Six Apart have released a new plugin for Movable Type that adds a new bit of code (rel=”nofollow”) into all links submitted in comments and trackbacks. The experts tell me that this means that Google will no longer use these links for page ranking purposes.
This initiative is being supported by Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and most major blog vendors so that as many bloggers as possible will be able to benefit from it.
Page rank is important to these spammers. The only reason that they attempt to insert hundreds of links on bloggers’ sites is that those links (the ones that weren’t blocked or deleted anyway) went a long way to getting their sites up the Search Engine rankings. This initiative is aimed at hitting the spammers at the source – if it’s no longer profitable for them to spam blogs then it’s in their own interests to look elsewhere for their spammy links. Or just jump off a cliff, whatever.
Naturally, this will only be successful if there’s a large takeup of this plugin, so I would urge all Movable Type users to install it. It’s easy to install then just rebuild your site (unless you use dynamic pages of course) and Bob’s your proverbial uncle.
The one downside to this is that this will also reduce the pagerank of blogs linked to legitimately from comments and trackbacks, so your friends and fellow bloggers may lose a bit of Google ranking as a consequence. No bugger links to me hardly anyway, but I’m more than willing to link to friends sites, or even other sites of interest to me, on my main page if you ask nicely . Links in blog entries themselves and other statically inserted links in the template will not have this extra code in the hyperlink tags, so those will continue to receive page rank bonuses.
We’ll see where this goes. I’ve had over 500 spam attempts in the last five days alone, all of which were blocked. Let’s hope that these fuckers will take the hint and take an overdose of their own stock of cheap prescription drugs, or just stop sending the spam.