Good news fellow WordPress junkies! John Godley at Urban Giraffe has kindly updated HeadSpace 2 so the rel=”follow” attribute is no longer implemented! I don’t know about you but having that made-up attribute on my website as a result of using HeadSpace was not a comfort to me. The WordPress IconAnyway, a big thanks goes out to John Godley for being such a great guy and acting on my suggestion to drop the psuedo attribute. Thank you John!

Not sure what I am talking about? What is HeadSpace?

If you are familiar with WordPress but you have not heard of HeadSpace then you are in for a real treat. Check out this HeadSpace information page to get acquainted with this dream optimization plugin for WordPress; easily the best single plugin for doing 99% of the optimizations required on WordPress. In fact, I have to admit I don’t think I have used even a tenth of all the options that plugin provides… it is fabulous.

The rel=”follow” attribute is the supposed antithesis of the legitimate rel=”nofollow” attribute.

There is no such attribute as rel=”follow” . It is a logical move for some to assume it exists due to the popularity of the rel=”nofollow” attribute but in this case the logic simply does not extend that far. Why? Well the nofollow attribute is used to tell the search engines that you do not wish to be associated with a link; particularly useful when you are in the awkward position of linking to an undesirable site. If you leave out the nofollow tag you are saying you are fine with the link which is no different than the supposed “follow” action that the fake rel=”follow” attribute is used for. In other words, just remove the rel=”follow” attribute if you have it because it is not doing a single thing except taking up valuable code space in your page.

What happens if you forget to use rel=”nofollow” in a link to an undesirable site?

Here is a basic description: if you linked to an undesirable site without a nofollow it is a statement that you have no problem being associated with the linked site and a small part of the valuable PageRank your page has will be passed to the linked site thereby increasing its credibility to Google. In other words you will help out the linked site which may not be something you want to do.