Google suggests a new “nofollow” attribute to counteract comment spam.
The problem is this: Spammers very often add comments to this and other blogs linking to their sites in order to increase their Page Rank in Google and other search engines.
The solution put forth by Google: Insert a ref=”nofollow” attribute in the posted hyperlinks that tells the search engine’s to essentially ignore the link in terms of page relevancy.
What a wonderful idea.
Dave Winer has more on the birth of this new feature. It’s simply amazing to see how the idea has found traction. As Robert Scoble points out: No standards committee. No working group. Just Google, blog developers like Dave Winer, MSN, Yahoo, and so on emailing each other and deciding to do it.
Will this stop comment spam? I bet not. Will it deter it? Probably. I imagine spammers will still use automated bots to post links or messages just because they can. But at least the search engine value can be taken away.
So if you have a blog what do you need to do? Hopefully not much. The blogging tools need to be modified to insert this attribute.
It’s great to see Google, Dave Winer and others working this through.