At the beginning of the year, Google unveiled a proposal to help combat blog spam. The idea was to label all links that spammers could have inserted with
rel="nofollow" which would instruct search engines to not use the link to boost the site’s rank. The problem is that links in comments which could have been inserted by spammers could also be valid links by valid commenters. These valid links would no longer get ranking. Not only has
rel="nofollow" failed to prevent blog spam, Michael Hampton argues that it is an insidious move by Google to decrease blogs’ rankings in search results.
If your blog software inserts nofollow, then in order for you to give another blog Google juice, you have to go out of your way to link to them without nofollow, such as in your blogroll. It is no longer enough that your reader left an insightful comment or a trackback to his blog with more information. Now, as far as Google juice is concerned, it is as if all of your readers were never there and you had received no comments or trackbacks at all.
As we’ve seen, rel=”nofollow” is Google’s way of having bloggers effectively delist themselves from search engines under the guise of protecting them from comment spam. If you want your site to have more Google juice, and who doesn’t, people have to link to you without rel=”nofollow”. It’s that simple. Nofollow hurts the entire blogosphere, and if carried to its extreme, will result in most blogs being relegated to obscurity as they drop out of the top 100 search engine results.
IO Error: Nofollow Revisited
Go read the whole thing. There are some really good quotes there, including some from an interview with a comment spammer. If you have a WordPress blog and want to disable
try out my Screw Nofollow! plugin. Unlike other
nofollow plugins, this one doesn’t play around… it’s a two-line script that kills
nofollow dead, right away.