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Dofollow and Nofollow

In a recent comment by Diana from Elephant's Eye on my philosophy blog she said: "Please, can you point me to an explanation for dofollow?" she then went on to say how she was "mystified by dofollow". Are you? No prizes for guessing the topic for this article. Smiley Face

 If you regularly browse the internet, you may have come across the term dofollow, or possibly nofollow, so what exactly is dofollow?

If you were talking about dofollow and nofollow, you would usually be talking about links. Now a nofollowed link is one that passes no RageRank or link juice. This means that if you comment on a blog which has the rel="nofollow" or rel="external nofollow" that blog passes no link juice to its commenters. If you comment on such a blog, you are receiving no benefit as far as search engines are concerned if you put in a URL or not. Any traffic (people who click the link) generated of that link is 100% normal though, users without knowledge of nofollow would know no different if the link were nofollow or dofollow.

Followed (or dofollowed as they are more commonly known) links carry PageRank. These are links which have no rel="nofollow" or rel="external nofollow" tags in the link. They don't have a rel="follow" or a rel="dofollow" tag in, as that is not a valid tag! To make sure a link is followed, check it doesn't have the word nofollow in the start of the link tag.

Just to let you know, followed links and nofollowed links have nothing to do with if the link opens in a new window, that has no effect on link juice!
Open QuoteEssentially when we see a nofollow link going from one page to another page, we say this link wont flow PageRank... essentially doesn't contribute anything in terms of search engine rankings.Close Quote
Source: Matt Cutts – Head of the Google's Webspam Team

Who ever invented this nasty nofollow? Well actually it was Google. Google introduced it to try and stop bad sites getting any link juice. If you find a bad site containing a virus or spammy material, then you might want to tell your friends to let them know that it is a dangerous site. Thing is, you don't want to pass your hard earned PageRank to this spammy site. What to do? Nofollow it.

A nofollowed link
A followed link
 Most blogging platforms including Blogger and WordPress nofollow all comment links. This is to help bloggers who don't want to or don't have time to check their commenters links from passing PageRank to bad sites.

Fair enough, but for bloggers like me, who check their links and use extensive spam filters to filter out all those nasty face automated comments, then there is no need to dofollow comments as non are spam.

Now I run WordPress on my site, I am using, and my domain is not hosted by This means that I have the ability to turn this off. That is why when you comment on my philosophy blog, after your third comment your comments all become dofollow.

The first comment you post would be nofollowed, so would the second, this is an attempt to catch any spam that has crept through my vision and my spam filters vision, and to stop them getting my link juice. Then thanks to the plugin Link Love, on the third comment, all your comments have the nofollow tag removed!

It is much harder to find dofollow links that it was in the past. If you run a blog as part of or as part of then you have no way of turning nofollow off unless you move your blog, (one of the reasons I relocated my philosophy blog from to most social networking sites nofollow all external links, Wikipedia nofollows most of its external links, as does YouTube.

Link exchanges, dofollow blogs and getting referrals in articles are some of the few ways left to get dofollow links on the web... for better or for worse.

If you would like to be able to test for the nofollow tag and you use Firefox, why not try the NoDoFollow plugin?

I hope to have been of assistance Diana and anyone else who has learnt something new today Smiley Face

Posted By: Christopher (Admin)
Date posted: 28th February 2011

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