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RE: rel="nofollow" attribute (PR#7676)

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 15:02:11 -0000
To: "'Beth Epperson'" <beppers2@cox.net>
Cc: <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>, <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004001c4ffca$32516bd0$6f01a8c0@W100>

Hi Beth,

[Note that I'm cross-posting to the public list since there is quite a large
thread on this there.]

If something is an advert, you only need to say it's an advert -- you don't
need to say "don't follow this link", since whether the user follows the
link is up to them.

And whether Google follows the link is also up to them -- they could choose
not to follow adverts, for example. But I don't see why we should 'dumb
down' metadata so that Google can work out what to index. If the problem
really is about page rankings, then why not go the other way, and give more
weight to those links that have an explicit @rel value?

Anyway, there are plenty of solutions better than "nofollow", and ultimately
it's just daft to put a qualification on a link (which is what @rel is) that
says the type of this connection is that there is no connection.

Regards,

Mark


Mark Birbeck
CEO
x-port.net Ltd.

e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/
b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/

Download our XForms processor from
http://www.formsPlayer.com/

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Beth Epperson [mailto:beppers2@cox.net] 
> Sent: 21 January 2005 14:30
> To: Mark Birbeck
> Cc: dmh@dmh.org.uk; xhtml2-issues@mn.aptest.com; w3c-html-wg@w3.org
> Subject: Re: rel="nofollow" attribute (PR#7676)
> 
> 
> Hello,
> 
> I disagree Mark, saying we are not related is a valid option. 
> They may 
> be connected via a link for a variety of reasons - i.e. an 
> advert, but 
> following that link would clearly not enhance the users 
> knowledge of the 
> object at hand. For example, many hosting sites force you to place a 
> link on the bottom of the page directing your audience to 
> read about the 
> hosting company. If I am posting data about biotechnology and 
> studies on 
> MS, the link to ABC Web Company" is an illogical relationship - so to 
> say "don't follow that one" is correct.
> 
> //beth
> 
> Mark Birbeck wrote:
> 
> >Dave,
> >
> >  
> >
> >>Google and others are introducing a 'rel' attribute value
> >>that refers to 
> >>a document that shouldn't be indexed by search engines.  (See 
> >>http://www.google.com/googleblog/2005/01/preventing-comment-
> spam.html 
> >>for more information on why they're doing this.)
> >>
> >>Should this, or some alternative mechanism that achieves the
> >>same ends, 
> >>be included in XHTML 2.0?
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >Speaking for myself, I'd say no, for two reasons:
> >
> > * @rel implies a relationship between two documents. It's a bit
> >   weird to say that the relationship between two documents is that
> >   a search engine should ignore the relationship between two
> >   documents.
> >
> > * whether you like it or not, there *is* a relationship between the
> >   two documents -- there's a link.
> >
> >Google wants this feature so that they can tell the 
> difference between 
> >real links and those placed there to improve someone's rating in the 
> >search engine. It's a commendable goal, but it's got nothing 
> to do with 
> >HTML. Indexing should really be transparent. Will the next 
> move be to 
> >say which paragraphs of text should be indexed!
> >
> >So, to achieve this goal I'd prefer to see something 
> 'positive' rather 
> >than something 'negative'. By that I mean, some mark-up that 
> indicates 
> >that the link is for UI only, rather than this link is not to be 
> >indexed. Another alternative would be to state the type of the 
> >document, and for Google to work it out for itself whether links in 
> >that document should be followed or not.
> >
> >For the first solution, the new @role attribute would probably be a 
> >good place to put it:
> >
> >  <a href="http://pills-and-potions.com/" role="ui-only">spam</a>
> >
> >and for the second solution, the new QName @rel values could work:
> >
> >  <head>
> >    <title>A comment</title>
> >    <link rel="rdf:type" 
> href="http://www.google.com/blog-comment" />  
> > </head>
> >
> >I'm not saying either is the answer -- but I certainly don't like 
> >"nofollow"!
> >
> >Regards,
> >
> >Mark
> >
> >
> >Mark Birbeck
> >CEO
> >x-port.net Ltd.
> >
> >e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
> >t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
> >w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/
> >b: http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/
> >
> >Download our XForms processor from
> >http://www.formsPlayer.com/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >  
> >
> 
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 21 January 2005 15:03:03 GMT

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