DoFollow | No Nofollow – Highs & Lows

Having spent so much time over the last 6 months evangelising the adoption of dofollow plugins and solutions to remove nofollow from comments, the last week has been filled with highs and lows.

The No Nofollow Highs

Last week the No Nofollow | I Follow | Dofollow community on Bumpzee crossed the 100 member mark, and 100 blog mark. This week we are already up to 137 members and 132 blogs. What is more encouraging is that I see a lot of members actually using Bumpzee for browsing blogs.

More Blogs

Some interesting points:-

  • 2nd Highest Number of blogs – the blogs were individually submitted to the community
  • 4th Highest Number of Members – we could well overtake Jim’s How to be successful community in a couple of weeks.
  • Many of the communities already overtaken have been established much longer

There are hundreds, even thousands of blogs I could add to the community, but I would really prefer people make the decision themselves.
Every blog included is vetted. I pick up lots of blogs that don’t have nofollow removed correctly, blogs made from affiliate datafeeds, blogs that are mainly resyndicated content, and even blogs with totally broken comment systems.

There are no requirement to use the Bumpzee widget to be listed, or the voting button, although blogs that do include the voting button do gain more traffic if their readers are Bumpzee aware.

If a blog doesn’t have a visibly active community, leaving comments on a regular basis, I am going to go snooping around and your chances of being included are reduced.

The community didn’t benefit from being the first on Bumpzee, such as the Affiliate Marketing community, and the first managed blogs such as the SEO/SEM, How To Be Successful, and Next Gen Marketing, the later communities I might add also had a few non-member blogs added.

The Lows – Dofollow Abuse

I suppose if you model yourself as the internet equivalent of Ghengis Kahn then the idea of charging people to have nofollow removed from their comments would be attractive, but I have noticed that many of John Chow’s readership (the grown up ones with money) don’t appreciate it.

If I was an advertiser buying reviews on Johns Blog, I would worry about how the quality of readership is deteriorating as his readership supposedly increases, though I am sure his readership will appreciate the male enhancement text ads.

Some of my readers have already been writing about this

Chris thinks this is a bit of a perversion of the Dofollow movement and goes on to say:-

Personally, there isn’t a blog on the planet that I would pay to have a followable comment link on, nor would I ever charge for one. Followable comment links are a nice thing to give away, but I just don’t feel there is any benefit at all to buying one. Well, apart from to Johns bank balance of course.

Webstractions gives lots of reasons why you shouldn’t pay for the links, and why you shouldn’t use the plugin John is selling on your own blog.

RT has actually already written twice about it, first of all in one of his drivebys where he said:-

After reading the news about it at Blog-Op and then reading the source article myself at John Chow dot Com, I’ve decided that John’s money-grabbing link whoring has turned me off for the last time. So much so that I’m removing his links from anything I have, including my feed reader. See ya later, John!

He later went into even more depth about John Chow:-

I may not have the best blog in the world (far from it) but I refuse to have it even remotely associated with bloggers that use or abuse their readers in any way, shape or form. Sure, their blogs are their blogs and they have the right to use them anyway they want. I’m sure it won’t bother them to lose just little old me as a reader, but if more people know and more people follow suit, I’m sure it’ll bother them a whole lot more.

The Paper Bull had equally strong words about John Chow

He can call it whatever he wants – but selling a $10 monthly membership to turn off the no-follow tag on comments is about as distasteful a scheme as I’ve seen in a while. Blogs are built upon conversation and are wholly dependent upon comments left by readers who valued the article enough to spend a few moments to tap out a response. Using comments as a means to extract coin is disgusting.

Reputation Management Lesson

Alienating your most valuable readers to gain more 13-year-old kids isn’t good practice.

Tip of the Nofollow / Dofollow Iceburg

Over the last 2 months the number of references to Dofollow shown in Google has increased by 50,000, and over the last 6 months it has more than doubled.
Whilst that is significant, I would love these isolated blogs to become part of the no nofollow community on Bumpzee where they can share their link love, and interact with blogs talking about similar subjects.

Only you can make it happen

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  1. says

    Thanks Andy, and I love your lesson at the end.

    It only seems like a couple of short months ago that JC’s blog was a fun place to learn some tips and have an enjoyable read.

    Now it’s less about how to make money, than how to make John Chow money-a shame, but an inevitable result of success? I hope not.

    I know I’ve joined Bumpzee, but I must make more of it. Not enough hours in the day. Talking of which, I have to do the ironing and then get the kids from school. Glamorous eh?

  2. says

    Nice round up of all the discussions. I have heard about Bumpzee but I think I am going give it a try and you will soon see me in your community. :-)

    Chris sold me on the plugin and I haven’t turned back.

  3. says

    I love your promotion of the Dofollow campaign. I am also glad to be a member of the Bumpzee group. Thanks for helping me get my nofollow issue sorted out on my blog also!

  4. says

    Thanks for the mention Andy.

    My worries were technically induced, rather than the “shame of it all” type of thinking. I truly believe that if Google has not caught wind of this, they will soon enough. Matt Cutts was perfectly clear on his feelings about paid links, and those would constitute a paid link.

    If other bloggers gain inspiration from this type of campaign and adopt it as their own, then I fear they will someday regret it. And even if that does happen, Mr. Khan will still come out smelling like thorny rose … for he really does not need Google for traffic.

    And I nominate you for the quote of the week:

    “I would worry about how the quality of readership is deteriorating as his readership supposedly increases, though I am sure his readership will appreciate the male enhancement text ads.”

  5. says

    Hey Andy thanks for your thoughts. I was actually thinking similar things as John was writing that blog post. I know that he’s very successful and all in the blogging world, but I have found that it is fairly distasteful when he so eagerly penny pinches with his readers. I have not gone so far as to take him off of my feed reader although I’m thinking that it might happen sometime because I don’t even read a lot of the entries that he writes about anymore.

    In any case, I really appreciated how welcoming you were when I joined the Bumpzee DoFollow community, and I have been enjoying your posts ever since. I’ve most appreciated your honest and insightful opinions. Thanks!

    • says

      Don’t tempt me about creating a Cafe Press site using the logos ;)
      In fact don’t tempt anyone else.

      The good news is there are a whole load of relevant SEO blogs where you can write comments to compensate.

      Actually you might need to change your sig to just “cornwall”, as Cornwall SEO you already own the whole first page of results.

  6. says

    Good point, although I had though about changing it to “cheap diet pills”

    I could do with a nice hoodie, how about a contest? C’mon Andy I know you want to. hehe

  7. says

    I’ve followed those articles you quote from with interest.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Few moreso than me. That’s the best way to learn however so perhaps we’ll see a change of heart?

    • says

      I think there is a difference between “change of heart” and “change of spin”
      John Chow has laid his own bed, and now he has to sleep in it.

  8. says

    I posted a small blurb about this as well. I don’t follow John Chow and am equally disgusted at his gall for doing such a thing. Then again, he doesn’t really mince words about what he is truly about and that is making money. I can’t understand how he has such a strong readership. I guess that there are a lot of folks that want or wish to be like him.

  9. says

    First thing, thanks Andy for all your help and support and for bringing nofollow to my attention. I hope that I’ve helped promote it in some way.

    Now, on to John Chow…I think his tactics are disgusting as well. Doesn’t he realize that soon his ‘reign’ will end. Doesn’t he know that the very community that has made him known is turning against him because of his dirty tactics? I guess he’s just interested in flaming out. I don’t know. But I know it’s not going to last much longer.

    Paying for links is beyond beyond rediculous. But if you make your bed, you will sleep in it eventually.

  10. says

    I think we’re going to see a form of karma kicking in swiftly with regard to John Chow’s “evil” pay-to-follow scheme. If your blog caters to and encourages ego-driven, self-centered, and opportunistic readers, who’ll you have to blame when the members won’t peer up from their own navels long enough to sustain the community you’ve labored to build & promote?

    I prefer to subscribe to, encourage, and revel in the cooperative & supportive spirit of the blogosphere that folks like all of you encourage. That’s real community.

  11. says

    I think DoFollow is an excellent policy, but I wonder if all this following really shares productive traffic. How many of the DoFollow community members are SEO geeks or graphic designers? It seems to me that this movement will succeed only if you get varied communities on board, but DoFollow seems hard to sell to those that aren’t as PageRank-savvy. Also, I wonder how many of the DoFollow members get a significant amount of traffic.

  12. says


    For me it’s less about Page Rank and more about rewarding the people who spend their time leaving a comment on your blog / website.

    The movement is already succeeding because link love is being shared and communities are growing through the effort of people like Andy, and that’s what it’s all about.

  13. says

    I agree that John’s tactics are a little tacky. His advertising is far from relevant: male enhancement.

    Keep up the good work on your promotion of dofollow!

  14. says

    I’ve never really followed John Chow’s blog or any of his activities, but after knowing about paid nofollow in his comments, I’m interested to see what will happen to his site. I’m sure he’s very confident in the fact that his blog is valuable enough that he’s resorted to charging people for it.

    BTW, thanks for doing a brief review on the various nofollow plugins that are out there, very useful and timely for me.

  15. says

    Hasn’t Google seriously penalized John Chow? I think they’ve buried his site several pages deep. I don’t follow his blog either, but he’s certainly attracted the attention of others. It makes me curious enough to look.

    • says

      Alex that isn’t a unique concept, PPP came out with a long time ago.

      Sure it is a different graphic, but the PPP guys also helped bloggers with the wording of their disclosure policy.

      PPP also have special badges that appear using javascript on paid reviews.

      In some ways I disagree with PPP on this because their badges don’t appear in the content, and a disclosure policy link is suggested for use in the sidebar, not in the content.

      I advocate full disclosure in the content, using words, and also wrote both a WordPress plugin and Feedburner Feedflare to help accomplish this.

  16. says

    Nice read. I personally hate the fact that just about every site you visit nowadays, whether it be a blog or otherwise is whoring itself out to the paid linking scheme.

    I also thought your quick lesson subsection was pretty damn funny.

  17. says

    Its a nice concept, but it also leads to increased ’spam’ with comments like ‘Good Job’ or ‘Nice blog’ that are not actually relevant to the post, but are just there because the poster saw a ‘DoFollow’ badge on the blog and wanted a backlink.

    I suppose you could call this a double edged sword, it’d definitely get your more comments, but also increase your moderation work.

  18. says

    I know this post is pretty old dude, so I hope you don’t mind I comment on it?

    I think your in a catch 22 situation here, but I think
    you’ll get more good then you will bad out of it. Even though yes, you would have to moderate allot of the bull, your still well off.

    By they way, I like what your doing – Keep up the good work!



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