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WordPress Plugins Featuring Nofollow Blacklist Functionality

Is that spam or are you just trying to comment?

Removing nofollow attributes from your WordPress-powered site is a great way to encourage comments and attract visitors. Many commentators will leave useful, constructive feedback, but there will always be a few losers who would attempt to game your generous link love. Fortunately, identifying these mindless link whores is relatively easy. Here are a few priceless examples of actual spam (i.e., linked) comments left here at Perishable Press (links removed for obvious reasons):

  • Work at Home Start earn $150/day right now. Part time work for everyone. Nationwide opportunity Our adress. Part Time Job
  • Hi all! Yo u may find it interesting to visit some helpful info on in . lorazepam index index and very creative : ind-z inde in ciprofloxacin index and else ind diaz index tramad soma. neuro Lip or imitrex-i imitrex i-diflucan claritin-i i and look this map , zoloft zithromax soma index3l sildenafil index1.html inde Regards
  • Many forms virus available disease burden especially when baycol inclusion. Legal and new corona beclometasone means to beconase for rate beldin insomnia. With adoption and transfer the experience belladonna counts at bellamine-s lawsuits. Pennsylvania over costs had bactrim after about fixed. Glutamate is to see bactroban loss of balziva material. The calf with lots banan for better defense verdict scale. Bank or greater dependence nurses quit banthine naloxone. Dynamics of dding between barbital is taken disruptive. Plasma protein made such sequential samples barbituric open. Children would cocaine vaccines baros yet those basiliximab skin.

Yes indeed, real nice.. some real classy people out there in the world these days. Yet despite the obviousness of these examples, others are not so easy to distinguish. For example, which of the following comments would you classify as spam? Again, these are actual, “real-life” examples taken from this site:

  • nice site… it is very useful
  • nice write up, thanks for the info
  • Whassup wif all the skins, brah’? sup?! sups. what happens to all these comments?

Of course, everyone determines their own definition of “spam” and subsequently follows their own policy for dealing with such garbage. Most bloggers, I am sure, adopt a strict “zero-tolerance” policy for all blatant spam attempts. For example, our first three examples of meaningless trash would be dealt with swiftly, deftly, and deleted upon entry.

On the other hand, dealing with borderline or otherwise questionable comments takes us into that subtle “grey” zone, where carefully disguised spam mingles with sincere yet meaningless responses. Every day, bloggers walk a fine line between encouraging comments and fighting spam. Fortunately, separating the wheat from the chaff doesn’t need to be so dramatic..

A diplomatic solution to dealing with questionable comments..

If you are still serving nofollow links to your commentators, dealing with questionable comments is much easier. All links are nofollowed, so nothing is lost if you simply allow borderline comments to share space with the others. However, for those of us operating dofollow sites, permitting pointless comment links to gobble up valuable love juice may prove detrimental to our purpose.

Fortunately, dealing with shady comment links just got easier. Thanks to several brilliant WordPress plugin developers, handling suspicious responses is no longer a life-or-death, all-or-nothing, binary decision. Now there is a third option: selective nofollow blacklisting of comment links.

A nofollow blacklist is a diplomatic solution that discourages unwanted comments without completely alienating the commentator. It’s like saying, “look, I can’t really tell if that comment you left is serious or not, but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.” This encourages misguided commentators to stay involved and try again without risking hard-earned link equity in the process. Even better, the entire process happens behind the scenes. Commentators that don’t bother checking the source code are none the wiser, while those that do may recognize the pattern and get with the program. It’s a “win-win” situation..

WordPress Plugins Providing Selective Blacklist Functionality

Having said all of that, let us examine the currently available WordPress plugins that feature nofollow-blacklist functionality. At the time of this post, there are three four excellent plugins from which to choose, as well a manual method provided by yours truly. Each of the following plugins provides blacklist functionality in a slightly different way, and also is featured in our comprehensive reference for nofollow WordPress plugins.

Currently, the three four five dofollow-related plugins offering selective nofollowing are Lucia’s Linky Love, Nofollow Blacklist, Nofollow Case by Case, and NoFollow Free, and Nofollow Reciprocity. Let’s have a look at each one..

Lucia’s Linky Love Plugin
Lucia’s Linky Love plugin is the swiss army knife of dofollow plugins. Part of Lucia’s comprehensive dofollow strategy includes the ability to exclude any commentator link from nofollow removal. Rather than check all commentator links against an actual blacklist, Lucia’s Linky Love checks for the presence of an associated email address. If one is found, the nofollow attribute will remain; otherwise, it will be removed. Thus, bloggers control link juice on an individual basis, by selectively removing the email address of any commentator for which they do not want to follow. Read the full review »
Nofollow Blacklist Plugin
Although the Nofollow Blacklist plugin by Web Kaput is not an official “dofollow” plugin per se, it does provide robust nofollow-blacklist functionality for any link located within posts or excerpts. Unfortunately, at this time, Nofollow Blacklist does not apply to links located within comment links, author links, trackbacks, and pingbacks. Nevertheless, the Nofollow Blacklist plugin will selectively apply nofollow attributes to all domains specified on the blacklist, which is conveniently managed via the plugin’s WP Options page. The presence of an actual list makes nofollow management a breeze. Read the full review »
Nofollow Case by Case
The Nofollow Case by Case plugin by fob-marketing.de is currently the only dofollow plugin focused on selective nofollowing of all comment-related links. Upon activation, all nofollow attributes are removed from comment-related content. Then, the Case by Case plugin enables nofollow tags to be applied selectively for comment links, commentator/author links, pingbacks and trackbacks. Case by Case does not employ an actual blacklist, but rather checks comment links for the presence of /dontfollow appended to the link’s URL. Thus, on a case-by-case basis, bloggers may add nofollow to any link by simply editing the URL, which is rendered normally within the browser. Very keen. Read the full review »
NoFollow Free
NoFollow Free is a plugin by Michele Marcucci that takes a slightly different approach to nofollow blacklist functionality. Rather than blacklisting names or domains, NoFollow Free blacklists your hand-crafted list of comma-separated words. NoFollow Free begins by removing nofollow from your WP-powered site (according to your preferences, of course), and then reinserts nofollow into any commentator links associated with any of the blacklisted words. In other words, if you don’t want people commenting about “Cheapest tramadol” or “Ambien without prescription,” simply add the words “tramadol” and “ambien” to the blacklist and let Nofollow Free handle the rest. A great approach for people who don’t have time to individually scrutinize blacklisted commentators. Read the full review »
Nofollow Reciprocity
The Nofollow Reciprocity plugin by inverudio.com is designed to level the playing field currently dominated by large social sites such as Wikipedia, StumbleUpon, and del.icio.us. Link-greedy social/linking-type sites such as Wikipedia regard all external links as spam and thus apply nofollow attributes to all of them. These sites effectively are stealing pagerank from the content producers (read: bloggers) and using it to bolster their own cause. This is completely unfair because such sites would not even be possible if it weren’t for the hard work of everyday bloggers such as ourselves. The end result of the whole charade involves higher search engine rankings for the big social media sites while we get to eat the crumbs that fall from the table. Fortunately, plugins such as Nofollow Reciprocity provide a way to blacklist such sites from receiving dofollow links from your site. The plugin is simple to use, but provides no handy admin options panel for the actual blacklisting. Instead, users manually must edit the predefined list to include as many blacklisted sites as necessary. Add nofollow attributes to post content, excerpts, and comment text, with an easy hack to include author/commentator links.
BONUS: Do-it-Yourself Nofollow Blacklist Hack
Last but not least is a relatively simple hack I put together while exploring dofollow plugins. Goes great with popcorn! Read the full article »

About the Author
Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Book Author. Secretly Important.
Banhammer: Protect your WordPress site against threats.

11 responses to “WordPress Plugins Featuring Nofollow Blacklist Functionality”

  1. Shaun Connell 2007/11/13 10:10 pm

    Ah, thanks for the list. I’m using the link-love one, simply because of the creative name. :P

    (random: beautiful theme for the site)

  2. Perishable 2007/11/14 9:30 am

    Yes, I am using that one too on another site. It does much more than I need it to, but it is nice to have the extra features just in case. On this blog, I chose the nofollow free plugin, which is another excellent choice. (also: thanks for the theme shout :)

  3. Thank you. Page bookmarket also digged

  4. Whatever-ishere 2007/11/21 8:39 am

    thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

  5. Perishable 2007/11/21 1:11 pm

    My pleasure! ;)

  6. Anime Online 2007/12/16 9:23 pm

    I used to remove the ‘nofollow’ attribute on the comment on 1 of my site to encourage people to contribute and feedback and sort of trust to my loyal readers until recently i was bombarded with huge number of spam comment especially on high PR pages.

    Funny thing though, some of the spam comment looks very unspammy nowadays.
    ex: “I was googling the word loan but came to your site instead, I really enjoy the read.” Who ever though this is a spam comment. :)

  7. John @ Anime Online 2007/12/17 9:14 am

    As long as the author have good contents and distribute valuable informations, people will give feedback to appreciate the author’s work… that’s what i believe. :)

  8. Perishable 2007/12/17 8:28 am

    That is very clever, Anime Online, I will have to remember that trick ;) Eventually, I am planning on replacing all instances of my alias, “Perishable”, with my real name, “Jeff”, and then require all commentators to leave their real name instead of a site affiliation or, even worse, something like, “SEO Professional” or “Deluxe Rolex Replicas”. The question then is, will people still share their comments if they are required to use a personal name for their commentator link text? Hmm.. :)

  9. Perishable 2007/12/17 9:27 am

    John, thank you for humoring me, but you are more than welcome to leave your usual moniker, “Anime Online” — I certainly don’t consider your comments spammy.. You are a valued commentator and I definitely value your feedback, and I always enjoy reading your comments ;)

  10. Ross "The Pit Boss" 2008/11/06 3:03 pm

    Wow, what an excellent review/resource! I popped in my search into Google for a do-follow/no-follow WordPress plugin, and this came right up. After reading your reviews and checking each one out at their separate websites, I chose Michele’s NoFollow Free and I’m very glad I did. Dead easy to use and set up and it works perfectly! Setting up the blacklist words is a fantastic idea.

    Thanks for this post Jeff. It came in mighty handy.

    Ross “The Pit Boss”

  11. Jeff Starr 2008/11/09 9:29 am

    Hi Ross, glad to hear the article helped you find the ideal nofollow plugin! Based on my research, I would have to agree that NoFollow Free is one of the best dofollow plugins currently available; it is also the one I use here at Perishable Press. Thanks for the great feedback, and also thanks for the mention in your article — much appreciated! :)

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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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