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. 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.

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  1. Another convert !

    I am pretty certain Robert still has nofollow, because he is on

    Doublecheck: Yes he still has pink boxes everywhere..

  2. All ready installed it awhile ago. :D

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Ah, I see. Would a different plugin from the Kimmo Suominen one be more effective then? One that shortens URLs?

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. More reasons to switch to WordPress!!

    I know, I know.. I will at some point but I’m really busy these.

  12. Hey, I like the idea! Will be doing this to my own blog soon.

  13. 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!


  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Thank you David :) I just know about this attribute -“- I will install the DoFollow plugin too

  18. 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.

  19. 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.


  20. I thrive on popular sites. ;)

    Seriously, this is cool!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. Just installed the doFollow plugin. No more No Follow :)

  24. 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!

  25. It’s a good way to encourage discussion discussion that’s for sure.

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. Another DoFollow convert.

    Disabling nofollow looks like a great way to get more comments for new blogs.

  30. Hello, david airey. I did that in blogger too. It’s good to see people spreading link love.

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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 :)

  34. You’re very welcome, Gayla.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  35. Want to tell everyone that you’ve turned off the nofollow in your comments? Check out my new “ifollow” logos- grab one for your sidebar!

  36. 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.

  37. Just like you, I just installed a DoFollow plugin on my blog.

  38. 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.

  39. Great to know more and more folks are dumping the NoFollow. Spam can be controlled, so open up and welcome the new awakening to blogging.

  40. I just signed up for this one and I think its great.

  41. Colleen

    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.

  42. Adam Henningsen

    After reading your post I have jumped on the bandwagon. Thanks.

  43. Just added Semiologic DoFollow plugin for WordPress.Thanks for the tip

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. Hey David,

    I recently wrote a post on the DO Follow movement in attempt to encourage others to follow suit.

    I’ve added your blog to the list of Bloggers using DO Follow with link to your home page here:

    The post for this is also on my blogroll so it doesn’t get buried in the archives.


  48. 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” :)

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

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