Engineering a New World

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WordPress Comments Marked as “rel=external nofollow” – SEO Impact?

image I just noticed that WordPress comments are marked as “rel=external nofollow”.  I got curious as to what that meant for SEO, as a tactic for SEO’s (and for spammers) has commonly been to deluge blogs with comments, hoping to thereby increase link popularity.

The best explanation I’ve found for this is on the Microformats Wiki, which explains the subtle differences between “nofollow”, “external” and the other “rel=” attributes.

In terms of what actual value and/or impact this would then have on the SEO value of comments in blogs, this is another one that’s a bit up to speculation.

One can first-off point out that an “external nofollow” tag would thereby mean that a link is meant to be marked as an external link that should not be followed and cataloged by any search engine.

However, there’s been rumblings all over the net that Yahoo! and Bing don’t give a damn about nofollow links, and index them anyhow.

So, unless you’re in the know and actually work for one of these search giants, chances are you’re going to have to rely on making your decision the old-hat SEO way – by empirical observation – and then determine what the impact really is.

About turbotad

My name is Tad Reeves, and I am a certified AEM Dev/Ops Engineer, cycling enthusiast, train & transit junkie, and father of three. I’m currently an Adobe Experience Manager Architect, consulting for ICF Next, as well as for other companies.

4 comments on “WordPress Comments Marked as “rel=external nofollow” – SEO Impact?

  1. talwinder
    April 23, 2011

    i have still doubt about nofollow,i use to comment on many blogs when i like the post,and many of them are using nofollow for wordpress comments…
    but when i explore my site in yahoo site explorer it shows all those inbound links,it may not give you page rank benefits,but still you have traffic benefits..

    and now a days trust rank is more important than page rank.TrustRank is the degree to which Google trusts that your website will be valuable to visitors if presented as a search result…

    • Tad
      May 9, 2011

      Got any references or papers on TrustRank you’d like to share? Definitely seems pertinent to the discussion.

  2. Samantha
    May 7, 2011

    Though some people saying that “rel=external nofollow” still has difference with the “rel=nofollow”, and SEs still give some juice to these type of links.
    Getting confused!

  3. Stray Thoughts
    October 9, 2011

    I strongly feel nofollow tags are bad for everyone in the long run and should be done away with. I think Google is already inching towards that. Too much nofollow would wreak havoc on blogging. Alternative ways should be found to fight spam. Don’t throw the baby with the bathtub.

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2011 by in seo and tagged , , , , , .
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