Building Blog Traffic Archives

Killing Dofollow Comments Worked!

Last month I wrote that I’m Done With Dofollow Comments, explaining that I believed that this blog was being penalized because so many of the urls in those dofollow comments were pointing to what search engines in general and Google in particular refer to as “bad neighborhoods” and that I was going to disable the plugins that made dofollow comments possible.

A bit of history is in order.  Back in the fall of ’07, just before the infamous “Google slap”, this blog enjoyed a PR 3 ranking and I fully expected it to eventually reach a PR 4.  Then Google updated their algorithms and blogs by the thousands lost page rank. First they’d slip a point or two, then after the next update they’d fall to zero.

That’s what happened here.  Over the course of three months this blog lost a point of PR every month until by Dec ’07 it was sitting at PR zero.  That’s where it stayed all this time in spite of all my efforts to build inbound links and promote the site. I even looked into so-called services that have a habit of guaranteeing results like it was some kind of private placement memorandum.  I looked into all kinds of ways to get links and ended up just doing things myself, the hard way, because those “services” are not for the “financially challenged”.

Then last month I removed plugins that made the urls in comments dofollow (i.e. would pass page rank).  After I did that I went about business as usual.  Then only today I noticed.  The PR for this site was NO LONGER ZERO!  The base url, http://blog.peculiarplace.com now ranks higher than PR 0 for the first time in two effing years.  Granted, It’s only a PR 1, but it’s the first move in the right direction in years.  I’ve also noticed a definite trend of increased traffic levels over the last several weeks.

Can it be just coincidence that it happened within thirty days of removing dofollow?  I don’t believe so.  I think the return of page rank and the increase in traffic from search engines is directly related to allowing comment urls to go back to their default rel=”nofollow” status.

As a result of this, I’ll be removing those dofollow plugins from all of my blogs within the next few days.

Technorati Tags: comment policy change, no more dofollow, bad neighborhood, comment spam, link spam

Contest Ideas

I’ve been thinking lately about running contests on this (and a few other) blogs and the one thing I keep running up against is the problem of prizes.  What sort of things make worthwhile prizes on what I can only categorize as a miserly prize budget?  Unfortunately I don’t have a stock of handy promotional items to use (maybe in a few months, but not now) in contests.

The thing is, while I have the need to be ahem, inexpensive, I don’t want to come off cheap.  This means coming up with things for prizes that people will have enough interest in to actually sign up for a chance to win them.

I’m interested in seeing what suggestions people have for good but inexpensive prizes.

Random Redirect WordPress Plugin

I ran across a cool WordPress plugin.  It’s called “Random Redirect“.  What it does is allow visitors to don their virtual swimsuits and take a dip in your blog’s postings.  All you need to do is provide a link to your blog with ?random added to the url.  For example, since I have it installed here, http://blog.peculiarplace.com/?random will cause WordPress to load one of the 1059 entries that exist on this blog as of this writing (this post is number 1060).

In a Stumbleupon kind of way people get a different random entry every time they use the random url, which allows them to get a look at more of your blog than they ordinarily would, probably finding interesting stuff along the way that they would otherwise have missed.

Technorati Tags: stumble, random redirect, plugin, redirect, wordpress, random surf

I recently discovered something that I think is going to turn out to be a really popular plugin.  It’s the CommentLuv WordPress plugin.

When enabled, it looks for the most recent post on the RSS feed at the url that the commenter leaves when posting the comment and adds a link to that post at the end of their comment.

This plugin, used in combination with Lucia’s Linky Love, is going to do a lot to encourage comments and therefore build traffic on blogs.  Lucia’s Linky Love already encourages people to comment because after a user definable number of comments from a combination of name, email and url, the link that the comment poster leaves is made ‘Do Follow’ (the default nofollow is removed from it) and after some more posts, the urls they leave in their comments become ‘Do Follow’.  This is to encourage repeat visits and comments.

Adding CommentLuv to it gives even more reason to return to a blog and comment because now not only will your blog url become ‘Do Follow’ but CL will reach out and give you a free ‘deep link’ to your most recent post.

All in all, this is an everybody wins situation.  Blogs with these plugins get more traffic and comments, and people visiting and commenting on these blogs end up with more inbound links to more urls on their site.

Technorati Tags: build+traffic, traffic+strategies, blog+comments, commentluv, Lucias+Linky+Love, wordpress, plugin, wordpress+plugin

“Link Juice” And Social Bookmarking Sites

Anybody that’s been around the web in general and blogging in particular knows very much the value of social bookmarking sites, like Digg, Technorati, StumbleUpon and others. They’re the source of a lot of traffic and it’s helpful to be indexed in their sites.  If you’ve got the SearchStatus plugin for Firefox and you enable it’s option to “Highlight Nofollow Links”, you’ll also know that most of the links on most of these sites are Nofollow links.

This means that while using technorati tags and social bookmarking links is a great idea, there is zero sense in using anything but nofollow links in the tags and in links to other social sites

Sometime back I wrote “Build Traffic With Technorati” in which I first talked about the famous blog index and a tag generator javascript that I discovered.  Then later in “How To Choose Good Tags” I reposted the Technorati Tag Generator.

Since then, I’ve decided that it’s best if links like technorati tags and the Sociable plugin’s links to other social bookmarking sites are Nofollow.  I’ve edited the code in the tag generator so that the tags it produces are nofollow.

I spent some time trying to do the same with the Sociable plugin for WordPress but haven’t managed it yet.  Then earlier tonight I ran across a little gem on Andy Beard’s blog called “Sphinn Support – Antisocial (SEO Friendly Sociable) WordPress Plugin“, about a version of Sociable that’s been hacked to make the links it generates Nofollow.  It also adds a tweak or two and fixes a bug in the stumbleupon code that was in the original.

I’m thinking that especially with the way Search Engines <gazes pointedly at the image in the sidebar> are working these days, it’s a good idea to be a bit on the stingy side with “Do Follow” links.  Even if you don’t want to be stingy with it, there’s still no reason in the world to use a “do follow” link to a site where most (if not all) of the links on it are Nofollow.

Technorati Tags: link+juice, links, nofollow, sociable, social+bookmarking, social+networking, sphinn, stumbleupon, technorati, technorati+tags, twitthis, wordpress, wordpress+plugins

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