How to: Dofollow Comments in Movable Type 4

Ian Lurie

I’ve been battling Movable Type. An epic struggle, really, over nofollow comments.
But, I finally got it working. From now on, all author links on my blog will be ‘dofollowed’. Andy Beard’s posts on the subject persuaded me.
It was one hell of a struggle though, and I think it’s worth posting the procedure.

Deactivating ‘Nofollow’ In Movable Type 4

First, make sure you don’t have any old, leftover plugins from Movable Type 3:

  1. Log into Movable Type.
  2. Go to System Overview >> Plugins.
  3. Look for If it’s there, deactivate it.

Now, turn off the built in ‘nofollow’ tool in Movable Type 4. This is really easy, if you happen to know that Movable Type 4 cleverly hides this feature:
Do you see any checkbox saying ‘Nofollow’? Do you? WELL DO YOU?!!!
Cough. Sorry. It was a little frustrating. Here’s how you can avoid the frustration and add years to your life:

  1. Check that little box that reads ‘allow HTML’.
  2. Voila! A whole new menu appears:
  3. Ah HAH! Uncheck the magic box next to “Apply ‘nofollow’ to URLs”.
  4. All links in comments and trackbacks will no longer have ‘nofollow’ attached to them.

Why ‘Nofollow’?

If I just did all this work to turn off nofollow, why did anyone create it in the first place?
When you post a comment on most blogs, you create a link back to your own web site, or whatever web site you specify.
Early on in the blogging age, folks abused the heck out of comments, submitting thousands of junk comments to gain links. Those links, in turn, helped the abusers move up in the search engine rankings.
The solution: Search engines started looking for a ‘nofollow’ attribute attached to links. With that attribute attached, the search engines ignored those links.
So, blog software added the ‘nofollow’ attribute to all comments.

Why ‘Dofollow’?

Now, blogs have better spam controls. It’s relatively easy for me to check incoming comments and filter out the Cialis ads.
If someone takes the time to contribute to my blog by making a comment, I can pay them back a bit with a real link. It creates a stronger community, I think, by rewarding an honest effort.
So, I’m dofollowing from now on.
But no, I still won’t publish your ads for herbal supplements.

Special thanks to Brad Choate for hearing my desperate crys for help.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Well done Ian – I never would’ve guessed it would be this hard to implement dofollow…
    I’d be interested to hear in a month or two if you’ve experienced much of a rise in comment spam. All the anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that it will only be a matter of time before you start being added to the dreaded dofollow blog lists…
    I imagine it’s a bit like walking into a bear enclosure smeared in honey. Totally agree with the sentiment though, good luck 😉

  2. @Gavin there’s an image . I’m hoping that my spam filters will continue to do what they seem to do so well now: Dump the bad stuff for me.

  3. Depending on your point of view, the process is actually a little worse in WordPress. There are literally dozens of plugins to choose from and no way to dofollow through the interface, even a badly labeled one.
    Not too hard to hack the core functions to do it, but you have to do that after every upgrade!

  4. i found getting rid of the nofollow on wordpress really easy.just by doing a word search on the word “nofollow” in the manage files section then deleting them.

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