A couple months ago I installed a plugin on the blog that meant search engines would index links in comments: by default WordPress uses ‘nofollow‘ on comments to stop spammers abusing them to boost search engine rankings, but that prevents genuine commenters getting credit for their contributions.
One problem: as one commenter pointed out, the blog as a whole was set to ‘noindex-nofollow’ “which equals a no trespasing sign for search engines for ALL of the site’s links. It’s Google suicide.”
I added that problem to my vast to-do list, and moved on.
But that moved to the top of my to-do list recently when the BBC made a similar mistake with their linking mechanisms.
So I scoured this blog’s code to delete the meta tag nofollow reference – to no avail.
I called for help from Twitter followers, and got two very useful suggestions: Andy Dickinson found a plugin to alter the meta tags; and Gavin Wray pointed out the much simpler option: in the blog admin go to Settings > Privacy > and select make visible to search engines.
So there’s hope yet, but I don’t like the accessibility issue at all, so should I switch back to standard comments?