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Re: Suggestion: 'rel="unrelated"'

From: Kevin Marks <kmarks@technorati.com>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 03:10:31 +0000
Message-Id: <575035582241d20ab2e2624b5d6cb2c9@technorati.com>
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, shellen@google.com, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, www-html@w3.org, tantek@technorati.com
To: Dean Jackson <dean@w3.org>

On Jan 31, 2005, at 7:47 AM, Dean Jackson wrote:
>> so far, I have one problem with rel="nofollow", they encourage all 
>> publishing tools to put automatically "nofollow" to all links coming 
>> from external contributions and that is just plain wrong without 
>> giving the possibility to the user to change the nature of the rel. 
>> The problem is often the same, imposing a choice to the user without 
>> giving the possibility to deactivate it.
> I expect tools will eventually provide you with the ability to do this.
> If you know the comment is spam then you should delete it (no need for
> nofollow). If you know the comment is ham then you shouldn't mark
> its links with nofollow. It's the range in between (where you are not 
> yet
> sure of spam or ham status) that should default to nofollow. And yes, 
> you
> should be able to change the state.

Also, if you run a comment author authentication service (Blogger & MT 
both do) you could could give an option to not put "nofollow" on 
comments with authenticated authors (assuming you also have some blog 
owner policing of who is authenticated)

>> So I'm interested to know if publishing tools implement 
>> rel="nofollow", what do they implement if on my weblog (by an 
>> editorial choice), I want to say: "This link is worthwhile and should 
>> be followed."

This is where VoteLinks come in. Though it was initially conceived in 
response to a publicity attack (say something outrageous so people link 
to it and it gains currency), it has clearer semantics than the 
'nofollow', and does just what you intend here.


>> As a second thing, I can't wait the abuse made by spammers of this 
>> new attribute. After the "meta name" indexing which has been abused, 
>> and then not indexed by some search engines, I'm pretty sure there 
>> will be surprises with the rel="nofollow".
> It may be the case that this can be abused, but I don't see the harm
> in trying it out. It's a low-cost approach that may reduce the impact,
> if not the amount, of comment spam on the Web. If it is abused, then 
> you
> can stop using it. Remember that spiders can stop following links
> at any time on a page, so all nofollow does is give them a hint. Taking
> away the hint doesn't mean the link *will* be spidered.

Indeed. A possibly bigger case of search-engine stuffing are the 
'furniture' links that appear on blogs and other CMS-driven sites 
automatically as part of the site's structure - even if Google didn't 
own Blogger, the few million links to blogger.com via the 'I power 
blogger' required link would ensure its high PageRank. Such things are 
maybe a reasonable quid pro quo for the service provided, but they are 
not an explicit human-made link...
Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2005 07:47:24 UTC

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