WordPress Shouldn’t Use nofollow

In my random wandering across the internet today, I discovered that, by default, WordPress adds the rel="nofollow" attribute to links in comments. Now, we all know the original purpose of nofollow, to try and discourage comment spam. This isn’t really relevant to WordPress anymore, though. Akismet has been supported in WordPress for quite some time. Indeed, I noticed that 2.7 comes with it installed by default. I can attest to the quality of the Akismet plugin: out of thousands of spam comments, it has let exactly one through, and I’ve had one false positive.

To that end, I strongly recommend all WordPress users install Akismet, and the DoFollow plugin. All it does is disable the nofollow attribute on external links in the comments. With the help of Akismet, you can safely do this without providing assistance to spammers.

And to everyone who has contributed to my blog in the past, my apologies for giving you your proper due. That has now been remedied.


  1. I don’t agree. The problem is that it will cause a new dysfunction and make people posting links to their web sites and blogs in as many places as possible.

    I do support you and I’m glad to give the credit to many commenter with DoFollow. However, I think I would prefer editing the comment manually or mark it somehow so that wordpress doesn’t automatically add nofollow.

    Does it happen on render/display time or on comment posting?

    1. I don’t see it becoming a problem. It wasn’t a problem before nofollow was created. I’m quite happy for people to post a link to their website here, provided they have something constructive to add. Generic comments like “this post was really informative” are automatically marked as spam.

      It happens at render time. I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to implement a plugin that only removes nofollow on certain criteria. (Comment flag, commenter on whitelist, etc.)

      1. The problem is that when people start writing to increase their page rank, their measure will be how many time they posted the link and NOT how good and relevant the content is. It’s human nature and you can’t fight with this — it’s automatic.

        Unfortunately, I don’t see any automatic solution but to classify comments manually.

        Anyway, if someone writes a plug-in allowing classification of comments with flexible default, it would solve all problems and satisfy both approaches. It’s not difficult, I did some plug-in development for my small needs but I won’t be able to spend any time on this now. 🙁

  2. I still think nofollow should be used by default as not every wordpress admin is as judicious as yourself. If peoples blogs/sites are relevant enough on their own merits they shouldn’t need the extra push that comment links give them. Though I do commend you for your efforts.

    1. We’re probably looking at it from two different points of view, I think. I see nofollow as a bad thing for the internet as a whole. It was made as a cludgy solution to a problem that is better solved by spam filters.

      I agree, the extra push that a link in a single comment shouldn’t, and probably won’t make much difference. But if the user is an active participant in a particular community, they will eventually build up a bunch of links from various blogs to their site, indicating that they’re relevant to that community as well.

    1. Interesting read, though I disagree with his conclusion. I’m okay with people writing comments for the purpose of gaining pagerank, provided their comments are on topic, and not just a bunch of link spamming. They’re contributing to the conversation, even if it is entirely by accident.

  3. It’s depend.What you want to do with ur blog.
    I have different blog.some use dofollow and some dont.

  4. Great post!

    I think that comments are a integral part of the blogging dialouge.Not just a platform for SPAM.


  5. I agree 100%, it will just discourage webmasters from posting comments. I mean noone wants spam comments, but when you get good content from a webmaster they should be able to get a quality link back from the site they took the time to post on. Just my opinion!

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