Don’t follow me there


Here we are, two weeks since MT-Blacklist 2.04 was installed, and since then it’s blocked 1212 spams and forced 270 others into moderation. The number of spam comments that actually made their way onto a page? Zero. Which is why I owe Jay Allen my firstborn, or at least several pans’ worth of cookies!

Still, that’s 270, or almost twenty a day, that I still have to moderate. And there was no reason to believe that number wouldn’t keep steadily rising as more automated spamming tools become available.

And as proof that everyone hates a spammer, Jay’s site announces an unlikely alliance between the three heavies of internet search — Google, Yahoo! and MSN — as well as a group of blogware companies including Six Apart, for a new HTML property that will prevent spam tactics on blogs from boosting a spammer’s page rank. Using rel=”nofollow,” a link can be classified as “reader submitted” and hence ignored by indexers from these companies. Since Six Apart is responsible for MovableType and LiveJournal, and Google for Blogger, we should see immediate and broad adoption on the content-producer site as well (and everyone using MovableType should download and install the nofollow plugin to be a part of the solution today). By removing the main benefit spammers get from flooding blogs — prominence on search result pages — hopefully we’ll see a sharp decline in these sorts of attacks.

Yay for the victory of common sense!

Oh, please forgive me for talking software. I know it’s boring and all, but if you only knew how many times I’ve had to bite back some rant about comment spammers — well! Just wonderful to hear some good news on the front for once!

But for those of you looking for something a little more emotionally satisfying, a gift from Hawai’i:

SPAM Hawai'i Limited Edition

  • I think part of the problem is, of course, you are still probably going to end up editing them out of your blog. This is really a question of finances, is the advertising alone, without the search engine ratings, enough to continue spamming? I have a feeling we are about to find out...

  • Nothing boring about it.

    And I'm looking forward to similar tidbits for some of the other engines I'm running; it'll be nice to actually screen out some of the comment spam on some of the other bloggity bits I manage.

  • akatsuki: I think I can live with it. It's unfortunately the price we pay -- and if you really think a link is topical and linkworthy, you can always re-edit your entry text to add interesting links from your comments. The fact is that typekey/moderation is not going to take off quickly, and forcing that kind of registration would have the same type of effect on the web, of lessening the number of comments and thus interesting linkage.

    It would be neat if you could set the nofollow behavior to not mark links submitted by typekey-authenticated users, but in this case, I'm fine with the blanket solution and its bigger guarantee.

  • I find this whole Google proposal perplexing in the least. Eliminating comment links from search engines will be cutting off many interesting and topical links from search engines. While I agree that comment spam is out of hand, the move to moderation/TypeKey style systems will bring that under control quickly. Removing a large part of the web discourse fromm search engine ratings is just going to lead to distortions of ranking.

  • Yes, we collectors picked up this one in the 60s. At the trade fairs, they'd change hands for crazy money sometimes. I've got them all myself, all the editions, over 300 of them.

    They stay with me in the crawlspace. I've sharpened up the edge of a spade in case any other "collectors" try to take them way from me. Just you try it on.

  • jet


    However, if you *do* want to read some rants about comment spammers and their ilk, just mosey on over to my blog. I've pretty much decided that the Geneva Convention doesn't apply to these people.

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