19 Jan 2005
Stripped of Rank
rel="nofollow" to a link tells Google to ignore it and therefore not boost the PageRank of the linked site. Spammers have been abusing weblog comments and discussion boards to improve their search rankings; this new attribute is intended to remove that incentive.
All the major blogging software companies have announced support, and I’ve already added it to this site as a replacement for the redirect page I was using.
The downside is that suddenly the web has a new type of link and, given the selfish and cautious nature of many organisations, I predict we’ll see the following:
- A few weblogs using
nofollowas their default for links in their entries, occasionally choosing to graciously bestow the honour of PageRank upon selected favourites.
- Numerous clients asking web developers to apply it to all external links in their sites. Looking at how most demand links open in new windows, this seems inevitable (why risk someone else getting higher search rankings when you can be selfish?).
- Sites charging a fee for removal of the attribute (Russell Beattie’s already joked about this).
Let me know if you encounter any of those.
At some point I’ll possibly add a way for me to flag comments as being non-spam so they get
nofollow removed. Inbound links from comments seemed to help both my sites get going when they were launched years ago, and it’d be a shame if this harmless trickle of PageRank was taken from everyone.