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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

What I’m about to type will probably mean very little to readers who do not also have blogs. If you’re in that category, feel free to skip down to the next section. πŸ™‚

When I started blogging two years ago one of the things I did was make this a DoFollow blog. That’s not standard in the blogosphere; instead it’s something that I made the effort to implement. Basically, if someone comments here, and search engine bots will follow the link back to their site. Links back and forth to sites help with search engine rankings. Because that was abused by spammers most blogs are set to something called NoFollow on comment links.

I chose to go DoFollow because I wanted to encourage a community of readers and I thought that DoFollow would be a great way to give something back. After a lot of pondering and consideration I’ve decided to remove the DoFollow attribute. I won’t bore you with all the ins and outs of it, but ultimately I don’t believe that it’s doing what I intended, which was to build a community of people who can encourage one another in their parenting.

So. How’s about we try something new? If you take a look at the comment form, you’ll see that I’ve enabled CommentLuv, which is a utility that will go and get the last post from the web site you enter in the form. Other commenters will see “(your name)’s last blog post…”. If your title looks interesting, someone may click over to read and voila! New friends!!

**UPDATE dated December, 2014: Because of changes made in the Google ranking algorithm, nearly ALL links on this blog are being changed to nofollow. Between the consistent emails requesting link removal and the penalty Google assessed directly, it’s just not worth it. Links are welcome, but they won’t pass pagerank any more.

***My non-blog-owner friends may begin reading here***

The other thing I want to mention is affiliate links. I haven’t discussed the advertising here in a while; it’s important that I’m clear with everyone about that. Short story: owning a web site has some costs. It’s possible to earn a few dollars with ads, which is why they’re on the site. Some readers are offended by ads and links. I was a bit apprehensive about it when I first started reading blogs, but then I read an observation that really got my attention. I’m perfectly willing to pay for a book or a magazine to read someone’s writing. Why should a web site author be any different?

The great thing about ads is that you can ignore them and any web site using them is still free.

Many of the ads you see are affiliate ads. This means that IF you click on them and IF you purchase something from that advertiser then the blogger gets a percentage of the sale. There is no extra cost to you…the advertiser shares their profits with the blogger. This does involve a tracking cookie placed on your computer so the advertiser knows who to credit with the sale. If you happen to like a blogger a lot, and you want to buy something advertised on their site, go ahead and click that ad! You’re helping the blogger at no cost to yourself besides the cookie which will expire in a matter of hours or days on its own.

If you don’t want to click on the ads, then don’t. Simple as that.

I use affiliate ads here on Earnest Parenting. I also participate in affiliate programs sometimes. The WeSeed post that I put up a few weeks ago was submitted to a contest in which I could have won $500. I didn’t win, but I still think WeSeed is a great program and plan to use it with the boys to learn about the stock market. As I mentioned at the time, the contest was open to anyone who chose to enter.

There will be times when I review items because I like them and want to tell you about them. I will strive to be clear about when I’m using affiliate links and when I’m just raving about something I like.

Honesty is very important to me; that’s why I wanted to go over all this info with you. I do have a Disclosure policy that covers the same issue in semi-legalese if you’re interested.

Okay! Are we good? Was I clear enough? Swing back around tomorrow for a non-affiliate product review and Friday for a contest where you (yes, you!) can win a prize.

Earnest Parenting: helping explain dofollow and affiliate links to parents.