I draw boxesA blog on user experience & design

June 16, 2008

The stupidity of rel=nofollow

I am truly baffled by the existence of the rel=nofollow attribute on wordpress comments. Even more so by that fact that it is enabled by default, and can only be disabled by installing a plugin.

It seems to me that inter-linking between blogs is exactly what the web is about. Democracy of content, freedom of speech and sharing opinions. Why shouldn’t a commenter on a blog get some search engine ‘credit’ from the page they have chosen to enrich by commenting on?

A human user can see the comment links between one blog and another, so why shouldn’t google?

The idea of using rel=nofollow to reduce the amount of comment spam seems totally outdated and not useful in any way. Akismet is a genuinely useful comment spam filter, and most people manually vet their blog comments before they appear on the site anyway.

As for search engines, I thought the whole point of google’s pagerank was to provide an accurate and ‘honest’ reflection of the web and what is important within it. This to me means providing the search engine spider with an experience as close to that of a human user as possible.

A human user can see the comment links between one blog and another, so why shouldn’t google?

Cards on the table, this annoys me directly because I am trying to raise awareness of this blog by reading around the IA community blogs and commenting on them where I have something useful to add. Readers will see my comments and link back to my blog, but search engines won’t?!

PS rel=nofollow is disabled on this blog thorough the quality DoFollow plug-in

For more check out 11 reasons against nofollow or the WordPress article

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