Dave Naylor seems to think it is a good idea to nofollow blog comments.
In many ways he is right:-
- You get increased automated comment spam
- You get increased spam from outsourced commenting
- You get increased spam from people using commenting efficiency tools (Comment Kahuna, Comment Hut etc)
- You get increased spam from people using dofollow search engines
- You get increased spam from people using lists of dofollow blogs
- You get Internet Marketing Gurus encouraging their interns to comment on their behalf
It takes additional time to manage comments on your blog even when you set up Spam Karma effectively, but that is something you could outsource to compensate, or have managed by a more junior member of staff.
You also leak a little bit of extra juice, how much depends on your site structure, and how many comments you get. Some people prefer to have huge blogrolls of the people who buy them drinks at seminars.
What Do You Gain?
I think the biggest gain is in community
- I don’t have to write all the content myself, my readers contribute and gain a small reward
- What happens when you engage a community of linkerati? They link to you more often
- If you gain more links, you are just sharing part of a bigger pie
- The tools are keyword based – people with websites covering a specific topic visit your site – maybe initially to just drop links, but it is amazing how many can be converted to regular visitors who leave constructive comments, and link to you from their own sites.
Google doesn’t give penalties just because you decide to let those providing user generated content have a little link love.
I should know, my blog due to paid reviews has been on Google’s radar for a long time – I was one of the first to be hit with a PageRank penalty back in October 2007, and as soon as I blocked those review pages with robots.txt, my Google pagerank penalty was at least partially lifted, and I think in a more recent update they lifted it totally.
It does take a little effort, but if you haven’t got time to
- Read the comments left by your visitors
- Check out their sites
- Give them feedback
Why the hell have you got a blog in the first place?
I would be much more worried about comments on your blog which have been left with commercial intent with the upcoming changes to the consumer protection act on 26th May
Whilst this isn’t in any way conclusive proof, it is just a little fun to add this
I have topical authority on my side to compensate for the fact I linked to Dave who posted first, though Google probably can’t factor those into its ranking that quickly.
Thus this result might just be domain authority… it doesn’t look like I have some kind of authority problem, despite having 1000s of dofollow links from comments.
Dave has inched ahead of me in the SERPs – I think the link Jane gave him from SEOmoz swayed the standing fairly heavily.