A word of warning: SEO Smart Links plugin & nofollow

I recently learnt an important1 lesson, and I thught I would share my experience since I couldn’t get any help from Google.

I’m sure you’ve heard the words “nofollow”, “dofollow” and so on.. but until recently, I didn’t realise it was possible to turn every link on your blog into a “nofollow” link. Because I don’t like to assume that everyone knows the same things I know2, I just want to quickly explain what this nofollow business is about.

“nofollow” is an attribute3 of the relationship4 tag in link html tag5. I think it was introduced by google. I do know that it was meant to combat comment spam, because when someone makes a comment on your blog your page rank can get shared with their blog/website and increase their own page rank. But with the nofollow attribute, the SE6 bots, don’t detect those links.

The SEO Smart Links plugin, allows you to set a nofollow attribute as well as open links in a new window. I had missed the keywords ‘allows you to set a nofollow attribute’ when I was reading about the plugin and installed it on my blog. It added the nofollow attribute to all my links. Every single link I placed in my blog and had in old blog posts were turned into nofollow links.

It wasn’t until I liked to Turnip @ Turnip of Power | Social Networking that I even knew there was a problem. With Stuart @ Secluded Habitat’s help, I was able to figure out that it was this plugin that was causing all the hassle7.

Now, there might be some use for adding the nofollow attribute to all links on your blog… but I imagine that would be if you have a high PR. But I don’t, so I don’t have a high PR and I don’t even care about sharing PR juice so I’m glad it’s all sorted out.

At first, I deactivated the plugin all together but once it was confirmed that the SEO Smart Links plugin was the culprit I reactivated it and went ito my options. And sure enough, there was a little check in the box beside the option to “Add nofollow attribute”. So either I was hasty when installing the plugin and missed it in the options page, or I completely forgot to read the options page. It is most likely the former because I also have the Show Me Options plugin installed8.

For more information on my plugins, please visit the featuring page.

Do you know exactly what your plugin does before you install it into your blog?

Footnotes:
  1. important to me[]
  2. especially when I only learned about something recently enough[]
  3. property or characteristic[]
  4. rel=””[]
  5. so <a rel=”nofollow” href=”url”></a>[]
  6. search engine[]
  7. Thanks again Stuart!![]
  8. it gives you a link to the options page as soon as you activate any plugin[]

responses to “A word of warning: SEO Smart Links plugin & nofollow” 10

  1. Well I don’t understand the ins and outs, but I got a nofollow free plugin and kind of let it do the work I think that it knows how to do! Makes some of my links nofollow, but my comments dofollow. All very confusing, not helped by the funny terms!

    mspennylanes latest..Change

  2. @Rudy: You’re probably right, and I don’t really care that much but I am a plugin whore so… you do the math lol

    @Haley: Glad it was helpful to you 🙂

    @Sturat: lol You’re just saying that beacuse of your latest What-If Wednesday question!! I can’t say this experience has made me want to test it out on a local site, but I will definitely read before I install!!

    @’te Maeyo: There’s quite a bit I need to learn still too (as has been made evident by this experience). Hopefully, I can learn more and post more on it soon.

    @Ken: LOL you *are* funny! What’s new? It’s my birthday!!

    @Louie: LOL Glad to hear it makes no difference but I would still prefer to not have the words nofollow anywhere near my links. Even if it is just for karma or the principle of the matter hehe.. What M.Pence does sounds like a lot of work!!

  3. Can we just follow each other on Twitter? hehe. Kidding aside, I tried experimenting with the nofollow and follow links on my posts and it makes no difference whatsoever with the search engine results. As long as you link and use the relevant keyword, it will not affect SEO. I never tried it in my comments though. I like M.Pence’s (2PhatGeeks) style of giving dofollow love in the comments. If she likes the comment the she will follow. She does that manually though. I think TechCrunch also does that.

  4. Thanks for this post Reg. I can’t say that it has totally enlightened me about “no follow” and “SEO” but it sure informed me a bit more about it.

    I have quite a few things that I still have to understand like why I cannot instal nor have commentluv work for me. Even those at commentluv are puzzled. sigh.

  5. Glad I could help out fragile. Interestingly enough until I started looking into WordPress plugins recently (and developing my own), I really just threw them on and gave them a try on my blog.

    Now I *always* test them out on a local copy of my blog first to make sure they do not kill anything. After looking at some of the code for some of them it is a bit messy.
    Sturat (you know I typed that as Sturat and I am going to leave it like that I think it is catchy hahaha).

    Stuarts latest..What if Wednesday – You wake up as a lab rat!

  6. You know, Google can change the rules on you at any time. This is why the SEO game is BS because what’s valid now may not be valid tomorrow. There’s little, or no warning about the changes too. Only the “elite” few will know.

    I just wouldn’t worry about SEO, and focus my attention on churning out good content instead.

    Rudys latest..Obama the 44th President of USA

  7. @trech: LOL I don’t ‘read’ a lot – I tend to skim half the time when I’m looking at plugins. Haha I DO have a lot of plugins installed don’t I??

  8. I usually look at demos and read the “README” files before installing. No problems so far. I dont use an excessive amount of plugins either.

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