Support for "Nofollow" Crumbling

I've seen that first hand. The "psychology of linking" did change in a fairly obvious way after nofollow started. Unfortunately, that was a downside that none of saw coming back when we announced our support. I'm not sure any of us expected people to ration their links as if they were somehow in limited supply. But it happened anyway.

Nofollow (by Jeremy Zawodny)

It sounded like a nice utility for lazy webmasters when first rolled out but when it went "mark your paid links", G$ went from web indexer to web shaper. Hopefully that thing bites the bullet for good.

I like this bit:

Link and be linked to. Let the search engines sort it out.

yeah yeah, fix your algo if you can't deal with what your crawling.


I agree. I've always thought

I agree. I've always thought that nofollow was quite ridiculous, and the idea of sitting around pondering "should I nofollow this?", "should I nofollow that?", "under what precise circumstances should I nofollow?" is quite the waste of time. Kind of in the "it's not my job" category.

I argued against nofollow in the WordPress forums, but was shouted down by all but one or two people who saw it as I did: a pretense for handling comment spam that would not, in fact, limit comment spam at all -- but *could* hamper the sites that used it. All that link juice spread about and shared by bloggers was possibly going to go bye-bye, which I'd guess was the actual reason for the search engines' introduction and blindingly fast adoption of nofollow. Unfortunately, the WP forums were populated by people so beseiged by comment spam that they couldn't hear anything at all beyond the "fact" that nofollow was going to save them. And anyone who voiced a little caution was accused of being a blog spammer.

Which makes me want to ask this: so how'd it work out for you?


Good point diane

Has it stopped comment blog/forum spam? Not in the least. We got suckered by the SE's.

I was on the fence (more like didn't care) when this came out. But the more I think about it, the more I find the idea of nofollow distasteful. Screw the search engines, spread the link-love as much as we can.

Don't overstate it

It reduced comment spam slightly. The problem with it comes as the quote above suggests, when it is used as an SEO tool. It's harmless if just a thing that somebody can use to say ignore this link, and no harm broadly applied as the world is not worse off for the want of link pop from the 98% lamebrained comments left on blogs. It's nearly insane when its lack of use can get you in trouble.

Anyone who says it reduced

Anyone who says it reduced comment spam slightly hasn't be dealing with the comment spam I have been dealing with across
- drupal
- wordpress
- typepad
- blogger
- movabletype

now the rate of growth may have went down and the overall market size might be smaller than it would otherwise be, but I don't think it has been reduced from the day it was implemented.

Just yesterday some asshole running a comment spam script posted "Sincerity is the key. Once you can fake that you got it made." (or something like that) to one of my blogs twice. Then the script appoligized for the double comment and blamed that on my anti-spam plug-in.

A new proposal...

I just posted a response on Jeremy's blog, proposing that SEs begin giving some small amount of ranking value to a site based on the amount of good outbound links it uses, so long as the site is not using bad linking practices and is providing good-quality outbound links. They could in this way reward a site for good outbound links that don't use nofollow.

I'm not saying that should be a hugely valuable factor, but it could be yet another one of the many ranking variables that they use.

If they did reward sites for good outbound links, it would overcome any problems that have been introduced by overuse of nofollow.

I might be wrong, but from

I might be wrong, but from what I see google, msn and yahoo are still following nofollow's and indexing/ranking sites based on them. Nofollow links from trustable blogs (like Matt Cutts blog) even appear in linkdomain command in yahoo..

So what's the point exactly..?

Speaking of Matt Cutts

Isn't he partially to blame for this hoarding of linking? All his "we know who you link out to and it effects your rankings" crap to scare people into trading/selling links sure can't have a good effect on natural linking on the web.

"Hoarding of links" People

"Hoarding of links"

People have been hoarding links for years. Some use redirects on links so they don't give any link love. Whatever floats your boat, I say.

blog spammers hitting my

blog spammers hitting my installs don't seem to care about nofollow in the slightest.

However, I've seen plenty enough mainstream sites employ it as a PageRank hoarding tool.

I guess that's all nofollow has become for many.

That's it. I've been waiting

That's it. I've been waiting to post how I block almost all comment spam from my blogs, but I'll write it up in the next day or so.

Spam and Nofollow

I think part of the fallacy in NOFOLLOW being the panacea to comment spam assumed that their purpose was solely for SE placement. The truth of the matter is they just want their links out there in the hopes someone will click it and buy their counterfeit blue boner pills.

Things that worked really well for me:

1. Captchas stopped most if not all bots

2. Don't allow a post if the visitor hasn't been to any other page of your website, which is typical behavior of spambots.

3. Don't allow any HTML or URIs included in posts from first time posters. Let them post a few times before they earn that option. If they enter HTML or URIs just bounce it back and tell them to edit it out. Maybe a tad hostile to newbies, but effective against spammers.

FYI, don't even display the link to their site under their name for the first post.

Bill, what captcha program

Bill, what captcha program are you using?

Wrote my own

My site isn't in PHP so I had to come up with something on my own but there are a lot of free PHP captchas available.

Okay. Thanks, Bill.

Okay. Thanks, Bill.


Diane, altough i highly recommend you Askimet (it's 99% accurate), you can surely find a good addon at Wordpress Codex.


92% of all comments are spam

Nice world we live in.

Thanks, Expertu. I'm doing

Thanks, Expertu. I'm doing pretty well with my spam blocker, but that's a good reference.

wrote your own?

Man you're hardcore.



what is it good for?

In a short look at the 12 blogs in our data collection program which use captchas, moderation on comments, and nofollow in links, the ratio of comments rejected vs. a year ago is much better, and I have to think that nofollow has something to do with it.

But it's a drop in the bucket... nofollow can't seriously cut down on automated comment spamming. It may do a shade more than the existence of the delete key does to the volume of email spam, but not much. How many spammers' scripts will check to see if the links have nofollow on them? Somewhere around none, I suspect. The robo-spammers just hammer every script they can find, knowing that at least some links will leak through.

Using nofollow on a blog does influence user behavior though, as Jeremy says - in most cases for the better IMO. If the only reason someone wants to "contribute" to my blog is for PageRank, I'd rather they "contribute" to Jeremy's blog instead.

Dan, take off the captchas

Dan, take off the captchas and see how that affects your ratio, and see for yourself the regard comment spammers have for nofollow.

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