Some of you may remember an article I did a while back called “WordPress Blogroll SEO Gray Hack ” where I explained how to search engine optimize (SEO) your WordPress blogroll and control the amount Page Rank juice flowing out of your external links.

Well, I was pretty pleased with that article – it got some really nice responses and the best bit is that out of 2,170,000 (two million, one hundred and seventy thousand – yes, you read that right!) pages with the keyword “WordPress blogroll seo” in Google.com, guess which site comes in first place?

Yup, that’s right, Knowledge Constructs. Not only that but my site comes up in the #2 slot too!

I’m pretty pleased with that – it means the money and time I put into Stompernet has paid off and it’s convinced me that I know how to rank well in the search engines :) . (Trust me… sometimes I *really* need to be convinced that I can do something!).

Anyway, those results are so good, I decided to take a screengrab of this moment.


wordpress-seo-blogroll.png

(click thumbnail for a larger image)

No… don’t get me wrong – it’s not to brag about how well I’ve done (although it’s pretty awesome now I think about it). The reason is very simple. I just wanted to take a moment to enjoy the glory because the “Gray Hack” is now redundant (*sigh*… my page will never rank this well ever again!)

OR IS IT?!? :P

As I wrote the other day, I’m currently in the process of playing with WordPress 2.5 because I’m building the new FAQ-Tastic Pro site and came across *what I thought* was a really handy field in the new version of WP Breaker :P (well, for SEO) – it’s a “rel” field:


00-wordpress-brecker-rel-field.png

(click thumbnail for a larger image)

Initially, I thought “COOL! Now I don’t need to keep adding these darn hacks to sites I build to help them with nofollowing links on the blogroll!. Someone over at WordPress must’ve seen how much Internet Marketers and SEO experts need to be able to add nofollow links – they must know their stuff!”.

BOY WAS I WRONG!

On closer inspection, the field is only there to provide a visual display of the selection you’ve made. You CANNOT change the entries, like I thought it would. Try typing into the “rel” field and it won’t let you.

NUTS. Back to the Gray Hack then!
So anyway, I get this comment on the Gray Hack article from someone at ProBlogger.US (NOT Darren Rowse’s excellent ProBlogger.NET. Note: personally, I think that sucks when someone tries to cash in someone’s reputation by registering a domain similar to a very successful one. Not a technique I’d use… but whatever floats your boat! As you can see, I’m linking to where you really should go for ProBlogging!). The comment was basically – “how do you do the Gray Hack on WordPress 2.5?”. If you ask me, this is NOT a “ProBlogger” – the instructions my Gray Hack work just fine (as it turns out) but I thought I’d update it with a step-by-step for the hard of thinking :P

Here we go:

  1. Download and open the edit-link-form.php file.

    Download the edit-link-form.php file and open it in your favourite HTML editor. I’m use Macromedia HomeSite which is really old but I’ve got direct FTP connections to my sites and hundreds of macros I’ve created. Whatever you use, just open the file.

    You can find this file in the /wp-admin/ folder.

  2. Back up the edit-link-form.php file.

    I cannot stress this enough – if you mess up it’s *your* responsibility because you skipped this step! Do not email me and say it’s broken. Do not pass go and collect $200!
    Back up the edit-link-form.php file.
    This is a pre-caution but one you should get into a habit of doing if you’re ever tweaking something that could potentially mess up your system!

  3. Add the SEO nofollow PHP code to the edit-link-form.php file.

    Scroll down to line 28 and add the following code underneath it:
    if ('seo' == $class && strpos($link_rel, 'nofollow') === false) echo ' checked="checked"';

    01-gray-hack-edit-link-form.png

  4. Add the SEO nofollow checkbox to the WordPress blogroll admin page

    Scroll down to line 165 and look for the opening table tag.
    Add this code underneath it:
    <tr>
        <th scope="row"> <?php _e('seo') ?> </th>
        <td>
        <label for="nofollow">
        <input class="valinp" type="checkbox" name="seo" value="nofollow" id="nofollow" <?php xfn_check('seo', 'nofollow'); ?> />
        <?php _e('nofollow') ?></label>
        </td>
    </tr>

    It should look something like this:

    02-gray-hack-edit-link-form.png

  5. Save the file.

    Save the file.
    And upload it if necessary.
    And overwrite the old file if prompted.

  6. Go to the WordPress 2.5 Blogroll add link page.

    In WordPress 2.5 you click on Write / Link to get to the section to add links.
    You should now see something like this (if you’ve done it properly):

    03-gray-hack-admin.png

    It won’t have the yellow it – that’s just so you can see…
    Create a new link and this time, use the SEO nofollow checkbox.

  7. Check the nofollow attribute using the Firefox Search Status add-on.

    If you’re into SEO, reading this article and don’t know how to check for nofollowed links – you need this add-on for FireFox! Download the Search Status add-on.
    If you’re using IE, stop reading this article right now; switch off your computer; put it back in the box it came in; send it back to the shop and pick another career. Search Engine Optimization is not for you. :P
    Anyway, using the Search Status plugin, right click and “highlight nofollow links”.

    06-gray-hack-using-search-status.png

  8. The nofollow link in your WordPress 2.5 blogroll

    Go to your blogroll page (or wherever you have it in your theme) and check that the nofollow link has been added.
    If you’ve done it right, it should look a bit like this:

    04-gray-hack-site-nofollow.png

Okay. I’m done. No more questions. If you can’t get how to do it with this amazingly simple step-by-step guide, I’d really recommend re-considering Internet Marketing/SEO as a career choice. It can’t get simpler than this. I’m in the process of putting together guides just like this because “people don’t get it”. Seriously, the new FAQ-Tastic user manual is now 20 pages long precisely because I’m making it *really* easy if you follow the instructions.

Well, I got to crack on – got a PLF to do, sites to build and manuals to create for upsells. Can’t be hanging round here all day – FAQ-Tastic Pro won’t relelase itself and FAQ-Tastic Lite v1.0.6 is soooo close to being released.

Check back in a bit. For those of you interested, I’m documenting my process as I go with my PLF on this site. Which reminds me – Jeff Walker’s doing another “doors open at 12 noon” today – pity I don’t have an affiliate link!

Have a great day!

Zain