01/19/2005: Discouraging comment spam
Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search have announced support for a new attribute to the HTML "a" tag, used to create hyperlinks: rel="nofollow". Any hyperlink with this attribute will not be followed by a search engine's "spider" program, or used in the ranking of search results.
The idea is that links that are posted to sites by third parties, e.g. in blog comments, trackback links, and publicly available referrer logs, will be marked with this attribute. Insofar as the intention of comment/trackback spam is to increase a site's position in search engine results, this will render comment spam pointless, and hopefully will discourage its proliferation.
Most of the major blogging software vendors have announced support for this attribute. Greymatter, the blog software driving Dark Bilious Vapors, will add support for this attribute in version 1.3.1, according to what I've read at the Greymatter forums.
(þ Chris Lawrence.)
Brock on 01.19.05 @ 06:47 PM CST