Google to bring some relief against link spam

I have been looking forward to that for quite some time. It seems that, at last, Google is about to provide a quick fix to reduce link spam, which will eventually (but not for sure and certainly not overnight) remove the incentive from blog comment spamming. Evidence at Simon Willison's, Dave Winer's and Winer's again. Simon cracks Winer's teasers:

Google are soon to announce that they won't be calculating PageRank for links with a rel="nofollow" attribute. Finally, an official way of fighting the economics of comment spam by denying PageRank on user-submitted link content. Sam Ruby points to Mark Pilgrim's prediction that spammers won't care - they'll spam anyway, on the offchance that they hit somewhere undefended. I'm optimistic - if the major weblog (and wiki) vendors get behind this one it could help stem the tide.

Peter Van Dijck thinks that Google will simply not follow links tagged this way. I agree with him that this is semantically more correct, and I'd rather to see this behavior.

Let's hope that Yahoo! follows suit.

On the other hand, coincidentally, I ran today on worrying reports of long-standing bugs in Google's PageRank that allow spammers to highjack sites PR with a simple redirect. Not pretty. Jeremy Zawodny may be right when saying that PageRank is broken.

6 TrackBacks

On the surface, when Dave Winer put up a placeholder post this weekend on the Bloggercon site promising Read More

Randy: Another attempt to stop blog comment spam. I have to wonder if this one will work. The problem is distribution. If less than half of the blogging software giants (Typepad, LiveJournal, Blogger, Radio) implement it, then blog comment spam will co... Read More

So the big secret from last weekend seems to be that Google is going to add support for rel="nofollow" attribute on links. The idea being that when ever Google (and hopefully other search engines) sees something like <a href="http://www.google.c... Read More

padawan makes the post I wanted to, firing a guess over the blogosphere's bow about the relationship label in HTML links and Google. Read More

The newest tool in stopping blog comment spam was discussed and debated and praised today after being announced by Google and Six Apart (though not before bloggers got the scoop). The idea is that by including "rel=nofollow" in an HREF tag...

Read More

padawan makes the post I wanted to, firing a guess over the blogosphere's bow about the relationship label in HTML links and Google. Read More

2 Comments

One of the biggest sources for comment spam are public proxy servers, which allow spammers to hide behind and stage their attacks through them.
In http://www.kahunaburger.com/blog/archives/000192.html I explain a solution for Movable Type which will shut down this path for good. Since I installed the plugin on my personal site I did not have to deal with a single piece of comment spam.

Filtering open proxies may help a bit, but is no panacea. In my case, I ran a test only to find that more than half the spam come from forged IPs that match legitimate ones. I implemented a much better solution, keeping my comment script hidden from bots, and this blog has been free from spam for a few months now.

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