I recently came across an excellent post about link building (on Search Engine Journal) that was put together by Kristi Hines where she points out the importance of blog commenting. But these days it’s a bit of a challenge as most sites and blog platforms automatically include the “nofollow” attribute to comments by default and it has now become sort of a standard practice. This stems from the notion of good SEO as you don’t want to give away your precious link juice to external links.
But there is a valid argument on the flip side — encourage comments, increase engagement and drive more visitors to your blog by making link comments “dofollow”. By doing this, you are giving other bloggers and site owners the chance to generate back links to their sites and if the comments are any good, people might actually click on the links. You can even promote your site as a dofollow blog in various directories.
So the question is: Does it work? Not sure, but I am going to try and find out.
For WordPress users, there is a very simple dofollow plugin (thanks to Denis de Bernardy!). Once you upload and enable it in your wordpress site, the plugin will automatically remove the default “nofollow” attribute from your comments. Will be interesting to see what sort of impact this will have.
Does this strategy have merit?
[UPDATE] October 26, 2010 After changing to “dofollow” for the past 30 days, I have have decided to revert back to “nofollow” as this blog has suddenly lost all pagerank and dropped to 0! Unfortunately, this experiment created more comment spam and bad external links than anything else that could be deemed of value. Conclusion: “nofollow” comments is the way to go.