Practically all blogs or websites have a comments section, which they can activate or disable as they please. Bloggers and web administrators know that leaving comments with corresponding links in the comments section of other sites can help boost their traffic. However, spammers have abused this benefit by posting comments that are irrelevant, unintelligible or just plain too long just so they can get some so-called link juice back to their own sites. Predictably, comments sections of blogs have become a veritable swamp of junk made up of keywords and links that do not make the slightest bit of sense.
To counter this, Google created the NoFollow tag (rel=”nofollow”), an HTML attribute designed to prevent its spiders from crawling whatever links spammers drop in their comments. As a result, spammers no longer get any passive benefits from it.
The Difference Between NoFollow and DoFollow
A hyperlink becomes a NoFollow link when the rel=”nofollow” tag is embedded within. When a link doesn’t have that tag, then it becomes DoFollow. There is, however, no such thing as a DoFollow tag. All links are by default DoFollow unless they have the rel=”nofollow” tag.
DoFollow links are generally acknowledged by search engines. Links with NoFollow tags, on the other hand, are largely ignored by Google et. al.
Almost all blogs today have comments sections that are NoFollow by default. Bloggers, however, have the option to actually make an effort to take the tag off and turn their blog into a DoFollow site.
Advantages of DoFollow Links
- Encourage comments, and more comments from other bloggers seeking backlinks are by all means still traffic that could only be good for a blog.
- Attract more visitors, because being known as a DoFollow site will certainly draw other people into checking your site out, and that means bigger traffic for your blog.
- Basically set a blog up to automatically update itself considering the number of people commenting on it, and you know how search engines love to put regularly updated blogs at the top of the Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs.
Disadvantages of DoFollow Links
- Spammers will certainly have a field day dropping every imaginable link that they can, which means the webmaster will have to spend more time moderating comments.
- With all the backlinks you are giving out, it might adversely affect your authority as a blogger.
Advantages of NoFollow Links
- NoFollow links discourage spam comments.
- NoFollow tags prevent your site from being bombarded by spam when you need to link to a site you don’t fully trust just yet.
- The NoFollow tag allows you to put up paid links on your blog without being penalized by Google and other search engines.
- The tag helps you preserve link juice, which can in turn help you get a higher PageRank.
Disadvantages of NoFollow Links
- By placing NoFollow attributes on your external links, you are basically telling other bloggers seeking some love from your site to stay away.
- Even when visitors would love to share some of your great stuff, they would tend to choose not to because of the NoFollow tag.
So What’s It Gonna Be?
While many bloggers take either side, some bloggers opt to strike a balance between DoFollow and NoFollow. Actively choosing which links to put NoFollow attributes in may take a lot more work or management, but at least you’re getting the best of both worlds.
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