Sunday, May 4, 2008

Comment Policy

If you comment on my blog, your links will be spidered by search engines. Hooray! This is a good thing for the blogger community, but it makes such blogs more attractive to spammers. So, for months I've maintained a policy of moderating comments in order to guarantee zero-spam. But now, since there wasn't any evidence of a problem, I've relaxed a bit and turned off moderation. Actually that reflects my personal life as well: I've relaxed a bit and become less moderate.


I just learned about the new (2005) "nofollow" attribute of the HTML anchor tag, a device promoted by search engine companies to minimize the effect of link spam. Here's a news article in Search Engine Watch that talks about it.

"Nofollow", in effect, means that bloggers can't reward each other with cross links for making comments. Of course this can be abused, but so can any mechanism that counts links. Links are the essence of PageRank(tm), the Larry Page invention that launched Google.


I learned about this while checking out the "I Follow" icon on Haunted Poet, which led to an article in Randa Clay's blog explaining the basics, which then led me to instructions in "Beta Blogger for Dummies" for editing my Blogger template to remove the "nofollow" attribute.

Randa Clay's site provides some nice icons, but I created my own "U Comment / I Follow" icon to better fit my page design.