-a sour soup. a distinct Filipino comfort food for the soul. as unique as its people. as diverse as its culture. a blend of ingredients prepared to its sour perfection, exciting the palate, soothing the nerves, rousing the senses, bringing back memories of scenic greens, warm sun, blue waters, and the solace of home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are You a Do Follow Blogger Yet?

I chanced upon the term "do follow" about a month ago and I'm quite surprised that it hasn't really taken off when I found the whole idea 'nonconforming' and even defiant of Google! I embraced the concept instantaneously!

My previous post here has been about my growing discontent with Google in general and Blogger in particular. Google launched the "rel=nofollow" tag in early 2005 to combat spamming in blogs. Major search engines like Yahoo and MSN liked the bit so they followed suit. It was initially seen as a great idea because really, spamming has become uncontrollable at that time.

What is the rel=nofollow tag?

Rel=nofollow according to wikipedia
, "is a non-standard HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place."

Simply put, the rel=nofollow tag aims to blacklist spam comments left on message boards, forums and blogs. Spam comments are comments with no relevance to what the post is all about and is usually just a link URL pointing you to a site selling or promoting something- unfortunately, most sites are of obscene nature. Spammers come in huge numbers and it is a pain to remove the comments one by one when they come by the hundreds in your various posts. Blogs where the comment moderation is turned off are the ones mainly targeted.

Why do spammers love to spam blogs?

The reason is simple. Blogs have a wide, diverse audience and usually has huge content. Most blogs also have strong PageRanks (another Google owned trademark!) and spammers want to benefit from that. When you link with a blog, search engines crawl that link and will consider that link almost as important when attached to a page that has a PageRank. So then when one is searching for something and that blog shows up, most likely that spam comment will show up in search engines as well.

With the rel=nofollow tag attached to a template by default, spam comments WILL NOT be indexed by Google or other search engines thereby will be ignored by the search engines and will have no value at all whatsoever. It render t
he comments totally useless from a search engine's point of view.

Now you see where I am driving at here.

While the objective is firstly seen as a deterrent for spamming, it is not totally beneficial to any blogger who cares about its readers and its blog's ranking because the search engines CAN NOT determine what a spam comment is from a legitimate comment. What it does is totally ignore all comments- legit or not!

With the rel=nofollow tag on, the reader's comments are never included when search engines rank a page's importance. So from the standpoint of PageRanking, the blogger gets nothing from the comment and the commenter gets not
hing back. It's a dead end for both.

Is Do Follow the answer to rel=nofollow?

I strongly believe it is! Do Follow, writes a supporter, "is an action or a step a blogger initiates to remove the attribute rel=”nofollow” in its blog codes, either by installing a plug-in: Wordpress plugin or this Wordpress plugin, or manually for blogspot and for movable type. Most bloggers would refer to it as a campaign or a movement against rel=nofollow."

Google does not prohibit one from removing the nofollow tag. It is therefore a choice we can make. I choose to reward my readers for taking the time to comment on my posts. Personally, I only try to leave comments now to blogs that support Do Follow. We all are busy people and there are millions of blogs out there. It's impossible for us to visit all of these blogs so why not just visit the ones that will also benefit us in some way? I'd like to be able to give that to my readers and perhaps may encourage them to leave a comment knowing that their URL link will be counted by google and other search engines.

I've read that even with the rel=nofollow tag on, spammers are still out there! It doesn't stop them from doing what they're doing. So why not remove the nofollow tag to benefit us and our readers?

Blogs have other ways of fighting spams now like entering a word or sets of letters and numbers before submitting a comment or just having to enter information manually and clicking submit; these are moves a spam-robot can't do automatically hence preventing the spam from occurring. One can also turn on the comments moderation to filter comments before appearing and going live on your site. I like the idea of comment moderation because it gives me control over what's going to be attached to my site before it hits the blogosphere! I have had a small number of spam comments which I'm truly thankful moderation is on since the comments were nothing but objectionable links leading you to lewd sites!

Again, I think every blogger should make a choice and support Do Follow. It's a win-win and the benefits definitely outweigh Google's reason- that of punishing spammers. Why would we punish OUR readers?!

(Now is a great time to become a Do Follow blogger. Rob from Blogs that Follow whom I met on Blog Catalog and MyBloglog and whom I've exchanged a few emails with on the subject, is giving out Grey's Anatomy 2008 calendars to bloggers who become Do Follow supporters! Kindly visit their website to know more about the ongoing promo.)

© 2007

2 taster(s) say...:

Mrs Coetser said...


I just figured out finally how to take that no follow thing out of my template.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

I love WW cause people actually leave comments on each others blogs and you get to see creative stuff.

eam said...

hello. yes, i really believe that removing nofollow works because Google wouldn't have placed it in the first place if it doesn't. Glad to know you're doing it too! :-)

I will look into the WW soon, perhaps after the holidays... Cheers to you!