Comment Spammers

For the past three days I've been under constant attack from comment spammers. They want to get their comments on here not because a lot of people read my postings and comments, but because search engines will find their links and if they find enough of them they will raise the rank of their pages.

To reduce the value of this, Moveable Type, along with the major search engines, has come out with a attribute and a plugin to exploit that attribute, to be added to link tags to stop the inflation of pagerank through spam. This has been called rel="nofollow".

This initiative, with announced support from Google, Yahoo, MSN (and surely more to come), will direct search engines to ignore links with this attribute set for the purposes of spidering or increasing search engine relevance or ranking.

Jay Allen has commented in more depth at the Comment Spam Clearinghouse, which supports the find MT-Blacklist plugin that has protecting this blog from so much comment and trackback spam. He has words that make many people happier about the adding of comments and trackbacks to search engines:

It is important to note that while the links will no longer count for PageRank (and other search engines' algorithms), the content of user-submitted data will still be indexed along with the rest of the contents of the page. Forget all of those silly ideas of hiding your comments from the GoogleBot. Heck, the comments in most blogs are more interesting that the posts themselves. Why would you want to do that to the web?

He also is optimistic about the future:

In the end, of course, this isn't the end of weblog spam. But because it completely takes away the incentive for the type of spamming we're seeing today in the weblog world, you will probably see steady decline as many spammers find greener pastures elsewhere. That decline combined with better tools should help to make this a non-issue in the future. Every little step counts, some count more than others, and history will be the judge of all.

Me, I never actively sought to increase the popularity of these pages through bombing other blogs with comments and trackbacks, so it has no effect on me. People come here because they might find something interesting. Heck, with this my rank may go up!

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Jan 20 2005 09:51 AM

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