Some Objections to Google’s Comment Spamming Solution and My Opinion

While [Google’s attempt to curb comment spamming]( is well received, it also received a few objections. I will address these objections I’ve found on various discussion forums one by one.

**It won’t stop spammers whose agenda is not to increase their pageranks**

This is obvious, but most spammers are SEO kiddies without ethics. Very rarely I’ve seen more ‘direct’ spammers whose intention is to make their website seen by many people as possible without the intention of manipulating pageranks. Almost all comment spam I’ve seen here don’t even have meaningful message.

This move by Google/MSN/Yahoo will undoubtly convert some of SEO spammers to more direct spammers. But, these kind of spammers are easier to block using existing keyword blacklisting tools. They can’t afford to change their URL very often or they will lose their custo^H^H^H^H^Hvictims.

**Web site owners will be able to prevent ‘pagerank leaking’ to linked sites**

Traditionally, by linking to another web page, you ‘donate’ some of your pagerank to the linked web page. Now, with rel=”nofollow” a web site owner can link to sites freely while keeping their own pagerank. This will undoubtly change everything. In theory, a web site owner now will be able to put rel=”nofollow” on every link to other web site and don’t leak pagerank at all.

However, this is already possible even before rel=”nofollow” is introduced. There are at least *four* common techniques to accomplish this without using rel=”nofollow”: using Javascript links, using redirector on, using a redirector ‘protected’ by robots.txt, and god forbid, by feeding different page to [Googlebot](

Introducing rel=”nofollow” does not empower people to prevent pagerank leaking, they had the ability to do that before. It only introduces a standard, accessible, and less hackish way in order to accomplish that.

Of course, Google and other search engines will need to do something about those stingy sites. But in order to become stingy, sites don’t even need to use rel=”nofollow”, and undoing these changes will not make those sites automatically ‘generous’. Obviously, search engines need to have some countermeasures in place in order to deal with these stingy sites. For example, they could ‘punish’ stingy sites by adjusting their pagerank. You know, pagerank is not the only ranking algorithm used by Google and other search engines.

**Who gives a damn about blog? Let’em suffer. I hope this will keep blogs off my Google searches**

If you don’t like blogs, fine. But don’t complain about your ability (or lack thereof) of using search engines. While this move by Google/MSN/Yahoo was primarily an attempt to defeat blog spamming, this could also be useful for sites that may display hyperlinks submitted by untrusted sources. For example: wikis, discussion forums, etc. I’ve even seen a spammer robot blindly submitted every textarea it found hoping that its contents would be converted into hyperlinks somewhere.


  1. sebenernya bagus sih udah ada usaha. yg di complain banyak orang rasanya adalah karena yg dilakukan dengan nofollow ini kok terasa setengah2x dan ga menyelesaikan masalah hehe

  2. Surely I do not care too much about my own rank due to linking to other sites. As far as I know, my site’s rank do not decrease by the way I link to others’ — with the extra possibilities that the linked site is somewhat accepted as “more important” because I credit my reference to it. At this point I want linking to other important-and-acceptable sites as natural as possible, as simply as HTML recomended, and providing no hassle, nor middle technique which seems placing another virtual barier.

    Luckily, I deal with moderate spam visitors that up until now can be handled gently with other plugin.

    Indeed spam attitude is a nightmare not only in blog’s comment. I ever wrote a small, poor, and example-based, Python script to convert my own data into Wiki’s page(s), and the result is horrible: it is so easy to create a new page(s) even with novice’s knowledge about Python! This was very useful for me as valid owner of that Wiki, but if I shoot that script to other Wiki to create garbage page(s)?

    In most occassion I’d like to agree with standard — and this is the best reason I can accept “nofollow”. Even this method seems not to go into panacea, “a remedy for all diseases”, we have been starting with standard — something we can hardly push others to comply with.

  3. #2: Menurut saya usaha yang dilakukan oleh para search engine sudah maksimal, di luar ini bisa apa lagi mereka? Mau meng’exclude’ blog dari hasil pencarian? :) Mudah-mudahan tidak sampai sejauh itu, walaupun banyak sekali yang protes karena hasil pencarian kadang-kadang didominasi oleh blog :).

  4. #3: You might not care about your own pagerank, but some people do, and in some cases they do very religiously. Hence the objection of this move by leading search engines. But the point is people already have the power to do what nofollow intented to accomplish. Having people agree on a common standard instead of resorting to hackish ways is always a step forward.

    Of course, there will always be bad people on the Internet. People have been trying to stop email spam since mid 90s, but we still receive spam today. I think this will not be an exception. We’d still have blog spam as before. But less incentive for spammers to spam is always a good thing.

    I do think this move by Google et al would yield a better result than any anti email spam efforts so far. The email people haven’t been able (or maybe wouldn’t be able) to remove incentive for people to send email spam so far. But nofollow does remove the present primary incentive for people to make comment spam.

  5. google bukan hendak menghilangkan spam, tapi mengurangi reward PageRank para spammer supaya indeks berkurang di search engine, ini sebenarnya tujuan utama google, menyajikan indeks URL yang lebih berkualitas

    ini usaha google meminta bantuan secara tersembunyi kepada para blogger khususnya untuk meningkatkan kualitas database search engine-nya

  6. #8, referer kemungkinan hilang. Satu lagi alasan untuk pakai nofollow dan bukan cara lainnya :). Tapi jangan mengandalkan referer untuk hal yang penting karena referer mudah untuk dipalsukan.

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