Michele’s kicked off something interesting with his blog post about the IIA’s Blog putting in nofollow or rather using the wordpress default on their blogs for comments.
(For the non techies who are the majority on this blog: the nofollow attribute in links left in comments on a blog means Google and other search engines won’t give these links any weight because they came from your site. See some people/bots had been leaving 1000s of comments on blogs before which linked to certain sites and it resulted those sites getting artificial boosts in Google rankings)
The IIA have since changed that around. Michele himself talks about his moderation policy and how he nukes any soft sell comments. If you have a moderation policy of doing that then removing nofollow makes sense I would guess.
However, the way I see it, links without nofollow should be ones that you endorse and they’re not links in comments. I leave plenty of comments through that I do not agree with. I’ll do the same for links but I don’t vote with my site for those links. My own moderation policy is I’ll allow most stuff through soft sell or not (though not all) with the idea being the stupid and bad linking of an individual just makes them look like tits.
When you have IIA in their training classes advocating leaving comments on blogs to boost your Google rankings, maybe nofollow is actually a good idea?
Also wouldn’t spam engines target your blog more if it removes nofollows?
It would be nice though for WordPresss to allow you to have that control. Maybe they’ll bring it out. Meanwhile there’s a Dofollow wordpress plugin for it.
Update: This is what happens when you allow dofollow. The spammers make lists.