NOFOLLOW, no help

I’ve been asked a few times now by journalists about the NOFOLLOW attribute and whether it has had any effect on blog spam… For the record, here’s my opinion…

There seems to be a general misconception about the NOFOLLOW attribute, that implementing it would somehow reduce comment or trackback spam.

The sole purpose of the NOFOLLOW attribute is to let search engines know not to follow and index a given link. It lets the search engine know that the link is not trustworthy, so don’t give it any extra “PageRank” as a result of being here. So a link tagged with NOFOLLOW on the comment section of a blog with a high ranking at Google does not bestow any extra status to the target of that link. The theory was that if spammers or abuser knew that the comment would not help them gain ranking at google, they would simply stop spamming…

Google had a problem – it’s search engine results were being thrown off by the commenting system on blogs. Comments were being spammed, and this was throwing off their ranking system. So they got the bloggers to fix it by effectively deleting those links from the page (at least as far as the search engine sees it) through the use of NOFOLLOW…

NOFOLLOW will not significantly reduce comment or trackback spam.

Some of the “a list” bloggers talk about NOFOLLOW being of benefit to them since they can now link to sites without necessarily helping them increase their ranking in Google, but the typical blogger won’t be affected by this at all. The average blogger doesn’t really care about giving his so-called “Googlejuice” to an undeserving linker, he doesn’t have much to begin with.

That typical blogger just wants to know if using NOFOLLOW will reduce the amount of spam heaped on his blog. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Won’t help at all…

2 thoughts on “NOFOLLOW, no help

  1. Sounds like the “A-list” bloggers trying to separate themselves from the rest of us. Will there be a middle-class blogger by the time my children are old enough to blog?

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