How to Abuse the NoFollow Attribute

13 comments

So, rcjordan posted one of the obvious ways in which the new nofollow implementation could be abused by webmasters: To cheat reciprocol partners out of PR.

What other mess might this almost certainly ineffectual effort to cull comment spam be open to? Here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

  • Cheating recips out of PR - rcjordan
  • Cheating directory submissions
  • PR funneling - this could be used to really skew websites as webmasters try to funel PR to certain pages an deny outgoing links PR - in fact, it could skew the web as it stands according to google if it got out of hand...

Anyone care to add some more or comment on the above?

Comments

Fixing Comment Spam

.. and why it won't work!

rel=“nofollow”

I believe in the rel=“nofollow” initiative. I've implemented the changes here on studio2f. There's something that just rubs me the wrong way about the whole concept: The explosion of blogs, comments and trackback have directly affected the Page Rank algorythmns the search engines use to rank sites.

Google meta nofollow

"robots.txt is much better for the first two"

Doesn't google NOT follow the meta nofollow? (different from the rel=nofollow)

More on the Rel=NoFollow Tag...

Google, Yahoo!, and MSN come together with blog software vendors to create a NoFollow link tag which aims to slow blog spamming.

Why skew them, does anyone have any facts that it works

We have some client sites that have 1000's of outbounds and rank brilliantly in agressive areas. We by accident deleted all the outbounds on one of the other sites and could not resurrect it. both sites rank just aswell.

Our conclusion is we rank to anything relevant.

DougS

question

Back when they were trying to reform healthcare a few years ago one of the problems was getting the "decision makers" in the same room, as it violated all sorts of collusion laws.

How is Google, MSN, Yahoo and all of the others players together any different?

Massive weblog anti-spam initiative: rel="nofollow"

Well, I've been pretty quiet lately[1]. One of those reasons is now public: Six Apart has announced in co-operation with Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and other blog vendors a massive joint anti-spam initiative based on the HTML link type rel="nofollow"....

> in fact, it could skew the

> in fact, it could skew the web as it stands according to google if it got out of hand.

lol! As if Google has not skewed the web since the release of PageRank and the Toolbar. I'm sure there will be a few out there who figure out how to circumvent the system, whatever that may be. Personally I think this is an excellent first step at deterring everyday high maintenance blog spam.

already possible

robots.txt and meta=nofollow already provide ways for PR hoarding, cheating link partners etc. Though not as finely tuned control.

equal and opposite reaction

If this attribute becomes widely adopted will natural link-pop exist anymore? Fast-forward 16 months, all the commercial forum/wiki/blog software and all the major threading sites are going to be adapting this attribute. Jump a few more months and sites like CNN are going to make it standard practice.

What's the end result? Massive link hoarding. Link-pop will be demoted to a secondary factor in rank. One way or another the link-pop algos will reach their peak, be it spombots or stop-gap attributes.

I see Scoble has posted anoth

I see Scoble has posted another Great News! hurrah from the blogospud.

They just don't get it, do they? Is this going to keep them from having to clean up their comment files? No. Is this going to stop someone from pushing a button to get only 20k spiderable links versus the 25k they would have scored? No. Is this going to cause the legions of abandoned blogs to be resurrected and lovingly maintained once again? No. Is this going to be the biggest NON-event since the can-spam act? Yes.

Won't stop much

Did spam filters stop spam? No, it may have reduced it, it may have limited the impact and it may have reduced the profits but it certainly still goes on.

Blog comment spam have been VERY "profitable" for a long time. Maybe it will get a little less profitable this way but I am pretty sure profitable enough to still go on on a broad scale. As long as some people, even a fraction of a percentage, response and buy from spam e-amil we will continue to have someone trying to send it to us and as long as some blogs are not "protected" we will have blog spam.

The question is also, as Nich has pointed out, what will happen to the communities that suddenly don't credit posters for their postings by giving them the link? If that is the benifit the posters of some comunity has been used to what will you give them instead?

Anyway, time will tell what kind of impact it will have ...

It's easier to identify than other methods

robots.txt is much better for the first two.

However the possibilities for PR funneling are quite interesting, it effectively make 'nofollow' a link by link thing instead of a page by page thing.

Potentially useful for hiding affiliate links from SEs.