Late last night I finally got around to changing my do follow plugin that gave everyone who left a comment a link that would be picked up by search engines to one that gives me a little more control over who gets a link that follows and who doesn’t.
I think I first became a do follow blogger in June of 2006 when I learned of the Comment Plugger plugin for wordpress. Then, this past April I added the standard do follow plugin to all of my sites. Unfortunately I forgot I was also using the comment plugger so I was actually giving those who left a comment two links! Dumb de dumb dum ..
Other than the mass outgoing linkage that I probably caused myself by doing that, I didn’t have any problem with being a do follow blogger until sometime in early June when I noticed a heavy increase in human generated comment spam. This is a different kind of spam than I was used to getting.
The human generated comment spam comes in the form of a person, perhaps someone who works for a SEO company or just an eager website owner, attempting to get multiple backlinks for the site that they are promoting quickly.
They started leaving links with SEO type names instead of leaving a real name in their comment link, and what’s even worse there were those that would place a number of unrelated links within their comments. Linking to words like “love” in their comment and placing a link to a dating site, or linking to words like “flower” and placing a link for a Canadian Flower company.
Do you guys think we are stupid?
I run the Do Follow Blogroll and between my husband and I we have nine blogs on the list. It became very easy to see who was going around leaving lame comments full of links because they’d hit all of our sites often on the same day. I’m sure they hit everybody on the list I run and anywhere else that do follow bloggers have been listed.
Enough of that! I have enough to do with blocking regular spam for pharmaceuticals or p0rn and so on. I needed a plugin that rewarded my loyal regular visitors. The people who I’d always wanted to reward with a back link to their sites in the first place.
Other bloggers who had become do follow bloggers had noticed a steady increase in this annoying new type of spam too. Some were bothered enough by it that they removed their dofollow plugins completely!
On July 18th I went looking for a new do follow plugin and I found one called the LinkyLove plugin. I made a post about it too, stating that I’d be changing my do follow comment policy shortly as I’d planned on changing over to the original linky love plugin.
Unfortunately around that time I was also having problems with my web host. They kept telling me that my sites were using too many of the CPU resources on the server that they were on. So I was hesitant to add a new plugin when I didn’t know how much CPU resources it used.
I think Lucia from Big Bucks Blogger heard this as a cry for help (she came to my rescue before with other dream plugins!) and she created Lucia’s Linky Love do follow plugin. It’s a fantastic plugin and I’ve just started using it on all our sites.
This new plugin has much more control than the original LL plugin. First and foremost for me, it doesn’t make as many calls to the database so it’s no where near the CPU resource hog that the original plugin was. Secondly, instead of just making a persons comments follow after they’ve left a certain amount of comments on a blog, this new plugin that I’ll call LLL has an administration panel where you can set a number of different options.
With the new LLL plugin a commenter must leave a minimum of 3 comments to get a link that follows. The blog administrator can set that number as high as 10 I believe. I’ve set this at different amounts on our blogs depending on how old the blogs are and how popular they are. Depending upon what happens with human generated comment spam over the next few weeks as a result of this new plugin I may lower or increase the number of comments one must leave for their links to follow on our various sites.
To get a link to follow a site visitors comment link must match author and domain. So someone leaving a number of different links to different domains or using different author names will never get do follow links. You can also set how many comments one must leave before the links that they add within their comment will follow.
I’ve set this last feature rather high on my sites that I do memes on because I’ve noticed that some people come by for Wordless Wednesday or Photo Hunter and rather than commenting on my lovely photo they just talk about their own post and leave a link to their post in the comment. That burns me every time! Perhaps if they said something about my own photographic effort before leaving a link to their post I might not find it as upsetting.
I wanted to let my readers know of this do follow plugin change because those of you who use FireFox’s extension “Search Status” might be looking to see if blog links follow or not. Well, on some of my posts or sites that do not have a number of regular visitors comments you might think that I’ve gone back to nofollow. I haven’t. My visitors just have to leave enough comments to qualify for a link that follows now.
This site has a fair amount of regular readers (thanks!) so I think you’ll be pleased to know that nothings changed for you. You still have all your links. Those that are new to reading this site will just have to leave a few more comments. 😉
Oh another feature that I like about Lucia’s Linky Love plugin is that is shows the commenter how many comments they’ve left on the blog. I think that some of my regular readers will be very happy to see how many times they’ve commented on my sites.