Google’s Answer to Comment Spam

Eron C. left a comment in response to my post Sorry,
No Trackbacks Today
me to Google’s
answer to stopping comment spam
. Basically, Google says to automatically
add the attribute rel="nofollow" to any link automatically generated from a URL
entered by a reader (usually through a comment or a trackback). I like this approach,
and I’m glad to see that Google stepped up so quickly and confidentially. The idea
is not to stop the spam itself (as I’ve been trying to do), but to stop its effectiveness
— basically, to remove the incentive.

I’d seen this post on the Google Blog a while back, but
when I followed Eron’s link are re-read the post, I found it had been updated
to include an additional 16 blogging applications that now support Google’s recommendation
for a total of 26 (probably more at this point). Of course, now other search engines
have to sign on, as well. I know it’s hard to believe, but there are actually other
search engines besides Google out there, and according to my access logs, a few
people even use them.

Anyway, I will be implementing Google’s recommended change in the near future,
and I’m wondering how many others have implemented it, as well. I’m speaking specifically
of those who host their own blogging software, and either need to hack the code,
or update to a new version. Also, has anyone heard of other search engines supporting
Google’s recommendation?

7 Responses to Google’s Answer to Comment Spam

  1. subHero says: (a friend’s blog)has implemented the no-follow on his dedicated mt-installation using a mt-plugin (so, no real hacking with mt).see him posting about it here and start wondering whether this has increased his cspamming-problem 😉

  2. Mike Rankin says:

    I’m dissapointed with the nofollow concept. It presumes that the main reason the blogs get spammed is to increase the spammers page ranking in the search engine. I’m not so sure that’s the case.Since blog spam has an infinite ROI (ie, no cost), I think this approach will actually increase the amount of blog spam as the spammers try to outdo each other.I like the “type this code” approach better, although it’s a bit harder to implement. You know the one, it’s where the comment page gives you a code that changes on each page load and is delivered to you in an image. You have to type it in a box in order to post.

  3. Chris Wigginton says:

    I like CAPTCHA’s, but also prefer a secondary measure, registered users or required email address for the comment to be viewed.When a comment is added, a confirmation email is sent to the person providing the comment. Something along the lines: your comment has been submitted for approval. We also support email confirmation approval. By clicking this link, the comment you posted will be automatically approved.Kills the anonymous nature of the spammer, which in most cases, will eliminate the spam.

  4. CAPTCHA Killjoy says:

    CAPTCHAs are a complete no no if you give any consideration to accessibility–which you should.I like your email approval method though ; )

  5. Alex Hubner says:

    I’m using nofollow strategy + captcha on a MT 3.15 and I’m very happy. I’ve disabled trackbacks, and have no intention to place it back.[]’sAlex

  6. Well, Yahoo signed up, so did MSN. This happened long ago (in internet time). solution to comment spam: hate CAPTHA for some reasons, one of them being that it’s not friendly to the blind.

  7. Christian:(1) MSN has definitely said that they plan to support nofollow… I *believe* Yahoo said something similar, but I won’t swear to it.(2) I finally decided to punt on nofollow. Now that JournURL is officially an aggregator in addition to its other features, any given post in a community can be a comment, a blog entry, or a feed item. Heck, it’s theoretically possible for a post to be all three at once.Deciding the when/where/how of nofollow in such an environment isn’t easy, and given that the comment spam horse is well out of the barn, it just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort.