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

From: Nicholas Chase <nchase@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 17:19:34 +0000
Message-ID: <41F1395F.80708@earthlink.net>
To: www-html@w3.org

Mark Birbeck wrote:

 > [In response to the various suggestions for different values of @rel.]
 > In the first instance -- in relation to the current proposal from 
Google --
 > why do we need to mark-up the tag at all? The issue is very specifically
 > that Google does not want to follow the links in blogs, and it also 
does not
 > want to give a higher page ranking to any pages referenced from those 

The very specific issue is that Google's (and other search engines') 
following of links in blogs has created a situation in which spammers 
are rewarded for posting unrelated and (in many cases) offensive content 
on blogs.  This is not a problem for Google, it's a problem for 
everybody else.  Comment spam -- at least the kind that I keep getting 
hit with -- isn't likely to pollute search results for anything other 
than the keywords its targeting, which, frankly, are a small set.  The 
larger nuisance is to the rest of us, who have to put up with it 
appearing on our sites.

 > 2. Faced with this secondary problem they *could* have said "why not add
 >    some metadata to the head of the document to indicate that it is a 
 >    and then make our crawler behave accordingly".

Because just knowing its a blog doesn't solve the problem.  You WANT 
search engines to follow most links on a blog, that's the POINT.  Even 
on a comments page, you're likely to have a few dozen blogroll links 
that you want followed.  This designation needs to be made on a 
link-by-link basis, or as mentioned before, on a container basis, but 
that's probably even worse.

 > 3. Or they could have changed their blogging software so that any 
 >    that are posted that contain links have to be approved by the blog
 >    owner.

That's great, but that just works for THEIR software.  That Google owns 
Blogger is only a minor point; it's their search engine that has created 
this problem.

----  Nick
Received on Friday, 21 January 2005 18:50:39 UTC

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