While editing a comment on this blog to fix a broken link, I discovered that WordPress automatically tags all links in comments with “nofollow”. I blogged about nofollow three years ago, when it was the hot new thing in the fight against comment spam. My prediction that it wouldn’t reduce comment spam one bit has certainly come true.
Comment spam makes a blog look ugly. I have to delete the spam anyway. So it doesn’t matter to spammers whether my blog uses “nofollow”.
But it does matter to genuine commenters. If somebody knows about a web page that’s relevant to the topic I’m writing about, I want them to link to it in a comment. It only makes my blog a more useful resource for its readers. And if the link is relevant, then it’s only fair that the link adds to the destination site’s inbound link tally. If I use some of my valuable time to share a resource on somebody else’s blog, I’d like the link to be a real link too.
Unfortunately, WordPress does not have an option to disable “nofollow”. So I installed the Do Follow plugin. After installing the plugin, WordPress will still add “nofollow” to links in comments. The plugin strips them each time the comment is displayed. How’s that for efficiency!