammers don’t even realize they are spamming. They come from websites managed by sleazy marketers who convince them it’s OK to build backlinks by targeting Dofollow blogs. I can always tell who the real commenters are from backlink builders.

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  4. It seems like DoFollow is one of the few advantages that smaller blogs have v larger blogs (partially because with a small blog you can moderate comments). This is reflected in the increasing popularity of DoFollow.

    In running DoFollow I haven’t had serious problems with comment spam. Everything seems to get caught by either the Ajax-based spam filter or Akismet.

    My understanding is that it became clear last year in the PageRank sculpting discussion that NoFollow does not preserve PageRank lost in outgoing links. NoFollow just discards it… So if you are going to allow links at all (where they add value to the conversation) you might as well let them be Followed.

    And it does seem reasonable that if someone reads your stuff an interacts with it (comments create value as we all know) why not give them some recognition with a followed link?

    We are all in a position to choose what bloggers we actively interact with via comments. And we’re likely to interact with people with whom we share interests (which therefore means we are likely to have posted on related topics). All other things being equal (which of course they aren’t always!) it therefore makes sense to interact with a blogger who has implemented DoFollow than someone who hasn’t, or worse, someone who doesn’t allow links at all.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:48 pm said...

    @Drivelry, unfortunately every day I get targeted by backlink builders sent from the spam websites I mentioned earlier. It takes a lot of my time weeding them out so in some cases I might consider penalizing them by deleting the comment entirely (depending on how spammy they are) or delinking (depending on how sleazy their links are). But it is very time consuming and a nuisance.

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    Reply by: Jarret at 9:55 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I just moved a website from Wordress.com to self hosted in February. Already, I get about 50-80 spam comments per day which is just nuts. Askimet filters them just fine, but it’s a pain to manually delete them as you suggest.

    I’ve tried Bad Behavior which completely stopped the spam, but I noticed that it was blocking Yahoo spiders and other bots.

    Then I tried Hashcash which didn’t seem to work at all. Hashcash slowed my site to a crawl and I had to delete it right away.

    The funny thing is I get 50-80 spam comments per day and maybe one real comment a week, lol. Pretty sad, isn’t it?

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 12:17 am said...

    @Jarret, yes it is a pain in the you know what. Are you dofollow btw, and if you are did you announce it on your blog? That could explain your sudden popularity. ;-)

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    Reply by: Jarret at 11:36 am said...

    @BLOGBloke, No, it’s funny my site isn’t dofollow nor does it get very much traffic, yet I’ve never seen so much spam in my life.

    I get about 60% generic comment spam like the ones about thanking me for helping with homework assignments (no hyperlinks), 30% pingback spam, and 10% with 20 hyperlinks in comment.

    I might try NoSpamNX to see if that helps or perhaps switch to intense debate.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 11:28 pm said...

    @Jarret, well you’re in good company because my spam increased dramatically when I switched to Wordpress too. You might also want to try Simple Trackback Validation http://sw-guide.de/wordpress/plugins/simple-trackback-validation/

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  5. thank you much, very good article indeed

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  6. Thanks for this article. I always received spam comment and I’m wondering if I used to approve it.

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  7. Lets just say that OBL’s and spam can be a real real sore point round here. We have a website that “used” to be a computer shop. It has some 30,000 pages on it and (to cut a long story short), we’re changing it from the shop into a tech blog portal…..

    We’ve always had comment spam issues on the site….. Two of the Wordpress sections had had their comments part removed for just that reason…. However, I forgot about the third section’s comments part….. it used to crash every week, then about a month ago the server was finally keeling over every day (t’s on a VPS)….. I finally found the 30,000 spam comments, which had caused such a drop in our visitor numbers and rankings. Unfortunately, any quality comments on that part of the blog were lost as well when I dived into the SQL Database and ripped all those spammers hard work out and purged them.

    If you’re going to comment, make sure it’s relevant, good and not just- nice blog, good work etc. Comment spam is detrimental to everyone and it’s like suicide when spammers discover a site they can simply spam.

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  8. Thanks for the share, and for taking the time to do so. Should give me even more work to do now!

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  9. Of course, link building affects a lot to website ranking, and your video is very useful

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  10. I don’t think only making do follow link make your blog popular. It’s the content.

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  11. New Video: Can Dofollow Comments affect my Blog Reputation and Rank? http://bit.ly/d8pcTV

  12. Are you a Dofollower? http://bit.ly/d8pcTV

  13. @JohnFTM, I came to a similar conclusion. It's unfortunate a few idiots ruin it for everyone else. http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  14. Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank? http://bit.ly/9wFTQP And a good example of dofollow at http://bit.ly/bPpsiG

  15. As long as you're willing to be the troll under your comments section that comes out and slaps down bad links I thi… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  16. Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank? http://bit.ly/d8pcTV RT @sagargholap

  17. Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank? http://bit.ly/d8pcTV RT @sagargholap

  18. @Curtis, but think of all those nice spammers who dropped by ;-) http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  19. I think Comment Management is the Key to What Matt is Saying I can Manage My Spam Easily using Akismet and a plugin… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  20. @Roezer, plugins manage black lists or act as a barrier to bots. Unfortunately many spammers are real people who ar… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  21. […] We are all in a position to choose what bloggers we actively interact with via comments. And we’re likely to interact with people with whom we share interests (which therefore means we are likely to have posted on related topics). All other things being equal (which of course they aren’t always!) it therefore makes sense to interact with a blogger who has implemented DoFollow than someone who hasn’t, or worse, someone who doesn’t allow links at all. Read more: http://www.blogbloke.com/dofollow-nofollow-comments-google-rank/#comments#ixzz0kqTrhHD2 […]

  22. @Drivelry, unfortunately every day I get targeted by backlink builders sent from the spam websites I mentioned earl… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  23. @Jarret, yes it is a pain in the you know what. Are you dofollow btw, and if you are did you announce it on your bl… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  24. @Jarret, well you're in good company because my spam increased dramatically when I switched to Wordpress too. You m… http://bit.ly/doFzkS

  25. "Can Dofollow Comments Affect Your Blog Reputation and Rank?" - http://bit.ly/9nL1BE via @BLOGBlokeTips

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