If you join the dofollow movement do you run the risk of poorer search engine positioning and will Google respond to nullify dofollow comment links?

nofollow - it keeps you in control. In my previous post on nofollow/dofollow I outlined some reasons why I believe using nofollow in comments is perfectly valid, and quite possibly best practice.

In brief, I said:

If you remove nofollow you lose control over how many outbound links are on your page. You have to moderate very closely, and check all links if you want to avoid losing control over where you link to. And you may find yourself in a quandary with some posts as to whether they qualify as a type of spam or not.

In the ensuing conversation I went into the reasons why you may want to carefully consider giving up the control over your outbound links, and I think they’re worth repeating here, for clarity.

It is my belief that a careful link strategy helps with search engine positioning. For blogging, this means that in any one post you should only link out to a couple of good quality relevant sites.

You should also try to ensure that you have plenty of internal links on every page, if your outbound links outweigh your internal links consistently I’d advise looking at how to improve internal linking.

I believe that Google takes outbound links into consideration when determining relevance, and that a small number of good quality relevant outbound links helps boost your positioning somewhat. It may not be a huge factor, but every little helps.

If you decide to remove nofollow from your comment links, you are resigning full control over how many outbound links you have on any blog post, and where those links go.

Particularly for business blogging, if you have a niche for which you are trying to get high search engine rankings this could have a knock on effect for you whole domain… as each blog post could be losing a little bit of Google juice from large numbers of comment links, the cumulative effect could be considerable – resulting in a poorer search positioning overall for your domain.

Finally, I believe that Google may not be too happy if the ‘dofollow’ movement becomes widespread. Google interprets the internet primarily based on links. Google sees a link from your site to someone else’s as a favourable vote from you. If you hand over the power to give a link from your pages to anyone who fancies, it diminishes the validity of that ‘vote’.

If Google feels that blogs are ‘bigging themselves up’ through interlinking via the comments, there is a danger that Google will move to nullify the effect – for example by moving blog results out of the main search, and promote their separate blog search. This has been rumoured to be on the cards several times, and I imagine the dofollow movement might just be the thing to tip the scales.

If you’re not convinced by my arguments, or would like to know more about the DoFollow movement, visit some of the ‘DoFollowers’ who have been good enough to join in discussion with me about the pros and cons. All of them have reasons for DoFollowing – and they believe that the pros outweigh the cons. But I’m not convinced.