WordPress Plugin: Remove Nofollow

The Remove Nofollow plugin for WordPress removes the “nofollow” attribute value from all links left within comments, and can optionally remove “nofollow” from comment authors’ links as well. This would be the equivalent of a “DoFollow” option.

Requirements

The Remove Nofollow plugin was developed and tested with WordPress v2.3.1 and tested on WordPress MU v1.3.0. It also works perfectly with the current 3.4.2 version, and is expected to work just fine on any subsequent versions. Based on some function changes incorporated into v2.3.0 (and MU v1.3.0), the plugin probably will not work with any earlier versions — but, then again, you shouldn’t be using a WordPress installation that old anyway!

No other plugins are required. It is not necessary to edit your templates. While it has options, the most commonly expected usage is turned on by default after activation, and you are not required to configure the plugin after activation.

Installation

WordPress (standard)

  1. Copy the remove-nofollow.php file into the /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  2. Activate the plugin in the WordPress Plugin Admin panel.
  3. Installation complete!

WordPress MU

  1. Copy the remove-nofollow.php file into the /wp-content/plugins/ folder. While the plugin works well with WordPress MU on a per-blog basis, it can not be activated across all blogs by installing it into the /wp-content/mu-plugins/ folder. Sorry!
  2. Installation complete!

Usage

Once activated, a new “Remove Nofollow” item will appear on the Settings menu in your WordPress Admin panels. The configuration page is visible only to users with the Administrator role.

On it there are two options:

  • Remove “nofollow” attributes from comments. Selecting this will remove the attribute values from all links within the body of comments. On by default.
  • Remove “nofollow” attributes from comment author’s links. Selecting this will remove the attribute values from links to the authors’ websites, not from the body of comments. Some WordPress themes may not display the comment author’s website, therefore this plugin may have no effect. Off by default.

The Long Story

There is a lot of debate currently around the use of the “nofollow” attribute value within links, most of it centering around Google (the inventors of the tag) and the impact on Google page ranking. The original idea was to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, and if you reliably and frequently moderate your comments that pass Akismet’s spam detection, your blog should be fairly spam-free.

My blog is spam-free. And since I am not in the business of creating or enabling spam comment farms, I decided to remove the attribute value to enable one-way or potentially two-way linking to those websites that I feel that warrant links. Google be dåmnëd!

Having made the decision, I searched for just the right plugin. Sure, there are several similar plugins out there (such as NoFollow Free and Nofollow Case by Case), but I wanted something really simple that had no bells and whistles. Thus, the incredibly simple Remove Nofollow plugin was born one rainy evening. If you want selective or reciprocal removal, or want anything else beyond just removing the attribute value, use one of the other plugins instead. I have no plans to complicate this plugin.

The plugin is recommended for use only on blogs on which all comments are moderated and therefore with no comment spam, otherwise your search engine ranking may be adversely affected.

24 Responses to “WordPress Plugin: Remove Nofollow”

  1. Geld Lenen

    Finally I’ve found a working and suitable plugin for my site! I’ve had some trouble with another plugin on Jeff Starrs site.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. richard

    The new v1.00 is now available. Changed the menu name from “Nofollow” to “Remove Nofollow” because having a menu name that did not match the plugin name created a usability issue in finding the settings page. No other changes. So, if v0.95 is working fine for you, there’s no reason to upgrade. And… if v0.95 is not working for you, v1.00 won’t help either!

    Reply
  3. Kenneth Lee

    While the plugin is good, I wonder what is the default setting of the wordpress system… Dofollow or nofollow? It would be good to remove nofollow without a plugin.

    Reply
  4. Brandon

    I actually used those other plugins and I agree, less bells and whistles, much simpler product. Thanks so much for this plugin!

    Reply
  5. Adie

    Thanks for this. I moderate all of the comments that come through and don’t want all of my visitors to suffer because of the spammers out there.

    Reply
  6. Bob Barcus

    After a lot of thought, I decided to remove the nofollow tag from my blog website using your plugin. I think I made the right decision and thanks for creating it!

    Reply
  7. AstroGremlin

    I appreciate this discussion and opted to install this plugin. I want commenters to receive link backs from my site because I appreciate getting link backs from others when I leave comments. Leaving legitimate comments is a way to generate the kind of “authority” Google looks for, no? I use a simple captcha, and when humans spam, I mark them as such, and store them. I have had some spam comments, but they don’t return. BTW I first learned about this plugin at doitwithwp dot com.

    Reply
  8. Philip Petrov

    Hello,

    You have a “deprecated” issue with the plugin. That’s on line 36:

    add_options_page(‘Nofollow Options’, ‘Remove Nofollow’, 8, basename(__FILE__), ‘remove_nofollow_admin’);

    You have to change the “8″ to the new wordpress capabilities requirement.

    Reply
  9. aroronny

    Thanks for this. I moderate all of the comments that come through and don’t want all of my visitors to suffer because of the spammers out there.

    Reply
  10. mahesh

    I actually used those other plugins and I agree, less bells and whistles, much simpler product. Thanks so much for this plugin!

    Reply

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