In the year 2005, Google launched a change in what we have accepted as web standards for links.  In order to reduce comment spams, do not follow their links.. and well, include the other personal blogs' links too.  What?!

What is No follow?

Of course, anyone in the blogosphere, might have experienced, in one way or the other, receiving comment spams.  Just like in the earlier days, when emails and webforms can be spammed, it was countered by providing captcha and other anti-spam materials.  The idea is to prevent bots from flooding your site with unnecessary information, or even garbled messages all for the purpose of marketing their link.  Quite simple, right?

In retrospect, anti-spam materials did a really good job of preventing a lot of automated registrations and spamming.  Nowadays, when everyone can have their own voice over the internet, spamming has taken a step forward again–in the form of comments and/or trackbacks.  Usual targets for these are chatboxes, comment spaces or even through link submission facilities.

Of course, the innocent blog reader/owner, would want some link love, or maybe more blogger friends perhaps.  This is the reason why you blog hop, or search for good blogs to read.  Sometimes, you leave a comment because you just want to participate in a discussion.  But what is there about nofollow that will affect us all??  The advocator of the nofollow propaganda would be putting that on his site, at maybe, the comments section or just anywhere the public can post a link.  Now that would mean, no more link for the spammer, and also the blog reader/owner who simply wants to do his stuff and not flood the site with spam.

Google's bots will search for these tags "rel=nofollow" and remove its link from being displayed.  Though some blog readers/owners leave comments to gain more of Google's juice,  I think benefit of the doubt must still be given to the majority who are only participating in the growth of the blogosphere.

About the Link Tag

Some of you might already be aware of the attributes that are used alongside with the "A" or anchor tag.  Along with the standard attributes id, class, title, style, dir, lang, xml:lang, tabindex, accesskey, there are also some optional attributes available for use of the anchor tag (places no difference for HTML and XHTML).  These are:

Attribute Value Description
charset character_encoding Specifies the character encoding of the target URL
coords if shape="rect" then coords="left,top,right,bottom" if shape="circ" then coords="centerx,centery,radius" if shape="poly" then coords="x1,y1,x2,y2,..,xn,yn" Specifies the coordinates appropriate to the shape attribute to define a region of an image for image maps
href URL The target URL of the link
hreflang language_code Specifies the base language of the target URL
name section_name Names an anchor. Use this attribute to create a bookmark in a document. In future versions of XHTML the name attribute will be replaced by the id attribute!!
rel alternate designates stylesheet start next prev contents index glossary copyright chapter section subsection appendix help bookmark Specifies the relationship between the current document and the target URL
rev alternate designates stylesheet start next prev contents index glossary copyright chapter section subsection appendix help bookmark Specifies the relationship between the target URL and the current document
shape rect rectangle circ circle poly polygon Defines the type of region to be defined for mapping in the current area tag. Used with the coords attribute.
target _blank _parent _self _top Where to open the target URL.
  • _blank - the target URL will open in a new window
  • _self - the target URL will open in the same frame as it was clicked
  • _parent - the target URL will open in the parent frameset
  • _top - the target URL will open in the full body of the window
type mime_type Specifies the MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type of the target URL
From HTML <a> tag of W3Schools.com

As you wouldn't have noticed, under the "rel", there is no value listed as "nofollow".  Google introduced this attribute value "nofollow" that kills the link of the anchor tag.

U Comment, I follow

As the opposite of the "Nofollow"'s mission, the I follow propaganda was born.  Earlier in this month, Randa Clay has created a badge for the I follow propaganda.  It aims to counter the effects of the "Nofollow" propaganda.  What it basically say is that, your comments partake in an active discussion in the thread concerned, ergo the endless contribution of knowledge in the blogosphere is maintained.

If you believe that you deserve to be heard when you post a comment, then you must be for the "Ifollow" movement.

My take on this

I adore all of Google's initiatives.  I love most of them, but I choose not to like "Nofollow".  Yep, no "Nofollow".  Yes, though all they wanted was to reduce comment spam, it would greatly affect how the blogosphere interacts with its participants.  I believe that the greatest strength of the blogosphere is the sharing that takes place between people of different location around the globe.  There can be a lot of other defensive measures that one can take to reduce comment spams, like captcha, etc.

I believe "Nofollow" must go.  If there was a spam comment, I'll just be happy to remove it.  You may have seen the different colorful badges for "Ifollow", but I don't need to put it here.  I'm happy that our good host, I.PH has some link lovin'.  :D

So, you comment, I follow.. okay?  :)