A typical SEO story told is that folks who do SEO they keep throwing your website links in other people’s website apart from their own websites giving a back link. Mostly, the comments section in a third party website (blog) is always an easy target for a person looking to do this trick.
So, Google came up with tag suggestion known as ‘nofollow’ to be used in the comments section or to be used anywhere the website owner wants to tell that they don’t want to give their reputation away to the link which is coming in the comments section.
So, if you are running your website on wordpress like we do. This setting by default is ‘nofollow’. Meaning if you find a reader or spammer of your blog comes and makes a comment about their website it will not impact their search rankings.
Also, people who do this knowingly, spreading their links also got worried that too much ‘nofollow’ tags associated with their back links might come as negative for their ranking. Turns out if you are not doing it really excessively (not really bothering the web) then it doesn’t.
To further illustrate this example on my seoseries #4 post one of my friend GD made a comment mentioning his website link. So, I went and took a screenshot of the source page of the post to understand things under the hood. You can see a ‘nofollow’ tag in it. meaning, he is not getting any SEO benefits. However, I still feel that while everybody by default might not be giving you any free SEO benefits by not changing their settings but at the same time readers of the post my genuinely click on the links in the comments section and visit the website. So, the effort is not entirely going in vain! It is still worth it spreading it in right quarters though not spamming!