Repenting of My Nofollow Sins

Hello, my name is Jeff and I am nofollow addict.

When I first began Perishable Press two years ago, in August of 2005, WordPress quickly became my blogging platform of choice. Everything about WordPress was great, so I had no trouble overlooking a few seemingly insignificant quirks, such as the nofollow attributes that are automatically applied to all comment links. In fact, at first, I really had no idea what they were or how they affected my site.

Eventually, as I began delving deeper into the Blogosphere, I realized that those harmless-looking nofollow tags were considered by many to be detrimental to the livelihood of the blogging community and its way of life. The arguments against nofollow and the reasoning behind the “no nofollow” movement resonated well with my sense of social equity on the Internet.

The more I looked into the nofollow issue, the more opposed I became to the idea of default WordPress installations generating nofollow links by default. In fact, after arming myself with as much information as possible, I made haste to jump on the anti-nofollow bandwagon and publicly regurgitated the arguments against the implementation of nofollow links.

Unfortunately, after cathartically posting my “nofollow sucks” rant, I quickly forgot about the nofollow issue. Although I had intended to follow through (so to speak) and remove all traces of nofollow links from my site, I never actually got around to it. Once in awhile, as time went on, I would pause for a moment while surfing through cyberspace and think, “Wow, I really need to remove those lame nofollow links from my site..”

At least, that’s what I want you to think. Perhaps a more accurate honest confession would reveal my secret obsession with nofollow attributes. My selfish desire to see my site ranked well in the search engine results led me away from my own rational nofollow opposition. Even though I understood that penalizing commentators with nofollow links was unjust, I gave in to the dark side and continued with their use.

And it gets worse. With each passing comment, I felt like I was living a double life. It was like, I wanted to encourage comments, but my shameless lust for PageRank prevented me from passing the juice. “My Precioussss..” comes to mind. Eventually, I completely ignored my better “dofollow” inclinations and, in utter depravity, began nofollowing every external link I could find — within comments, posts, ..everywhere.

For this, I am sorry. In my selfish greed, I have robbed many a worthy site from receiving its well-deserved dofollow linkage. Not that Perishable Press is PR 7 or anything, but its the thought — the principle — that is so important. I can only imagine how disgusted other bloggers must have been to have seen a new link to their article, only to discover that the link had been slapped with an insulting nofollow attribute. — I am so ashamed! :(

Fortunately, my readers have been more than patient with me. The persistence with which people continue to visit, read, and even comment has helped me to see the light. Rather than completely dump Perishable Press for a site that doesn’t diss its commentators and resources, readers have chosen to stay loyal. Now that I have realized this, I am compelled to repent of my nofollow sins. The long, dark night is finally over..

Thus it is, from this point on, Perishable Press completely embraces the “you comment, I follow” philosophy. I simply love reading your comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks, and want to encourage them as much as possible. I want this site to come alive in community activity and dialogue. Of course, external links within posts, notes, and references will also be followed. The only exception to this sitewide “external dofollow” policy involves obvious spam comments and post links to truly questionable sites. Otherwise, all external links will now share the love and pass the juice! ;)

Epilogue

Am I being just a tad too dramatic about this whole thing? Probably. But that shouldn’t detract from the importance of sharing link equity with people and sites that contribute, either actively or passively, to your site. The open-source community thrives on mutual reciprocity and the selfless distribution of ideas, resources, and help. By hoarding link equity for selfish reasons, bloggers exclude themselves from the very community that enables their existence.

To be fair, it should be said that I have been following post links and references for several months now. There are many fully functional, dofollow links within recent articles, and the remaining distribution of nofollow links will be repaired as soon as possible. Although I remain concerned about PageRank, SEO, and all of that, I want to retain a sense of integrity, transparency, and fairness as the site continues to evolve. Having said that, I would like to thank you for your continued interest in Perishable Press — I look forward to sharing, learning, and hearing from you in the future. God bless.