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Re: rel="nofollow" attribute

From: Micah Dubinko <micah@dubinko.info>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 00:47:34 -0700
Message-ID: <41F0B396.90407@dubinko.info>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
CC: www-html@w3.org

Hi Mark,

I look at it a bit differently--markup as a way of serializing intent.

Most of the links this will be applied to have no preexisting rel 
attributes. This in itself expresses a kind of endorsement, as Google 
et.al. have noticed and incorporated into their algorithms. Being able 
to interpret this intent has been one of the factors in Google's 
success, and it's changed how people express themselves in HTML.

Now comes rel="nofollow"

In your blog you wrote: "its presence tells a spider not to navigate the 
link" but that's not exactly right. its presence indicates that the 
author's intent in providing the link doesn't count as an endorsement, 
but mere information. Spiders, once they are programmed to recognize 
this intent, can do with it as they please.

So I agree with folks who say that "nofollow" is a crummy name. Maybe 
something like "noendorse" or "fyi"?? But despite the name, it is 
already influencing how people express themselves in HTML. (How many 
times have you read a web page that says 'this person said something 
really [stupid|shocking|untrue] but I don't even want to link to it'? Or 
sites that refuse to link to competitors?)

Getting people to express themselves better, and writing more 
intentional markup is a win to me, even if it's not 100% architecturally 
pure.

.micah

Mark Birbeck wrote:

>  <http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/2005/01/meta-muddle-at-google.html>
>  
>

-- 
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  Micah Dubinko                           mailto:micah@dubinko.info
  Brain Attic, L.L.C.                        http://brainattic.info
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Received on Friday, 21 January 2005 07:48:07 GMT

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