Google Acts To Kill Comment Spam
News from Google: they have finally done something to stop the abuse of PageRank by comment spammers.
From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn’t a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it’s just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.
We hope the web software community will quickly adopt this attribute and we’re pleased that a number of blog software makers have already signed on:
Brad Fitzpatrick – LiveJournal
Dave Winer – Scripting News
Anil Dash – Six Apart
Steve Jenson – Blogger
Matt Mullenweg – WordPress
Stewart Butterfield – Flickr
Anthony Batt – Buzznet
David Czarnecki – blojsom
Rael Dornfest – Blosxom
We’ve also discussed this issue with colleagues at our fellow search engines and would like to thank MSN Search and Yahoo! for supporting this initiative.
Good news, and long overdue. Let’s hope this sucks enough of the value out of the comment-spam proposition to kill these bottom feeders once and for all.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that there is already an official plugin for Movable Type from Six Apart that adds “nofollow” to any MT 2.661/3.x site. Nice! Users of other blogging tools (especially those listed above) should check with their vendors, you may have an update available as well.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Wow, Brad Choate of Six Apart was thinking along these lines almost three years ago. Too bad Google didn’t listen to him back then, could have saved us all a lot of heartburn…