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The One-Minute Dofollow WordPress Upgrade

Want to upgrade your blog to official dofollow status but don’t want to install another unnecessary plugin? This article explains how to eliminate nofollow tags from all trackback, pingback, and commentator links in less than one minute..

After finally repenting of my nofollow sins, I began looking for the best way to eliminate the nofollow attributes that WordPress automatically injects into all commentator URL links.

Of course, the most popular technique for removing nofollow attributes from comment links involves one of the many fine dofollow plugins that are freely available to WordPress users. Beyond nofollow removal, many of these plugins also provide additional features, such as control over when and where nofollow tags should be removed. Many of these plugins are highly recommended.

After considering the various dofollow plugins, I came to the conclusion that most of them were simply overkill. My goal was to remove all nofollow attributes from commentator links — nothing more, nothing less. For this site, I just don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles. And I certainly don’t need yet another resource-draining plugin to worry about..

So, I decided to (gasp!) hack the WordPress core itself. It is not only possible to remove all nofollow tags without a plugin, it is absolutely, positively, drop-dead easy to accomplish. Don’t believe me? Check it out..

The One-Minute Dofollow WordPress Upgrade

  • Open wp-includes/comment-functions.php and locate function get_comment_author_link()
  • Within that function, find rel='external nofollow' and delete the nofollow (and preceding space).
  • Done.

And that’s all there is to it. After removing that single parameter, every author link for comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks will be followed by search engines and thus pass link juice to their target pages. No plugins required!

About the Author
Jeff Starr = Designer. Developer. Producer. Writer. Editor. Etc.
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.

10 responses to “The One-Minute Dofollow WordPress Upgrade”

  1. Hell's Handmaiden 2007/11/21 12:28 pm

    Nice. I’ve thought about killing ‘nocomments’ but I didn’t much feel like running yet another plugin on my site. Your solution removed that concern. And removing the ‘nofollow’ was every bit as easy as you say.

    If I might add, gray text on black is terribly hard to read, especially with a font size as small as you’ve chosen.

  2. Perishable 2007/11/21 1:18 pm

    Thanks for the feedback — I am glad you found the article useful ;)

    As for the low-contrast text, I totally understand and am working diligently to implement an alternate, high(er)-contrast theme for people to use as an alternate if desired. I am hoping to have it available within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned..

  3. Hell's Handmaiden 2007/11/22 8:11 am

    My blog needs a lot of work too, but things like making money and stupid stuff like eating keeps getting in the way. Hell’s Handmaiden used to be much worse– black with red type. I think you can still get a glimpse of that format at Wayback Machine.

    Take care. And again, good information. Thanks.

  4. Hey there, thanks for the post. I am having trouble with receiving trackbacks.. Pings work fine but trackbacks NEVER make it through.. I tried your advice as my final hope, but that didnt work either… Do you have any idea what might be causing it?

    And yes, I am allowing trackbacks from the Manage Options page…

    Thanks for your time

  5. Unfortunately, trackback problems are rarely easy to diagnose. Just dig through the WP support forums to verify this. As far as I know, trackback issues were fixed in recent versions of WordPress, so you may want to upgrade if you aren’t running the latest version. Beyond this, there are several things you may also want to try, perhaps before spending the time to upgrade. First, make sure you have a proven system for testing trackbacks. Then grab a theme that doesn’t require any plugins and run it for some specified duration of time, preferably long enough for a trackback to make it through. If you receive a trackback, you have a plugin issue. Otherwise, you could also install a secondary instance of WordPress and check it for trackbacks. Such a test blog on the same domain that does not receive trackbacks suggests a deeper issue, perhaps with some server setting, PHP, htaccess, etc. Similarly, you could replicate your entire blog on a different domain. This will tell you if the issue is related to your particular blog setup or not. Other than that, many of the things I have read while troubleshooting trackback issues of my own dealt with tweaking WP core files, re-uploading files, removing white space at the end of PHP enclosures, and a million other things. If I remember correctly, the problem was finally fixed during my upgrade to a more recent version of WordPress, however, I forget which one..

  6. Black Hairstyles girl 2008/03/14 9:24 am

    Is it wise to have a do follow blog. I have an African American fashion blog….and I want to montize it. So do follow allow bots to index information better? Also does anyone know of a good seo friendly wordpress skin?

  7. Perishable 2008/03/15 5:46 pm

    Is it wise to have a do follow blog?

    Good question, “Black Hairstyles girl”. I think it all depends on your perspective. If you dofollow comment links to show appreciation to people who take the time to share their ideas and contribute to your site, then yes, dofollow is a good idea. Likewise, if you dofollow article links because you have confidence in the target content, then “passing the juice” is definitely an excellent way to leverage reputation and improve credibility.

    On the other hand, if you are only interested in exploiting page rank to make money, then dofollowing links is probably the last thing that you want to do. Similarly, if you are selling links and don’t want to get penalized by Google, you should definitely use the nofollow attribute and keep as much of that lucrative juice as possible.

    I, for one, am extremely grateful that there are people who are generous enough to share their content and link to others without seeking financial gain. How bad would it suck if everyone used nofollow?

  8. brasscupcakes 2008/04/14 7:08 am

    ‘Similarly, if you are selling links and don’t want to get penalized by Google, you should definitely use the nofollow attribute and keep as much of that lucrative juice as possible.’

    Great dofollow tutorial, many thanks, I couldn’t get the plugin to show up so I could activate it.
    This workaround works a treat!

    However, I do not understand the above quote, regarding getting penalized by Google.

    Do this mean that you actually need nofollow if you use adsense at all?

    Not an issue for me at present, but if so, perhaps for us lamers out here, who have adsense or may consider having it in future, you might want to suggest within your article that append the words dofollow to the original comments file so switchback is easy.

    Again, thanks for this fix, I love it.

  9. I am not sure about specific Google policy regarding nofollowing Adsense links (or whatever) as I don’t really use any of that stuff, but I am certain you could locate the required information in the official Google guidelines. As for your suggestion concerning the easy “switchback”, I think that is definitely a good idea for those dealing with similar situations. Thank you for the excellent feedback! :)

  10. Antonio Luna 2008/04/19 6:50 am

    Great idea. I will do the same in my blog.

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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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