PR Theft

I’ve had the do-follow plug-in on this blog, and on my other blogs, for quite a while. I’ve had it on some of them since their inception, and most of them before the do-follow lists came out. I enjoy interacting with my readers, and I do not mind one bit giving them a little PR juice when they leave a comment.

However, there is giving a bit of juice, and there is being screwed. It has come to my attention that there are people who use the do-follow list only to get backlinks. Those people encourage others to do the same. That wouldn’t seem quite so heinous, except that some of them still do not follow the links left by their own commenters, and some of them require you to register to comment on their site at all. I asked one such person about it, and was told they are thinking about the pros and cons from an SEO standpoint. I’m not linking to the specific blog, because they know who they are, and there is no need for me to get nasty about it. I suspect this isn’t the only blogger who feels that way, either.

I’ll admit that I considered the PR ramifications before I installed the plug-in. In the end, I decided I valued my readers more than I valued my PR. That’s a pretty big statement for a paid blogger to make. Remember that each link from my page takes a minuscule amount of my PR with it when it leaves my keyboard and hits the internet, and how much money I can earn is directly related to my PR. The theory that makes do follow work is that the PR can be regained by leaving comments on other blogs that follow. So, when you visit my blog for the sole purpose of leaving a backlink, and refuse to let me leave a followed comment on your blog, that costs me.

When I go to your blog to return your visit and engage you in conversation, and find that you do not follow comments, even though you freely abuse the privilege of back links on other people’s blogs, that really makes me angry. It makes me so angry that I am just going to call you what you are: a PR thief. You just got a very valuable one-way link for nothing, and Google weights those one-way links very highly.

I will be moderating all my comments from this point forward. I will no longer tolerate this theft. If I discover (and I have enough blogs to be able to spot a trend) that you are a PR thief, I’ll strip your link right out of your comment. Following is for givers, and I’m not going to be taken anymore.

In spite of what the button below may indicate, this story had been dugg. You can digg it, too.

40 thoughts on “PR Theft

  1. I know what you’re talking about..I see the trend easily, having multiple blogs. They hit one blog right after the other, but none of my blogs that aren’t on “that list”.

  2. TOTALLY Agree! This is why I have such a problem announcing whether or not I put the do-follow on my comments!

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  4. Wow..I can’t believe people are taking advantage of the dofollow plugin just for their selfish reasons. What is this “online” world coming to?

    I definately digged this one!

  5. Very well said, Cass!

    I love the way you get mad and don’t just walk away from it – but, you speak so well and so respectfully when you do tackle things that need addressing.

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  7. I feel that it’s annoying as well how some bloggers will dive into this so low so as to increase their PR or something like that. They fail to understand, and think that just by getting as many linkbacks as possible, their rankings skyrocket. In fact, it it not the quantity but the quality that matters. Follow through a conversation, and over time, people will link back to you if they like what you write. Some writers indeed are adopting a ‘hit-n-run’ attitude, which is rather unsightly.

  8. I am seeing a GREAT deal of it now that I am on that blogroll. I also moderate and will deny if the comment seems only about linking.

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  10. I’ve used the dofollow plugin for a while, but don’t use the badge on my site.
    I’ve also not included my website address in the comment box above.

    If anyone who receives a comment from me checks my site (obviously I normally include my URL when leaving a comment) , they can see I give link-love back if they want to comment, but I don’t advertise the fact, as others may try to use this to their advantage.

    Apologies if that isn’t too clear, had a few drinks.
    In case anyone wants to verify what I’ve written, I’m SilentlyScreaming over on the PPP forum.

  11. Chris,
    I do the same thing as you do. I don’t have a badge up.

    I figure people who visit from a dofollow list can check, and comment.

    Oh… I’d better get dofollow up on the blog I created 3 days ago! (I just left that link here on Cass’s blog!)

  12. I guess I never really thought about it. I am still learning about all of this. The more I learn the more I find I do not know.

  13. Hey Cass–Can I ask you a question–I am on the do-follow list. I went in to all of my blogspot blogs and took out the “no-follow” text. But I don’t know how to check it to make sure it really does “follow”. Is there a way to find out if it really is a “do follow” blog? If you know–will you let me know how to check it? Thanks!!

  14. The other Leigh here. 😉

    Thanks so much for this, Cass. I didn’t even realize that nofollow was a built-in plugin in MT and had to be manually removed! I don’t think I ever would have realized it if I hadn’t read this!

    I’m an idiot. *embarrassed*

  15. I never knew that! Like Leigh said, the more I read, the more I find out. 😀 But like you, I also value my readers more. It’s just shame people take advantage of how nice other people are.

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  18. I’ve had a few of those. I try to respond to my comments in a timely fashion. There are times when it takes me a few days, or in some cases weeks to respond but I always respond on the post and take time to visit their blog and respond after all they did it for me. Shouldn’t I do the same for them.

  19. Okay, I’m new to the blogging thing so please bear with me through my question.

    What is “do follow” and why is it a bad thing to require registration for comments. I get an insane amount of spam comments a day — 50 to 100. So I require all comments to be approved — is that a bad thing?

  20. Yeesh, it never ceases to surprise me the lengths people go to steal things. So now I must approve comments but before that see if they are trying to just get a backlink and and and…

    Sometimes it gets so complicated 🙂

    Great article and definitely DUGG

  21. I responded to each of you by email, but I want to say again that I really appreciate you taking the time out to come here and comment on this issue. A few of you asked questions or said other things that I wanted to respond to in the comments, so that others may benefit from the discussion later.

  22. Mike, it’s not that they are “bad”. Your traffic does go up, and if everybody plays nicely, then when you return visits and leave comments, you will get backlinks, too.

    The whole idea behind “no follow” was to deter spammers. It did not work. The spammers still come, and there are far better methods to deal with them than “no follow”. I use Askimet to handle spam, and it does a great job. Very rarely does actual spam make it through, and when it does, I just delete it. And every time I mark a comment as spam that Askimet has let through, Askimet gets smarter.

    I love comments. I’m thinking most bloggers do. There’s no need to punish legitimate commenters because of spam. Most of it isn’t left by actual people, but by bots, anyway.

  23. But Lucia, you didn’t come here to just drop your link. You came to participate in the conversation. Or you fooled me, one or the other 😉

  24. Lyndon, I agree it’s just shocking. Do you need some help installing the do follow on your own blog?

  25. Pat, there are better ways to deal with spam, as I noted in response to Mike. Much better than requiring your readers to register to talk to you. Frankly, if I have to register to leave a comment, I just won’t comment. It’s less email for folks to deal with, but I also won’t go back. It doesn’t make sense to go read a blog I can’t comment on if I have no intention of registering.

    That said, I did peek at your blog just a few minutes ago, and after reading the lead post, I am going to recommend the blog that I linked to when I responded to Robyn.

    Welcome to the blog-world. It’s a scary place at first, that’s true. But there are great bloggers all over the place who can show you the ropes.

  26. Cass I obviously haven’t been seeing the PR thieves that you have. The majority of people that leave comments on my sites leave worthy comments.

    I had one person in particular that was going around leaving two links in the body of his comment and I read him the riot act. He hasn’t been commenting on our sites lately – perhaps this is one of the people you are talking about and perhaps he’s going around on the rest of the sites.

    If someone is really abusing the do follow list and they are on the blogroll please let me know and I’ll remove their site. That won’t necessarily stop them from continuing to visit the sites but they won’t get the visitors.

    I’m actually a bit upset that no one told me about this. Obviously people have been noticing it for a few days but no one said anything to me. 🙁

    I didn’t check all the sites when I first started the blogroll. I should have, but I took people at their word that they had removed the nofollow tags, because most of the first people that signed up were ones that were on the RSS feed do follow list, and the D-List etc .. I thought they were in the know.

    Then I smartened up and started checking and sending instructions to everyone on how to remove the nofollow tags. I have quite the welcome email that I send out.

    I wonder if blogger does something weird and puts the tags back in. Because I personally checked some of the sites like Robyn’s that have been mentioned and they didn’t have the nofollow tags when I checked. Yes I do know how to check – view source.

    I’ll admit that one of my husbands sites accidently didn’t have the dofollow plugin turned on. Armymom left a comment yesterday and I fixed it right away. I guess when I added it to 9 sites I messed up on one.

    I also suppose that there might be some dishonest people that had the nofollow tags turned off when I came by to check and then put them back in once I checked there site. That’s always a possibility too. If things like that are happening I’ll shut down the list.

  27. Hi, this is the first time Im leaving a comment on your blog because I need to ask a question – does advertising your blog with a no follow sign “bad” for “business”? I just got into the no follow blog roll a week ago, hoping it can help with PR, since I love commenting on other people’s blogs as well.

  28. Tricia, I have a blogger blog, and it follows. It’s just hard to find the right code. And I had to go in and re follow one of my blogs, too. I did the same thing you did: upload, activate, boom, boom, boom, and like you, I missed something somewhere. I found it looking over the email notice I receive when I get a comment. These things happen, and are fixable.

    There is a much easier way to check than viewing the source, btw. If you have the alexa status extension for firefox, just click the @ beside the pagerank bar. No follow links will show up red.

    Please do not shut down the list. I am enjoying in, and I am planning to add my other blogs to it. I think the idea is great. Most of the visitors are awesome.

  29. Aggie, welcome. That’s a good question! I don’t think it’s bad for business. The blogs that I advertise do follow on get more traffic and comments than those I don’t. Traffic is good! I do think that one needs to be wise about things, though. If you are going to be a do follow blogger, realize that you will have to get out there and participate in the conversations of the internet so that your own link gets planted.

    It’s like….meeting your neighbors.

  30. I get so much of these comments with links. Some are good comments that make me visit their site.
    What I didn’t know that our PR can actually be reduce or lower down with these backlinks.
    Thanks to your post now I know.

  31. Adam it is not a myth since it is defined that PR is spread between links on a page by google themselves. Is this person is an “expert” why can you also not even remember the blog where you saw it..

  32. It’s not only thought to be stripping you of (perhaps negligible)PR but of Trust in some cases, depending on who you link to.

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