Comment spam dies with nofollow

18 January 2005

In what amounts to a fantastic move towards killing comment spam, Google, Yahoo, Six Apart, and MSN now all support the rel="nofollow" attribute on hyperlinks. Other blog software providers, like WordPress, will no doubt follow shortly.

Basically, if a search engine spider comes across the rel="nofollow" attribute on one of your hyperlinks, it won’t follow that link. So if your blogging software automatically adds that attribute to all the links it accepts as input, comment spam doesn’t get followed (and thus doesn’t go into the search engine).

Of course, non-spam links won’t get followed either, so we’re still going to need some sort of filter to separate good links from bad ones. Or we could just let services like Technorati and Pingback / TrackBack do that for us.

Hat tip to Russell Bettie for the info.

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