Should you add DoFollow to your blog?

Follow me

Update: 11 December 2008
I no longer have the “nofollow” tag removed from comments because of the huge amount of spammers it attracted.

For those with your own blog, you’ll naturally want to improve your Google page rank so you appear higher in search engine rankings.

An easy way to do this is by leaving a comment here with your URL added to the “website” field in the comment form.

For every comment or trackback you leave, an outgoing link will be added from my site to yours.

The vast majority of blogs don’t offer this, mainly because their blog platform has “rel=nofollow” automatically added to comment URLs. Initially this was to combat spam, but with today’s protection I rarely get any spam comments. So I’ve implemented a nice little plugin to remove the “nofollow” code. It’s another way to give you every reward I can for your valued comments.

I’m using the DoFollow plugin from Kimmo Suominen. It’s straightforward to implement for those using WordPress to power your sites. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the DoFollow.php page
  2. Choose > File > Save Page As…
  3. Save the page to your desktop as dofollow.php (which should automatically be the filename)
  4. Upload the dofollow.php page to your WordPress plugin folder
  5. Activate the plugin via your WordPress plugin page in the admin

As an alternative, there’s always the Semiologic DoFollow plugin for WordPress. Or check out Andy Beard’s definitive list of all things DoFollow (broken link removed, 2014). Andy has been championing the DoFollow campaign for some time.

Other blog authors who can boost your page rank when you comment are: Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog, Dawud Miracle at, Chris Cree of SuccessCREEations, Randa Clay of Randa Clay Design, Char of Essential Keystrokes and Chris Garrett of

Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal also gives these 13 Reasons Why NoFollow Tags Suck.

114 responses

  1. Thanks for checking, Andy. I’ve removed Robert from the list.

    Dinner, great work. I wasn’t aware (or had forgotten).

    Seems to be some issue with the comment avatars now. Hmmmmm.

  2. I do those horrible things to people’s avatars ;)

    The plugin isn’t very smart, and doesn’t shorten URLs thus if someone enters a more suitable link to related content which is good for both the website owner and the commenter, it messes up the pictures.

  3. You are probably using the MyAvatars plugin and it is a bug with that.

    One of these days I will get around to informing the creator, or just hacking the fix myself.

  4. I chose the Link Love plugin from Andy Beards list for my blogs.

    You can choose how many comments have to be left before it kicks in, which is nice. I’ve currently set it to only 2, ‘cos I’m kind like that :-D

  5. Add me to that list David! :-) I installed the Semilogic DoFollow plugin this morning. I will be adding it to my other blog, too.

    Thanks for sharing the link love.

  6. Sorry David, I was referring to Scoble’s post about the subject – not that he had removed nofollow. Sorry for the confusion.

    David, if you’re going to use the avatar plugin, you’ll likely need to manually remove the nofollow from the php plugin file code. I had to do that with the quoter plugin on my blog. I can assist you if you need a hand. Just let me know.

  7. My blog also received a boost when I turned off the comment pre-approval function in WordPress.

    I could only moderate for 2-3 hours a day and I thought it was good means to excercise control of who said what.

    It’s dumb and suffocates participation. I haven’t had to delete anything since turning it off. Askimet has been flawless.

  8. Hey David – Thanks for continuing to spread the link love around! :)

    I have found that removing the nofollow tag has definitely increased the comments on my site. People really aren’t abusing it either (though one or two of them kind of push the envelope a bit).

    Overall, I think you are right – it’s a wonderful way to give back to the communities that are responsible for our success in the first place!


  9. Andy, thanks for letting me know it’s probably the MyAvatars plugin. I would’ve wondered about that.

    Chris, I’d read about how you can choose the amount of comments before the “dofollow” comes into effect. To be honest, I’m happy enough to give a link from the first comment, unless it’s something not worth reading, like a single word.

    Char, no problem. I’ll add you to the list. ;)

    No worries, Dawud. By removing code from the MyAvatar plugin, will it fix the error that was brought up in the first two comments?

    TPB, there have been a few spam comments breach my Akismet spam protector. For now I’ll keep the moderation on but it’s definitely something to keep in mind for the future. Thanks.

    ilker, I know you’ll love the WordPress capabilities. It’s good you’re keeping busy though. :)

    Richard, give me a shout when you add it to yours and I’ll update this post.

    Wendy, thanks for stopping by again. Glad to read that the number of comments you’re receiving has been increasing. I’m sure it has a lot to do with your great content.

  10. Yeah! Down with rel=nofollow! So thanks for helping out with my pagerank – and if you want, maybe I can help out a little with yours! Let’s do a podcast interview and I’ll plaster the post with links to your site – no rel=follow, guaranteed! And plus: we could talk about your blog, rel=nofollow, your work and your ideas on design project process. Just send me a quick email.

  11. Welcome to the NoMore NoFollow club, David. Personally I don’t understand why WordPress comes with comments defaulted with NoFollow when pretty much everyone admits it isn’t working for its intended purpose of discouraging spam.

    Ah, well. Change can come hard, sometimes even to tech folks.

  12. Chris Ritke, I’m interested to know more about the podcast you speak of. I’ll send over an email, or you can email me at:

    d.airey (at) davidairey (dot) com

    Chris Cree, spam protection on WordPress is pretty top notch. I do find myself checking the Akismet comments from time to time however. I know that there are the odd one or two that are legit, which is a shame for those taking the time to comment only to get labelled as spam.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  13. David – Thanks for the pointer! I added it to my blog. Appreciate your comments. You are one of my top commentators.

    I might also suggest the top commentator plug in.

    This helps put your most loyal readers in the lime light.

    See my blog for an example.


  14. I’m completely on board with the no-more no-follow movement. Unfortunately, I haven’t installed it on my site just yet because I’m still redesigning various other aspects of the site at the moment. Perhaps later this afternoon I’ll just install it to get it going. The one thing bloggers on the fence should keep in mind when it comes to nofollow is that if you don’t like it turned off, you can always turn it back on later. No harm done to give it a try.

  15. Thanks for the tip, David! I’ve just added it to fade theory. You know, I’ve finally upgraded WordPress and installed a bunch of fab plugins there, but have completely forgotten about I guess fade theory’s my favorite child.

  16. Mike, to be honest with you I’m unsure about the real benefits of the ‘top commentator’. I don’t want to harm my Google juice by linking to particular sites on every last page of my blog.

    I need to read up on this, but I’m glad you made the switch and removed NoFollow from your blog. Keep up the great writing.

    Bret, exactly – there’s no harm in trying if you’re unsure about it.

    Rachel, Tolumi, that’s great you’ve joined in!

  17. David, on the ‘first two comment errors…’ I don’t think so. I remember reading in a few spots that Gravtar had some bugs in it. Since I’ve not used the plugin myself, I’ve not paid too much attention wha the bugs are. But I doubt removing rel=nofollow will solve the problems.

    I may use Gravatar when my new design comes out – not sure yet. If I do, I’ll let you know more about what I find.

  18. Hi Dawud,

    It’s the only time that error has occurred since I installed the MyAvatars plugin. I chose it over Gravatars because it was obvious that most of you commenting on my blog are MyBlogLog users.

    Can’t wait to see your new design. What’s the timeframe on that?

  19. It is only a minor issue with the plugin, and it would be hard to fix because some blog hosts use subdomains or subdirectories

    I have other things to worry about a lot more than fixing someone elses plugin just so that I get an avatar showing when I use a deep link.

  20. Hmmmm… this is an interesting plug-in. one that would have been scoffed at a few years ago with the spam-attack in full force

  21. Shaun you would be amazed at how many bloggers have been using a dofollow plugin or ripping out the nofollow tags in their WordPress files ever since nofollow was introduced.

    I have been using Dofollow for as long as I have been using WordPress, and so have many blogging consultants I know – and also encouraging people to do likewise.

    It is only in recent months that we have been starting to get some traction.

  22. Gosh I had no idea I was being lured into such a huge following. It’s nice to know I’m among such an awesome elite list of blogger though!

    Thanks so much for the tip David. I feel so terrible for cheating people for so long.

    Glad that’s behind me now :)

  23. Hi David:
    Over at the Silicon Valley Mom’s blog we’re trying to figure out how to do this with Typepad (sigh). Wish us luck! Great post.

  24. Kate, best of luck with it. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with Typepad so can’t help at the minute. I’d love to do some research for you but I’m swamped.

    marhgil, thats great news. Welcome to the pro-follow club.

  25. Love this plugin, and just wish more people knew about it. I created the “D List” on my blog in hopes of making it easy for bloggers to find who is using it.

  26. David, do you have any concerns about the loss of control over outbound links on post pages? The amount of non-relevant outbound links will increase substantially… could this not affect your search engine results?

    Plus, won’t the benefit you pass on to sites you link to in any post decrease with the increase in links on the page due to comments?

    As you might have guessed, I have some reservations about ‘dofollow’… I wrote a post about how nofollow still has it’s place just the other day and then stumbled upon your article while thinking about it further.

  27. Frank, I have little concern over the outbound links. Here’s why:

    I still moderate comments from new visitors, so I’ll catch any spam that gets through the Akismet plugin. Also, I think it’s fair to say that removing NoFollow increases the amount of comments left, which in turn allows more conversation to flow. I’m blogging due to the relationships I’m building with fellow bloggers, so to give a little something in return for people joining in the conversation is the least I can do.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  28. Sure, I fully believe that a decision to nofollow/dofollow depends on the blog in question, and if your motivation to blog is to build relationships and converse then I guess it makes sense… I’ll be very curious to see what kind of impact dofollowing has on search engine results though.

  29. I installed DoFollow some time ago, and it definitely helped increase the number of comments on posts (and so far not too much spam) so it’s good :) It’s nice to see that a lot of people are participating in the “dofollow movement” :)

  30. Hey!
    Another on the list, I’m completely agree with the no-more no-follow movement. I installed some days ago.
    Anyway, you have a very interesting blog!

  31. First let me say I really like the mods you have done to the Vertigo theme. I use Vertigo as well on my blog but yours has a much cleaner look. Very nice. Glad to see the DoFollow movement is continuing to grow. I believe in rewarding commenters regardless if they post one contributing comment a month or twenty.

    Speaking of which, I found your blog while researching for my latest challenge the DoFollow Pingback Challenge (broken link removed in 2014). I have DoFollow turned on for my blog and the challenge is to see how long it takes me to find 100 blogs that have it on as well. Hope you pop over and take a look, either way glad I found your blog.

  32. Glad to see that you are following the DoFollow revolution, yes I added DoFollow to my site a couple of days ago and have had several happy people come to me and thank me for the link backs.

  33. I know this is becoming a dated topic, but I still haven’t seen any close-to-standard set of buttons. If this ‘movement’ is getting big enough, there will be no need for any indicator, but I guess we’d all benefit from having some way to tell people we’ve removed nofollow the first couple of months.

    I made one for myself, and posted a couple of variants for others to use, for those who thinks Randa’s are too big.

    Check them out, if you’d like. :)

  34. Ooof! Late to the party as usual…

    2Dolphins is Blogger (Classic) – based but I managed to clean the “NOFOLLOW” tag out of the templates this morning.

    Our PageRank is currently pretty unimpressive, so it’ll be interesting to see if this really does make a difference…

  35. THanks for the info, but I dont think many will remove their nofollow links.

    And by the way, you can remove the nofollow links by editing some pages in your includes folder

  36. Do you think google with “go after” people with no no-follow in their blogs?

    That’s what keeps me from adopting this in my designs.

  37. I am way late to this party, but just got my new WP blog going, so I have an excuse. I did just put the plugin on my blog, so we shall see if it makes a difference after it has been up a while. Thanks to you David!

  38. I agree with the other commenter, I don’t it will become common to remove the ‘no-follow’, although I think in come case it’s only fair to the commenter especially if the comment adds value to the post.

  39. I found you on blog catalog, and am very impressed. I’m new to blogging and had no idea nofollow slipped in there. I’m off to fix it now. Thanks for the heads up.

  40. Thank you for the tip…
    It really seems that this movement is gaining in size. At first I was unsure but after reading a few articles like yours, I have decided to join as well!

    Cheers to the dofollow community!


  41. It would be cool if people can make a plugin to remove nofollow on specific comments and display it on the page. Something like: “Add valuable comments, get backlinks!”

  42. Audi,

    It’s an interesting idea to make certain comments followed and other, more spam-like comments no follow.

    Personally I prefer to give as much link love as possible, so if there was such a plugin I’d not be using it. You take the time to comment, so it’s the least I can do to provide a followed link with anchor text of your choice.


    That’s great you’ve joined up! I just commented on your excellent Design Sojourn website and didn’t see those pink highlights that NoFollow show up.

    All the best.

  43. Sorry, David, I was caught up on my memes, but will be installing the NoFollow plugins today, watch out for the track back.

    Also I’m assuming the pink highlights is something to do with the plugin?

  44. musicmixingguru,

    To know if you’ve successfully removed NoFollow, simply highlight the hyperlink in your comments and ‘view selection source’ (by right-clicking on PCs). You shouldn’t see ‘rel=nofollow’ in the link code, which means you’ve done a good job.


    The pink highlights show if you use the Search Status extension for FireFox. It’s a neat little addition that displays page rank, Alexa, Compete, and lots of other things for the site you’re browsing. It’s very discrete too.

    I commented over on your website so say that you’ve successfully removed ‘rel=nofollow’. Nice.

  45. Thanks for the tips. I’ve actually just installed the Kimmo plugin on my own blog. It seems like a great solution because it rewards those who participate in your ‘comunisphere’ and sticks a time delayed finger up at the spammers. I love it!

  46. That’s great you’ve joined up too, Mark.


    Adding the previous posts’ commenters is manual. It’d be a good idea for a plugin, but I don’t mind doing it the long way because I’m grateful for your participation.

  47. This is a novel approach. I like the idea of using dofollow as a comment incentive, but I have one concern: do you think it “waters down” the comments you get and encourages commenting for the wrong reasons?

  48. I think I’ve been successful in intalling the nofollow attribute – if i’m correct in my assessment, then I deserver a big round of applause.
    Yay for me.

  49. I installed dofollow in my new blog, I don’t really care if people get a tiny bit of link love. As for spammers, well, that’s what Akismet is for :)

  50. Hi,
    many thanks for this article. I’ve just installed it on my new blog, so we shall see! I’m nw to all this and don’t really understand it but i trust you and hopefully I will learn more about blogging! Off to read some more of your site!

  51. Hi Dave,

    I know that when someone leaves a comment they’re being rewarded with a link back to their site. This is a personal benefit for me because I feel if someone doesn’t find what they’re looking for at least I’ve given them a link.

    I’m pretty sure conversation has increased since installing the plugin, although this could be due to other factors too (such as commenting more on other peoples blogs / websites).

    Negatives? Some people try to exploit the system but I can easily delete the very few spam comments that get through the net (Akismet and self-moderation).

  52. Well, I don’t really know before if blog script use nofollow. I use forum and article directory script. Both of them use dofollow.

    I agree with you. If someone write an article or write a sentences in my article directory or forum, I should respect that as long as they put valuable sentences.

    Just like you said, I also learn from them as they learn from me as well.

    – Ruri

  53. Hey David,

    Came across your blog earlier today, interesting stuff! I was unaware that using nofollow was unpopular in any way – but I guess helping fellow bloggers is a better payoff than being overly paranoid about dropping PageRank due to outbound links.

    I never realised that until reading this; I think I’ll have to check into that plugin!

  54. I love how you call it the dofollow movement. I found a lot of great info in your post. I find on my own blog that spammers aren’t detered by the nofollow tags anyways so whats the real point? Obviously good image to text coding works best for bots…

    -Jason of highriseloan dot com in vegas ;)

  55. Damn i love this crasy intrenet world.

    I think google and other search engines are starting to strain with the Blog world exploiting the SEO market :-) well i guess its time for the small people to rise and air there opinions.

    Keep up the good work …..

    Talk soon Jasmine xxxx

  56. If people are so much craving for moving to dofollow, it’s more suggestable that wordpress includes a checkbox option for adding rel=”nofollow” to comments (can be set on by default)… may be that would increase performance too (a plugin should have some impact!)…

    I have my blog with and don’t have facility to use own plugins.

    BTW do you think that Google is following “nofollow” 100%. Webmaster central shows links from sites as and technorati that extensively use “nofollow”.

  57. I just set up my blog and was thinking of getting some plugins.

    Came to this blog cause I was deciding to nofollow or dofollow.

    Good material here to read and I guess I am going to join the dofollow bandwagon!


  58. I’m giving the DoFollow plugin a shot on my blog. But I’m one who prefers to use the least amount of plugins possible. I’ll admit I haven’t had time to pour over the WordPress files to find the answer to this question on my own, but is there a way to edit the source code to remove the nofollow tag?

    Of course, that presents its own problems when it comes time to upgrade WordPress.

  59. I’m going to be adding Do-Follow to all of my blogs.

    The sad part is, the no-follow comment movement never really reduced spam at all. Like you said, now we have plugins that do a pretty good job of catching spam…but the overall amount of comment spam on blogs has only increased not gone down.

    The only thing the No-follow movement did was penalize good comments.

  60. Hey Dave, spot on, and trawling through my spam folder for legitimate comments is a chore. Maybe once in 20 attempts I’ll find a comment that actually isn’t spam. In the 10 months my blog has been active, the Akismet plugin has caught about 20,000 spam comments.

  61. Thanks for the useful info. I am new to all this and hope this advice can help me get my new product out to the masses!

  62. The first plugin I have installed after moving to wordpress is “DoFollow” from semilogic. This was one of the biggest reason I moved from blogger to wordpress – though some people are coming up with blogger scripts to remove nofollow tag – it’s pretty easy in wordpress

  63. Hi David, Many thanks for your wishes and being so quick in reply to comment. I appreciate! Hey, I am looking for some groups where I can add my blog to let bloggers know that they can get pure one way backlinks due to “DoFollow” implementation. I would surely like to add my blog to such groups and directories.

    I want to pass on the link love, because soon, my blog gonna be PR4-5 in next update as it has gathered 5000+ backlinks in last 3 months.

  64. If someone is good enough to leave a relevant comment on my blog, they deserve a link back. The whole point of the dofollow movement is to allow relevant comments and weed out spammers.

  65. Great post! Very helpful.
    Good to see that the era of linklove is still alive….
    Was going to use blogger but methinks it is going to have to be WordPress.
    (Will be interested to see Google’s next move in this area)

  66. David, I see you no longer use this method and instead include the default nofollow tag. I don’t have a firm grasp on all the ins-and-outs of the issue, but why after writing this article did you change your mind? Was it because of the ban Google placed on you previously. I wouldn’t think that omitting nofollow tags on comments would cause a ban (but I could be wrong). Cheers.

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