Nofollow, I nolike you

Robert Scoble has an differet use for the new nofollow tag. I saw it as simply a way to tag links that I didn’t specifically write, because I cannot be sure of their veracity. Scoble on the other hand is considering using it as some sort of friend/foe system:


Because one link from my blog would have automatically put the store at the top of the search page on Google for “Redmond carpet store.” Why is that? Because of my Page Rank. Several thousand sites link to me so Google’s algorithm considers anything I link to as “highly relevant.” I’ve seen this many many times.

So, now I could link to that store so you all would be able to visit it, but I could add “nofollow” so that Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines wouldn’t consider my link in their ranking system.


Interesting. I can’t help but feel it is a flawed approach, but I also can’t put my finger on why I feel that way. I think it has too much potential for abuse ( large news organisations using the nofollow tag, to stop their PageRank from being diluted by lesser sources ).

Of course nothing is stopping anyone from using the nofollow tag in an editorial manner, but I hope it doesn’t catch on.

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  1. The main problem (that I see) with it is that it is only fixing the problem on Google’s end – it won’t stop comment spam as spammers will still hit all the web logs they can on the off-chance that some won’t have the ‘nofollow’ relation on their links.

  2. I don’t think that this tag will open possibilities for abuse. A page-rank is generated from links from OTHER pages, that’s why comment-spamming works.

    And if spammers now get lesser effect from comment-spamming they’ll eventually stop it completely because it’s not worth anymore.

    The nospam tag is also an easy to add/implement solution which can be applied to almost all automatic content-management systems, like forums and blogs, which are most vulnerable to such link-spamming.

    Of course, if spammers quit spamming comments, they have to find another way of somehow climbing up the Google results page.
    In the beginning there were lots and lots of invisible words on a page to increase its rank, then there were large spam-networks cross linking to each other and currently we have the comment-spam technique.

    I wonder what’s next…

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