Search Engines have different ways to determine how they present results when you key in a particular query. It’s a mixture of the key words on your site, links to pages on your site, and the quality of the pages from where the links come from. Just how much weight each of these particular things get and if there are other considerations is a mystery (at least to me!).
So, in order to get your site a better rating, one strategy that you could employ would be to make sure that people link to your site. Enter the spammers. Blogs and forums are great locations for spammers to hit you with multiple links back to their site. Automate it to harvest the locations to post to and the content to post, and you could have thousands of links and watch your rank in Google skyrocket.
Google, as you can imagine, frowns on this development, and so they developed the “no follow” tag. This tag basically tells any googlebots on your site to ignore following the links in that portion of text thereby keeping any links inside that area from being counted toward a page’s rank.
The problem is, spam technology has gotten to a point where there is virtually no spam on blogs unless the blog author wants it there. Now, I did have a situation over the weekend where the site that I have spam authentication through was done (I suppose?) so I had to moderate close to 200 spam comments, but they never saw my pages. I have rules set up that the first time you comment I have to approve it– and though some spam comments appear legitimate, they are pretty easy to spot.
So, no “no follow” is punishing people with legitimate links in comments because you may have an important point to say, but Google and others won’t see the increased wait. Enter the “Do Follow” plugin for WordPress. Once uploaded and activated, this plugin takes out the “no follow” directive in WordPress for comments that is its default. This will allow those of you that comment and have a good link on your site to get the credit you deserve.
My comments are followed using this extension– but don’t abuse it! 🙂