Google Releases New Features to Fight Comment Spam (January 18th, 2005)

According to a post on Google’s Official blog, a new feature will be available to fight comment spammers. Adding a “rel=nofollow” attribute to hyperlinks will prevent spammer links from being harvested by search engines. According to the post major blog software vendors are supporting this move. The solution itself is brilliant since it uses a standard part of HTML which has not been used widely (see SixApart’s blog for more of the technical details). The only problem from the standards point of view is that “nofollow” is not listed in the valid link types. While SixApart is brushing the problem off, the W3C provides a solution to this via meta data profiles. Alternatively, this new link type can be submitted to the W3C and I am sure that they will be happy to approve.

What is also VERY GOOD is the rare cooperation that took place among many competitors working for a common good as pointed out by David Czarnecki of Blojsom and Dave Winer. Aside from Google, both MSN Search and Yahoo have joined in as well. From the blog vendors, SixApart (which runs TypePad and LiveJournal hosted services as well as MovableType software which I use), signed on, as well as WordPress, Blojsom, and Blosxom (LiveJournal and Blogger are part of SixApart and Google). SixApart already has a plugin available already (woo hoo!). It is good to note that Google is sticking to their motto of “do no evil” and is actually helping the Internet by leading in this. Now if only they can do the same with email spam via Gmail…

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