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Lately in the blogosphere, more and more blog owners are switching the links in their comments from NoFollow to DoFollow. Don't feel lost if you are new to blogging and WordPress when you see these words. Here are a couple of simple definitions:
DoFollow - When creating a link on any webpage using HTML, normally the code looks like this:
<a href="http://www.mysite.com/">My site name with dofollow</a>
This same link is actually the DoFollow link. DoFollow is the default attribute for an HTML link. This tells the search engine spiders that the link can be "followed" by others.
If your goal, however, is to keep the search engines from following your links, you need to add the rel="nofollow" attribute like this:
<a href="http://www.mysite.com/" rel="nofollow">My site name with nofollow</a>
When the attribute was first introduced, its main purpose was to stop comment spam on blogs, because as you may have noticed, the commentary section of many blogs can get flooded with spam if no one takes preventative measures. The attribute itself instructs the search engines to note that the specific link should not influence the link target's ranking in the index. In other words, the search engines will ignore the link.
While NoFollow links were first developed as a method for preventing blog comment spamming, many bloggers are now electing to create DoFollow blogs. The idea behind this is that it will encourage readers to come to your blog and comment more frequently - and it will help your readers to build their following as well. Even if you do choose dofollow for your blog, there are measures you can take to prevent blog comment spamming.
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If you wonder why anyone would want to do this – having the above explanation in mind – well, the answer is simple. It may help attract more pseudo-active users, making the blog appear more popular by having lots of comments. It may also increase the likelihood that people will comment, and it may help boost the number of people who visit your blog on a regular basis.
Most bloggers want to get more backlinks to their site. When we have a DoFollow blog, those bloggers are trying to actively participate in the commentary section. The link posted will be crawled by search engines and eventually it will have some positive effect on the search engine ranking. Google, Yahoo, Ask and other search engines would consider that link as a backlink to their websites. This means that those who allow other bloggers to post comments with links to other blogs may be frequented more often by individuals wishing to promote their own blogs. This kind of traffic can be great - and even desired - especially if you have a blog that is providing essential information to others.
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Taking the Plunge
There are two ways you can set your blog to allow link searching in comments.
Manually - Open your wp-includes/comment-template.php for edit and look for something like this:
$return = "<a href='$url' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>$author</a>";
Now, remove the nofollow attribute, and the link will automatically become dofollow as explained above. Keep in mind that this code will probably be replaced when you update your WordPress installation, and then you will have to repeat the action again later. Also, you should note that by entering it manually, you should proofread the code just to make sure that you haven't deleted an important component that will cause a bug in your website's code.
Using an Automated Plugin - It will be a lot easier and safer if you use a WordPress DoFollow Plugin instead of the manual method. Follow these few steps after downloading it.
- Navigate to your plugin directory using either an FTP Client or Interactive File Manager from your hosting provider and extract it.
- Login to WordPress as Administrator and activate the plugin from the plugins section.
- Your DoFollow code default Google setting will be activated, and now links in your comments will appear in Google searches.
Using this method simplifies the task of changing your blog to DoFollow. However, you should be aware that you should scan any plug-ins you intend to use to ensure there are no viruses that could damage your computer's software or hardware. The best way to do this is through ensuring that you are using the official plugin - whether you're using WordPress or another blogging platform.
If spam becomes a problem, returning your blog back to its default state requires you disable the plug-in if you used it. If, on the other hand, you used the manual method,you will have to go back and redo the changes by adding the nofollow attribute back in the same line as shown above. Once again, make sure you proofread any code you use and check it for errors before you post the update to your website.