By default comments in wordpress are nofollow. I have often had a post sitting out there only doing so-so in ranking.
Then someone leaves a comment, and it goes up a bit. Soon after I get another and another comment on the same post.
Suddenly my post is way up in ranking. All because, it would seem, of those nofollow links. Why?
Do-follow links are beneficial to you when you leave comments on blogs, forums, etc. With you comment you leave your website's URL and potentially your website gets some link juice from the blog/forum.
But of course - if you leave valuable comments and people who read them want to find out more about you by clicking on your URL, it doesn't matter if the link is no-follow. You still get traffic. But Google doesn't value no-follow links as much (I've heard it does some though), so it won't help you as far as your position in search results is concerned.
If you have your blog set up so that people's signatures are do-follow, your pages loose some link juice. Basically, you don't want your page to have more outgoing links than links to other pages on your website.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're talking about people leaving comments on an article of yours, and that article going up in ranking because of it. You have comments on that article left as no-follow.
If I'm not misunderstanding you, and please forgive me if I am, then you have some confusion about how no-follow works. You see, links *back* to your article, like those you might post as comments on someone else's blog, are the ones which are affected by no-follow. If they're not followed, Google won't "follow" them back to your page and give them weight (or at least, only a minuscule amount).
If people are leaving comments on your own article, they might be trying to link out to their sites, but they aren't linking to yours. Follow or no-follow doesn't affect you the same way in this scenario. In fact, leaving no-follow on for comments on your site keeps your pages from "leaking link juice" out to your commenters. Meanwhile, each comment posted on your site tells Google that your article is updated and active, making it look good and potentially climb in rankings.
I hope that clears things up and I didn't completely misunderstand your scenario. If I did, though, I think the other possible interpretation is answered by the other posters.
Yeah a few of you did misunderstand me, but I understand your misunderstanding!
I know all about how links, backlinking, nofollow and dofollow links are suppose to work.
What I am saying is that somehow, when people leave links on MY site via comments, that seems to make that page go up in rank.
I know, that is not how it is suppose to work. But it does.
Every single time a post of mine gets comments, it gets more popular, ranks higher and gets even more comments.
Even though those links are nofollow. Yes I know they would not supposedly benefit me anyways since they are links on my site, not theirs.
But it does.
Oh, I see what you mean (I just read your first post again and it sounds clear now).
This is interesting. I didn't know comments would affect your SERPS.
It could be that Google somehow does value outgoing links, or maybe for blog types of pages Google specifically watches the number of comments left? Or, as readydesigns suggested, just the fact that your page gets updated gets Google's attention and admiration. I think the last explanation is the most likely.
Either way, thanks for sharing this. Good to know.
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