Dofollow Nofollow Links: Is There a Happy Medium?

Dofollow Nofollow Links: Is There a Happy Medium?

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what to do with dofollow and nofollow imageWith the recent PageRank update, many bloggers panicked and started taking some radical measures like making their blogs nofollow and plugging any possible “PageRank leaks” – meaning getting rid of many links OUT to other blogs/resources.

As you may or may not have noticed, everything stayed pretty much the same here, at Traffic Generation Cafe – I am still and planning to remain a DOFOLLOW blog.

“But Ana! Your PageRank is still a big fat ZERO – don’t you need to do something about it?”

Well, I already am and have been, so allow me to let you in on a secret that is not secret at all; just a source of all kinds of questions and, yes, complaints.

One of those complaints caused quite a havoc and a great deal of intelligent opinions from you; read all about it in this post:

In that post, I also mentioned that I use a plugin called SEO Super Comments on my blog.

However, the questions keep pouring it, so I decided to put them all to rest and write this hopefully conclusive post on the subject.

What Are SEO Super Comments?

This plugin was designed by Vladimir Prelovac of Prelovac.com and here’s why (excerpt is taken from his post about SEO Super Comments – I highly recommend you read the entire post – lots of good points there):

For each user comment we will create a new dynamic page on the blog, holding the actual comment information. This page will not actually exist in WordPress database, but we will create it dynamically using a WordPress plugin.

What we instantly get in this way is big jump in site’s index visible to search engines. This is possible because blog comments are crawl-able, index-able and most importantly rank-able content. Also meaning you will start to get search engine traffic for the context of the comment.

The old author link in the comments will now lead to the newly generated page. Author’s URL will still be displayed (and we can dofollow it now as it will be only one external  link on the page).

The concept relies around optimizing the target page using title and H1 tag using the context of the comment. So basically we will take the excerpt of the comment and use it to create the page title and H1 tag and in the body we will old the content of the comment (plus some more goodies, read on).

Since now all comments normally drain page rank even when nofollowed (bad for your site) the whole idea of using them to generate links back to your site instead and get free indexable content along the way, looks just much more appealing.

As you noticed, I underlined the most important parts.

How This Plugin Helps Me to Remain a DoFollow Blog

I think between Vladimir’s post and the “DoFollow Express: Is Traffic Generation Cafe Getting Off?” post I mention above, that should be pretty clear.

You, my loyal reader and commentator, will still get a DoFollow link from my site for each keyword/URL you choose to use; it just won’t be a gazillion of them, but one high quality link.

DoFollow Benefits for You

“Ana, this all sounds like a bunch of sugar-coated stuff. How do we, the commentators, really benefit from this? Aren’t you just pulling the plug on any link building from your blog?”

Would I do that to you? Of course not.

So instead of getting a bunch of more or less useless, though DoFollow blog links from comments, you will get a couple of quality ones.

Let me elaborate.

Take a page on an authority blog like TGC (I am sure you do know by now that PageRank and “AuthorityRank” or whatever you want to call it, are 2 different things, and Traffic Generation Cafe definitely has the latter one and most likely has the former one in Google books, but not in the green toolbar).

On average, I will link out to a couple of outside resources per post. Then I have some outgoing links on every page of my blog, like affiliate links, etc.

On top of that, take comments. On average I will get say 50 comments per post.

If you do the math, I get quite a few outgoing links for every post I write (and most blogs are no different; actually, worse – they don’t know how to “plug” all the right holes on their blogs).

Each link leaks some of the authority from the page. So actually, the more comments I get, the less valuable your link becomes.

Follow me so far?

Now, let’s take a look at what SEO Super Comments does for you and me.

It plugs those leaks.

It creates a new page for every commentator and aggregates your comments on that page. Then you get a DoFollow link from there back to your blog.

It gets even better.

Now your link is not just another link from comments. It becomes a DoFollow in-content blog link, which is far more valuable than a comment link.

(I know I am talking a lot about link value here and some of you might not have the slightest ideas what that means. It’s a post of its own, but for now check out Donace’s post on the subject of How to Find the Best Links).

Note to Donace: Don, buddy, I am giving you so many links in this post, you’d better start thinking of how you are going to make it up to me :) .

How to Make Your DoFollow Links Even Zestier

A couple of weeks ago I revealed a cool little secret that not too many are using – and I bet you are still not using it either, even after reading about it.

Here’s the link to that post:

In that post, I showed you how to build up authority for different social media profiles, Squidoo pages, etc and turn them into high quality links going back to your blog.

Well, there’s one more thing I didn’t tell you in that post… You know me though: with my big mouth, nothing is left behind. :)

Imagine you start building links to pages like your guest posts, or posts where someone mentioned you and gave you a link, or…. your SEO Super Comments pages you get on my blog.

Think about it for a second. Yes, you are helping THEM (and sometimes, THEY are your competitors) to build links to their posts, but you know who in the end benefits from it?

YOU.

YOU build up their page authority and possibly PageRank and in turn get a high-quality link back to your blog, instead of just another PR0 or N/A link.

Get my point?

So start building links to your SEO Super Comment Pages and build that authority you need to create a high-quality link back to your blog. Plus, that page might rank for your name and take one of the 10 spots on the first page of Google for your name/brand – the more, the merrier, right?

This is a good time for you to check out this post on the subject of taking over Google and building trust with your customers/prospects in one quick swoop:

DoFollow SEO Super Comments Problem

No, it’s not all roses around here.

When I first started using the plugin, it was brought to my attention by Kim and Donace that the plugin had a huge flaw – it wasn’t actually indexing the created pages like it was supposed to.

It took me a while to find the answer to this one, but it was do or die.

The pluging provides a perfect DoFollow blog comment solution, in my opinion of course, but it’s no good to me if the pages are not being indexed – it just means that none of you, my commentators, get ANY links back from my blog.

Turned out the problem was not with the plugin, rather with WordPress.

Fair warning: this might get too technical for some of you, so you can easily skip this explanation. I do know that Kim and Donace would appreciate this as well as many other more technically-inclined readers.

The solution was found back at Vladimir Prelovac’s blog in this post.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Since WordPress 2.9 (I believe) rel canonical meta tag was introduced and added automatically for all dynamic pages.

So if you have any non-standard WordPress pages (created through a plugin or in other dynamic means) it may be possible that it they also contain rel canonical tag added by WordPress, which would prevent the particular pages from being indexed.

So, the solution: there are two things you need to do.

1. If you are using Thesis theme like I do, make sure your canonical URLs box is unchecked (found under Thesis Site Options).

thesis dofollow canonical tags image

2.  Add the following code to your theme functions.php:

remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘rel_canonical’);

KeywordLuv & SEO Super Comments

I wrote a post about How KeywordLuv Can Get You on the First Page of Google the other day and Alex Whalley noticed something in his comment that warrants a response in this post.

To sum up, his point was why use KeywordLuv on my blog if I redirect those links to an internal page anyway and the links coming from those internal pages do not use KeywordLuv.

Like this:

links from keywordluv dofollow image

 

So you see, Dennis here doesn’t get any KeywordLuv love – both his name and his keyword becomes a link.

So I’ve got 2 options:

1. Keep things the way the are – at least my comment section doesn’t look spammy and discourages spammers to comment with just their keywords and no names because they think they can.

2. Remove the plugin and simply delete the comments that try to take advantage of my DoFollow blog link policy and plaster their keywords all over the comments.

What to do?

DoFollow Marketing Takeaway

At first this was meant to be a quick post explaining how I fixed my SEO Super Comments issue, and I now ended up spending a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon writing a DoFollow post of epic proportions. :)

But I do hope this article will help anyone who suffered from the recent PageRank downgrade and / or is thinking whether DoFollow is worth it.

As far as I am concerned, yes, most definitely.

However, your blog – your rules.

And now I am off for a walk with my family…

Oh, by the way, I would really appreciate you mentioning this post in your future blog posts – giving me some link love (with the word “DoFollow” included in anchor text :) ) along the way and yes, helping other lost bloggers out there learn more about the issue.

Ask and you shall receive – so I am asking.

Image credit: http://www.techchee.com/

Warmly,

ana hoffman dofollow links

PS Just wanted to mention this for no good reason other that the fact that I have one of the best Dofollow blog Finder Tool – right here, at TGC!

traffic generation cafe comment below

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51 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Ana,

    When I went to CommentLuv I made everything DoFollow… I don’t care about PageRank I care about people wanting to engage in my website… I think that DoFollow is an adequate reward for taking the time to participate.

    Thanks for the great content!!

    Ryan H.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I do agree, Ryan.

      The problem with my blog is I get so many comments, I might be jeopardizing my rankings. I don’t care about my PR either, but I do care about SEO traffic.

      My solution: (for now, anyway) I publish CL links that are relevant to my niche only, and yes, I keep them dofollow.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I hope you don’t mind if I made a suggestion for your “About” page you link to in comments.

      I’d love to see you add something more colorful above fold. I need something that catches my eye and brings me back to the content.

      I also think you should find someone else to take a picture of you. lol

      • hahaha… I know… The picture thing is a big deal. I get comments about the picture all the time. I think I’ll remedy that this weekend.

        I was also thinking the same thing with the About link. I like the content but the above the fold look is dreary…

        Hmmmm both on the To-Do list for sure.

        Thanks!!!

  2. Sheesh, Ana, you create so much work for me….!! ;-)

    After reading several more posts here, I have now got rid of DisQus in favour of CommentLuv, looks like more work later for KeywordLuv + Super SEO watsit-thingy + making sure ‘Do Follow’ is all set correctly….

    Great stuff, as usual!

  3. Ana Carter

    Hi Ana I am happy I’ve found your site. Excellent strategy. We have so much to learn here. Always looking to improve my blog.

    Would like to thank you for sharing your blog with us.

    Ana Carter

    • Hi, Kim – I did use it in the past, but after some discussions with my readers, I decided to forgo it since it doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to do because of SEO Super Comments.

      • Okay since its not enabled for me to see whats going on, I’m going to try to do a speculation (without roaming over to my blog to enable it all long enough to check). Keywordluv turns the keywords into the link itself. Then supercomments makes the link go to the sub-page. The subpage displays the comment with a link to the correct destination page …. but it sounds like you’re saying there is an issue with the anchor text on that page. Is that what’s happening? If so, is this something that looks relatively like a simple fix? If so I’ll get a friend who’s a coder involved.
        Kimberly

        • What happens is SEO Super Comments doesn’t differentiate between the name and the keyword and treats it all as one link. It’s as if you don’t have the plugin doesn’t exist.

          I kept it for a while because I thought the comments looked cleaner with first names, but my readers thought it was misleading. :)

          Thus, I took it off.

  4. I think that having dofollow for the comments it will be more benefice for every one. Also to not be penalized by google I think that a closer moderation is needed. What also I like to do is to have a top dofollow commenter widget to reword my top commentators.

  5. If you are using Yoast WordPress SEO then there is no way to remove canonical URL :( I am using this plugin and I can’t leave it

  6. I am still and planning to remain a DOFOLLOW blog – Good on you! My Philosophy Blog is dofollow and I intend to keep it that way.

    Then I read the rest of the post. If you are going to link to another internal page, before users get to visit the persons actually site, why bother? I dislike the idea of that plugin, but that is my opinion and you are most welcome to disagree :-)

    • Thanks, Christopher – I think I just might disagree. :)

      When you run as busy of a blog as I do, then you might change your outlook on DoFollow altogether.

  7. Hi Ana. Been following on the SEO Super Comments pugin and although I can see the benefits of it, I have one question to ask, if I may. Say for some reason I decide to uninstall the plugin, what do you think will happen with all those indexed pages? Will uninstalling it hurt my website in the long run? Thanks

    • The comments will not be affected in any way; the links will just reconnect to the name/keyword.

      In theory, the indexed comment pages will disappear of course, which will basically make your site smaller. You will lose any rankings for those pages, if you had any.

      But it won’t affect your site in any major way – my best educated guess.

    • I can verify from personal experience that the comments are not lost. It’s actually not affecting them in the database, just at the output level. I used SEO Super Comments until I ran into the bug that Ana has now figured out how to solve. There was no hiccup in removing it and I look forward to reinstalling it.
      Kimberly

  8. Ana – It seems likely that you came through Thursday’s Google “Farmer Update” changes to their algorithm with flying colors because you have really good link diversity. Some of the links to TGC may have been devalued, but you have developed so many links to your site from so many diverse sources that no single change to the Google algorithm is likely to impact TGC too significantly.

  9. Nick

    Very informative post but removing rel=”canonical” tag from your post will make severe internal duplicate content issues and your ranking may drop. please don’t remove rel=”canonical” tag.

    • Hi, Nick – I am just going to copy and paste a part of my guest post on duplicate content issues, which goes to the heart of your statement:

      “Here’s a quote by Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google:
      A lot of people think that if they have duplicate content that they’ll be penalized. In most cases, Google does not penalize sites for accidental duplication. Many, many, many sites have duplicate content.
      Google may penalize sites for deliberate or manipulative duplication. For example: auto generated content, link networks or similar tactics designed to be manipulative.”
      Susan further explained when webmasters should not worry about duplicate content:
      • Common, minimal duplication.
      • When you think the benefit outweighs potential ranking concerns. Consider your cost of fixing the duplicate content situation vs. the benefit you would receive.
      • Remember: duplication is common and search engines can handle it.
      How exactly does Google handle it?
      While pulling up the search results, Google will basically collapse the duplicates leaving only the most relevant, in their opinion of course, page in the SERPs for that specific query. As I explained before, the way Google determines the most relevant result is based upon a myriad of factors and the only thing you can do for your part is to always link back to your original post.”

  10. Alison Moore Smith@Lifestyle Design

    Great post and a very interesting plugin.

    I tend to agree with Alex, mostly because it’s misleading. If you use KeywordLuv, people have an expectation about what that means. Since it’s been modified and does NOT do what it’s written to do, I think it would be better if its not there.

  11. Hi Ana,

    Wow, what an interesting post. Technically speaking this stuff is way over my head but once I do start to understand it then I can also share these tips with my readers as well.

    Thank you so much for this post Ana and for once again, teaching me something new. I know this will benefit me from this day forward and I’ll be more than happy to spread the word about your post as well. You definitely deserve all the credit.

    Best to you,

    Adrienne

  12. Awesome stuff, Ana!

    Is any of your followers able to help me move to WordPress without loosing link structure and page rank?

    I’d like to be able to have this freedom with design and plugins as you do here. Also I wanna experiment with dofollow comments.

    Thanks!

  13. Ana:

    Well thought out solution, as usual. I may have to look into this. No, I think I will do it.

    Been a rough few days trying to figure out the best route to take with my blog!

    Lisa

    • I am still working on mine… route that is…

      I need to work around the clock to get anything done around here!

  14. Ana,

    Thank you, this totally makes sense. I can attest to getting noticed for my comments on your site even though the links went to an internal page.

    When I first noticed that the links were not going directly to my blog I started to monitor what was happening. Every time I comment I get a Google alert regarding that comment the same day I commented.

    • In my theory, you are getting even more noticed that way, since readers can see even more of what you had to say and check out your blog.

      The more comments you make, the more links will point to your “custom” page on my blog, the more authority it will have.

    • A shot of humor this morning was just what I needed, Steve. :)

      Thanks for sticking around!

      PS When you use comment love, please stick to only one keyword; it looks a bit spammy otherwise.

  15. Tim

    Well…the least I can say is ‘your strategy is awesome’. Giving away a big link is better than small links without effect. You’ve again proven it to me the reason why I should keep reading your blog. Your post are simply awesome!

    Keep it rolling! I’m all ears.
    Tim