DoFollow: it was a noble experiment. But it brought me a lot of thin or spam comments that benefited no one. I spent a fair amount of time either deleting these or agonizing about whether they had a shred of content and should be spared.

To recap, quickly, for anyone who needs a recap: When comments are “followed” the recipient benefits slightly — and I suspect the benefit is now very slight indeed, given the thrust of Google’s recent efforts in this area — from a bit of “link juice.” Simplifying enormously (to avoid getting into the Byzantine details of this), the more links a site gets the higher it is likely to rank in SERPS (search engine result pages). This system encouraged spammy comments on blogs, so Google and others invented “NoFollow,” which turns off this benefit.

WordPress (my blogging platform) comes with NoFollow turned on out of the box, but plugins have enabled turning NoFollow off, so that commenters get some link benefit from participation. Which just seems fair.

Unfortunately the people who understand this benefit — or maybe who understand it dimly enough to exaggerate its value — are often not the same as the people who share the real interests of the blog. To see the sort of folks DoFollow attracts, check out this community — it is mostly made of of people hoping to make money writing blogs about how people can make money writing blogs.)

I’m tired of fighting this battle. and I’ve turned off the DoFollow plugin. And so, on we go.

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