By default WordPress automatically adds a nofollow tag to all links in the comments. Recently one of our readers asked if it was possible to remove the nofollow from WordPress comments? In this article, we will show you how to remove nofollow from WordPress comment links and explain the pros and cons of doing so.
What is NoFollow?
In 2005, Google introduced rel=”nofollow” attribute for links. This attribute simply instructs search engines that you do not endorse the mentioned links.
<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Example Link</a>
Why is NoFollow Automatically Added in WordPress Comments?
In the earlier days, one of the easiest ways to build backlinks and manipulate SEO was to comment on blogs for backlinks. This increased the number of spam comments.
The purpose of nofollow tag was to make blog comments less effective for SEO manipulation.
Since the main motivation for comment spam was to get backlinks, the nofollow would demotivate spammers.
That’s why WordPress implemented rel=nofollow to be automatically added to all links in the comments.
Good or Bad?
Adding nofollow to all outgoing links in comments provided blog owners some peace of mind. Now if a spam comment accidentally gets published, it will automatically be nofollow.
However, nofollow attribute did not get rid of comment spam altogether. Spammers simply didn’t care, and they assumed that even a nofollow link is worth something.
On the other hand, it discouraged some bloggers and readers from commenting because they felt they weren’t getting any value for contributing to your article.
Should You Disable NoFollow in WordPress Comments?
The reason why some site owners may want to disable nofollow is because they want to encourage more comments.
Making links dofollow may increase the number of comments, but it will also increase comment spam.
WordPress runs a PHP script when someone submits a comment. More comments means more instances of PHP script running on your server. This could also slow down your website, and your WordPress hosting provider may not be able to handle the load.
Most comment spam is submitted by spambots and can be easily caught with Akismet. However with nofollow disabled, you will get a lot more low quality comments submitted by actual human users.
You will be spending more time moderating comments than writing actual content on your site.
We recommend against turning off nofollow for blog comments. As a matter of fact, we recommend that you even add nofollow to external links from your blog posts that you do not endorse (see how to add title and nofollow to insert link popup in WordPress).
Should you still want to proceed and want to remove nofollow from WordPress comments, here is how you can do it.
Disabling Nofollow in WordPress Comments
First thing you need to do is install and activate the Remove Nofollow plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Remove Nofollow to configure plugin settings.
Remove Nofollow plugin allows you to remove nofollow from entire comments or just from comment author link. You can also dofollow both options.
Once you have made your selection, click on the update options button to save your settings.
You can now test this by going to your website and using the inspect element tool on any comment.
We hope this article helped you learn how to remove nofollow from WordPress comments. You may also want to see our list of 12 vital tips and tools to combat comment spam in WordPress.