WordPress Founder – Admits Nofollow Didn’t Work

I am going to start off with

Damn that’s Brave

Matt was commenting on the Wikipedia announcement, and made the following statement.

Hmm excerpt? – Matt please forgive me, but it is so short I am going to include it all.

Wikipedia has decided to nofollow all external links to help offset people spamming the service. In theory this should work perfectly, but in practice although all major blogging tools did this two years ago and comment and trackback spam is still 100 times worse now. In hindsight, I don’t think nofollow had much of an effect, though I’m still glad we tried it.

Backend technology is effective, such as Akismet or other plugins, nofollow just doesn’t work.

Nofollow still has its uses for controlling the flow of pagerank around your own pages.

You can use a plugin to remove it from comments, or just hack the code.

Matt, can we have a simple option in WP 2.2 just to switch nofollow off?

Unrelated to Matt, but have you seen how many blogs are using “black hole” in relation to link equity and nofollow with Wikipedia… without giving me credit?

Here is the original Wikipedia Black Hole Theory

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  1. says

    I don’t think this is a revelation of any kind. There is no single technique that can be employed that will eliminate spam. Spammers will always be working to thwart whatever countermeasures are put in place.

    The importance of nofollow, however, remains: that certain types of links found on pages, in whatever form they comes, should NOT contribute to search engine rankings – for that reason nofollow has utility well beyond comment spam.

  2. says

    I agree that there are uses for nofollow, but that doesn’t mean nofollow should be used in abundance as a default option for all links, especially on blogs that are actively maintained.

    You won’t find a spam comment on this blog unless I have allowed it to be here.

    What you will find in abundance are comments from my readers, often pointing through to highly relevant content.

    I cultivate pagerank rather than horde it, and pass it on.

    Wikipedia hordes pagerank

    Hopefully sometime soon WordPress blogs won’t horde pagerank.

    Who knows, maybe switching off nofollow on comments and trackbacks on WordPress.com in the future is possible, and I would welcome such a change.

    This is especially important for things like legitimate trackbacks.