nofollow is NOT meant for editorially reviewed links

Imagine you’re like me, and you like WordPress so much that you write plugins for it. People start writing about these plugins and they, of course, link to you. You see these pages writing about you show up in your referrer stats and of course you go and have a look at what they’re writing about your plugins. Imagine my surprise when I see the links in the post being nofollowed… These links have been editorially reviewed, why would anyone want to nofollow those?

Nofollow was meant to combat comment spam. It failed miserably at that, but it was designed with the intent of preventing link-juice flowing to links that had not been editorially reviewed, and thus prevent you from linking to spammy sites. If people start using them within blogposts, where’s the end? SEO wise, there’s no use. You’re linking to content relevant to the topic at hand, thus increasing the value of the post for both the search engine and the user. So please, don’t use nofollow for editorially reviewed links. Ever.

Update: Markus has replied in the comments and has removed the nofollow, kudos to you pal!

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24 Responses

  1. SintBy Sint on 2 May, 2007

    I presume you do know the answer to why they’re doing it; besides trying to prevent commentspam, nofollow makes it possible to not share pagerank with links in visitor content, possibly competitive businesses…

  2. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 2 May, 2007

    I believe in “good karma”. If someone says or creates something of value, I’ll link to it, even if it IS my biggest competitor. There’s just no use in PageRank hoarding like that.

  3. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 2 May, 2007

    Oh and BTW, I fade out nofollow in my comments, it disappears after two days, to give me some time to remove spam.

  4. SintBy Sint on 2 May, 2007

    I believe that too, but not all people visit that church.

  5. MarkusBy Markus on 2 May, 2007

    Sorry, you are right – nofollow is not the right way to link to friends.

  6. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 2 May, 2007

    Hey Markus :) thx :)

  7. Henri van den HoofBy Henri van den Hoof on 2 May, 2007

    I absolutely agree with you Joost. It should be a sort of bloggers code of conduct to not use nofollow for editorially reviewed links.

    In my view the same also goes for not refering to the original source of information. This is also seems a very common practice. On some blogs the content is almost copied with only a light twist from others, without any link at al. Are they just trying to convince their readers that they come up with all that stuff themselves?

    Off topic: Good stuff on the plugins too by the way. I have tried your Enhanced WordPress contactform plugin a week or so ago, but unfortunately my Mandigo WP Theme messes it up by centering the fields.

  8. SintBy Sint on 2 May, 2007

    To prevent any doubts: I totally agree with Joost – I don’t use nofollow links either. It’s a shame certain people do.

  9. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 2 May, 2007

    I know my friend and colleague Roy thinks the same about this, he recently posted 10 reasons not to use nofollow (in Dutch though).

  10. Arpit JacobBy Arpit Jacob on 2 May, 2007

    Hey man … just drop by after I read the post on BlogginPro just to let you know I appreciate what you’ve contributed to the WordPress community.

  11. JackBy Jack on 2 May, 2007

    Have to agree about nofollow. It is being abused by people dumb enough to think that hoarding PR is a good idea. Websites that hoard links are going to show up like a light house beacon.

    We use the dofollow wordpress plugin…works like a charm. Like most wordpress stuff, it just works.

  12. MicroDesignBy MicroDesign on 2 May, 2007

    Yeah i agree, and i disagree google working like this. they just need to update there aglorithms there selves to check if a link is valuable or not.

  13. Dave DavisBy Dave Davis on 2 May, 2007

    I think this comes down to miseducation and blog owners afraid to “Share” their pagerank.

  14. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 3 May, 2007

    @ Arpit: Thx!

    @ Jack: yeah dofollow rocks, although I’m probably going to expand it with a whitelist.

    @ Micro: if only it were that simple… Google firmly believes in nofollow…

    @ Dave: I think you’re right…

  15. Gerard McGarryBy Gerard McGarry on 3 May, 2007

    I’ve seen this on some celeb blogs – when they link off-site, they use nofollow. I can imagine how insulting it would be as a creator of plugins to have someone write about you – but actually take the time to sabotage the link. Let’s face it, you’ve got to do that consciously.

  16. LocoBy Loco on 8 May, 2007

    I’m not using nofollow for neither the links in my articles nor for the links in the comments. Since I use Spam Karma there is simply no need to and I believe that people spending time on leaving a comment on an of my articles should be rewarded with this single link. From my point of view nofollow is just not fair and – as you already mentioned – it just isn’t any help in fighting spam.

  17. JosBy Jos on 3 August, 2007

    Hi, Joost (fellow-schmoozer)!
    There seems to be something like an “You Comment – I Follow” movement. I published about this here:http://nodirecton.blogspot.com/2007/07/you-comment-i-follow.html
    and here:
    http://marketingreview.web-log.nl/marketing_review/2007/07/you_comment_i_f.html
    I don’t know all that much about the subject, your post gives me a better view, thanks.
    I would certainly like to know more about blogs in the Netherlands that do this.

  18. mlanktonBy mlankton on 5 October, 2007

    Help me understand the consequences of nofollow vs dofollow links on your site, because I was advised to use nofollow.

    How can dofollow hurt my site (besides comment spam and the possibility of linking to bad neighborhoods)?

    How can nofollow hurt my site? I was told that nofollow would have no negative impact on my site, but dofollow would diminish my pagerank and serps.

    If I was given bad information, help me understand it so that I can make the change. My site is only 8 weeks old, but I am very serious about building it and keeping it around a long time. I just want to make the best decisions for my site. Thanks

  19. SEO CarlyBy SEO Carly on 22 November, 2007

    Funny, just thought i’d let you know Joost. I was just browsing on Google Image Search for the term “Nofollow” and what pops up? You lol

    Yeah Google has associated the picture of you to nofollow.

  20. Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 22 November, 2007

    Hmm I can’t reproduce that :) do you have the query?

  21. mmorpgBy mmorpg on 17 June, 2008

    I tried explaining the no follow, do follow thing to a friend that causally uses the internet..the result was confusion and apathy; guess its only a big deal to us ;)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Joost, and no, not the new media thing, has put up a post on using nofollow in your content. He talks about how he, as a WordPress plugin author feels a little annoyed to see a link back to his plugin being nofollowed and understandably so. Imagine you’re like me, and you like WordPress so much that you write plugins for it. People start writing about these plugins and they, of course, link to you. You see these pages writing about you show up in your referrer stats and of course you go and have a look at what they’re writing about your plugins. Imagine my surprise when I see the links in the post being nofollowed… These links have been editorially reviewed, why would anyone want to nofollow those? [...]

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