The Nofollow Attribute

As a measure to help prevent comment spam, many blogging platforms automatically add the nofollow attribute to all links found within the comments section of a blog. The thought was that if Google no longer gave “credit” for links using the nofollow attribute, we would see a tremendous decrease in comment spam.

“From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.” Official Google Blog

Initially bloggers were well informed about the issues surrounding the nofollow attribute because it was such a hot topic. They could easily make an educated decision on how they chose to deal with everything.

With more than a year passing since the initial announcement from Google, many new bloggers may not even realize what the nofollow attribute is, let alone that the blogging platform they choose may automatically assign the nofollow attribute by default.

WordPress version 1.5 and above automatically assigns the nofollow attribute on all links within the comment section by default. Perhaps a better answer would have been to add a feature in the admin panel to include the nofollow tag as an option, along with a link for more information. This would have allowed users to make an educated decision either way.

I am personally not sold on, nor do I use the nofollow attribute as a measure to prevent spam. It feels as if this attribute is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Certainly, as a blog owner, I have no desire to have my blog filled with comments from spammers.

However, I feel there are multiple alternative solutions (including moderating comments) that do not punish those leaving legitimate comments right along with the spammers.

I personally chose to disable the default nofollow attribute by using a WordPress Plugin to strip these tags from the code.


J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and SEO Training Specialist
Copyright © 2007 J. Walker of GNC Web Creations All Rights Reserved