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nofollow support added? (78 posts)

  1. tcloer
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The CVS says that support for the rel="nofollow" tag, that Google and others now support for comment links as a counter-spam-measure, has been added to WP.

    Since i find no options for setting this in the prefs, i'm just wondering how this has been implemented. Is it now default, i.e. nofollow-plug-ins like wp-no-pagerank are no longer necessary?

    From browsing the code i can not see right away how this is supposed to work...

  2. tcloer
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Alright, i should have tested this before asking. Which i've done now by adding a new comment to my site with a link to http://wordpress.org.

    In the page source the link has the nofollow tag then. So it seems that the nofollow support is now default for comment links.

    But i think this should be an option, not the default - there might be folks out there who simply want their contributors comments to be "honoured" by Google & Co. What do you think?

  3. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I believe that a plugin is being worked on.
    My view is that is should be the default - not making it so could leave this open to exploitation for those that do not know, and those that do not know will care not about the attribute, pagerank and everything else.

    Like I said though, I believe someone is working on a toggle plugin for this.

  4. chrisgeleven
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I like the fact that it is on by default. How do I know if someone commenting is just commenting for the pagerank (which makes it pretty much comment spam)? If someone's site turns out to be very good, I add them to my links list and blog about it.

    A simple plugin can disable it or add more options to it.

    It will at least cut some of the incentive to comment spam. It is just a tool to combat it, just like all the other tools we are using. By itself it might not mean much, but all together we are giving spammers a much harder time comment spamming WordPress blogs.

    That is what matters most.

  5. OtherMichael
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    What matters most is allowing the end-user to be in control of their publishing. The nature of the web is defined by linking. Spammers, obviously, take advantage of this to the detriment of nearly all. However, there are quite a few tools available to help take care of this.

    I am satisfied with how they handle spam on my blogs, and I would _not_ want linking from comments to be turned off by default.

  6. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    OtherMichael: As I understand it, 'no-follow' is purely an instruction to the Googlebot. It's not visible to readers unless they view source, and it in no way stops them leaving links or clicking on them. It doesn't even stop you sharing your PageRank by linking to them, if you so choose. A lot of the anti-no-follow hysteria seems to be caused by this basic misunderstanding.

  7. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I doubt that this will ever be offered out of the box as an option that can be set via a switch in your Admin Panel. You will have to depend on a plugin to change the "rel=nofollow" to whatever state you want it to be.

  8. DianeV
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I vote for either optional or a documented way to turn it off:

    http://developedtraffic.com/2005/01/22/wordpress-and-the-google-link-attribute/

  9. OtherMichael
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'm just worried about the continued "feature-creep" of WordPress for options that have no way of being turned off -- like autoformatting. I am already frustrated with the lack of control that WordPress gives me over my posts, and am worried that it will get worse, not better. When WordPress hits 2.0 I wouldn't be surprised to see a dancing paperclip to try to help me write my blog entries -- and the only way to turn it off will be a plugin! :-P

  10. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The dancing paperclip will be in an optional plugin. The default will be no dancing paperclip. There will be check boxes for the styles of dance and whether the paperclip will solo dance or perform a pas de deux.

  11. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 9 years ago #

    What, no option to change the dancing paperclip to the dog, or even that 'perfesser' guy!? Really Ryan, the devs need to start talking to us.

  12. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Okay, okay. We'll add those too. You can also choose sex. Male, female, MTF, FTM, and so on. Pas de deux couples can be mixed and matched as desired. You can choose whether the dancing duo are an old married couple celebrating their golden anniversary, young lovers, or strangers whose eyes suddenly meet across the dance floor. As their hands come together in an electric touch, they will say to each other, "Click Advanced Editing to see more options". We'll call the plugin, SimClip.

  13. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Yet another example of how coders and users view the same product in different ways.

    Update: And, following the logic of some of the above posts, then why are comments part of the core code? There are third-party code suppliers for comments, a la HaloScan.

  14. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 9 years ago #

    More of a difference between how users and power-users view things. nofollow is an echo-chamber discussion.

  15. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    You will have to depend on a plugin to change the "rel=nofollow" to whatever state you want it to be.

    Which is exactly as it should be. Unless the user fully understands the arguments and feels strongly enough to seek out a plugin, they have no business switching off no-follow. That will only help out the spammers. Just because your spam protection is working great at the moment doesn't mean it won't let the occasional spam through in the future; why are you so keen on giving the spammers their pagerank? Or are you just worried your own PR is going to take a hit if everyone implements no-follow?

  16. DianeV
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I disagree.

    Bear in mind that PageRank is named after its creator, Google founder Larry Page. It does NOT mean "how a page ranks" and is only one part of the Google algorithm (ranking formula). You can't even get a site into Google unless there is at least one link to it, and that one link won't make it rank well.

    I'm not understanding why, if no bloggers can link properly to other blogs, and all those blogs then suffer in ranking, this is considered a good thing. And all this over not finding a solution to comment spam. It's like crippling your ability to receive email just because some people send spam email.

    'Tis okay with me, though. Ya pays your money and takes yer choice. I just won't be installing crippled software either for me or my clients.

  17. LouQuillio
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Uhh, 'no-follow' benefits Google et al., not site owners nor this Google user, and it's doubtful that comment spam intends to boost pageRank in the first place. I hate it as much as anybody, don't get me wrong. But if my query on "wordpress nuances" starts to feature a link to "BonerPill.com" on results page one, I'm still not following. Probably. And comment spam costs nothing to do. I'd like to meet the comment spammer who ever says, "Damn, my pageRank isn't getting anywhere. Guess I'll call the robot home."

    Anonymous commenting invites comment spam. Comment moderation or commenter authentication beats it. Some things can't be automated.

    Seems to me, then, that the no-follow attribute value should be an opt-in/plugin proposition, for site owners who'd rather cripple the Web than moderate. Search engines and site owners don't have common cause here, not really.

    Unless Google's response will be to devalue links on blog-style sites (except Blogger.com sites, natch). But bowing to such threat invites a new tyranny.

    LQ

  18. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 9 years ago #

    Whether you agree or disagree with the philosophy behind the developers' decision is one thing; using terms like "your own PR" and "crippled" are just ploys to incite. It's a single setting in a moderately known piece of software. No one is going to die over it. Not yet, anyways...

    There is nothing wrong with debating this. But for or against, on the side of the users or the corporations or the developers or no one in particular, at least stop pretending this forces us to do something against our will. It doesn't.

  19. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Well, there hasn't really been any debate in terms of how WordPress is going to support this. It has been decided. That being said, it's for the lead developers to decide on their own, anyway. Our choice is how we get to change the setting once the software is in our hands. We will just have to find the plugin that works best for us to change whatever we want.

  20. yearginsm
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'll agree it should default to nofollow, but I would like to be able to toggle it on a per-comment basis, via the admin screen. As all good plugins go, if they are popular or usefull enough, they should be incorporated in the base product.

    Just my thoughts.

  21. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 9 years ago #

    "Well, there hasn't really been any debate in terms of how WordPress is going to support this. "

    I of course meant debate their decision.

  22. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'm not understanding why, if no bloggers can link properly to other blogs, and all those blogs then suffer in ranking, this is considered a good thing.

    Diane: I'm not understanding how this initiative prevents bloggers from linking to other blogs in their posts or blogrolls? That's what I would call a 'proper link'. Bloggers who post comments solely to build up their total of incoming links are no better than spammers, IMO, though I can see why they are up in arms about this.

    If you want to rank high on Google, try producing decent content. Now there's a radical idea.

  23. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Kaf,
    I don't see any reason to debate the decision. The bottom line is that a decision had to be made one way or the other. Now a series of plugins will be developed to toggle this setting. Had they decided otherwise, plugins would still have to be developed to toggle the setting.

  24. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    If you want to rank high on Google, try producing decent content.

    One can produce all the decent content they want, but if all proper, non-spamming links to that decent content contain rel="nofollow" then it won't go anywhere in the ranks, correct?

  25. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 9 years ago #

    Whether you do or not NM, it appears many others feel differently. How else to explain threads such as this one. I'm just concerned about letting such a debate blow all out of proportion to the issue at hand.

  26. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    if all proper, non-spamming links to that decent content contain rel="nofollow" then it won't go anywhere in the ranks, correct?

    They WON'T, not if it's implemented only in comments. Do you honestly believe that no-follow will be automatically added to any links you make on your own blog? Or that we are asking you to add the rel yourself? This point has been explained I don't know how many times. I am beginning to have the sensation of banging my head against a brick wall.

  27. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Kaf,
    Very true. I am only one opinion. However, this debate is not a small issue, really. It speaks volumes about the inferred value of linking from site to site.

  28. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The default spam policy can and should be debated. However, that default policy is not going to attempt to accommodate everyone's fancy and is not going to include lots of options, especially options that are fairly impenetrable to the typical user. Alternative spam policies are the domain of plugins. Plugins are already being modified to integrate different nofollow policies.

    Something being committed to the repository does not mean the end of the discussion. It is usually the beginning.

    And, finally, non-proliferation of options is a core philosophy of WordPress. Removing and refusing options always results in big, tedious debates and threats of forks and abandonment. We've been through it several times and will go through it again and again. The easiest path is to just give up and throw in another checkbox, but that is a mistake that results in terrible software that is used only by opinionated power users.

  29. LouQuillio
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    ... using terms like "your own PR" and "crippled" are just ploys to incite.

    No, they're not, at least not without a purpose.

    Comment spammers seek to game the system. rel="no follow" is a counter-game. Independence demands we be in thrall to neither.

    It'd be uncharacteristic and unwise for WordPress to pick its users' allegiances. Consensus on "no follow" is not afoot. Wait awhile.

    LQ

  30. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    @Anonymous,
    If all the blog publishing software has the nofollow enabled by default and the vast majority of bloggers don't implement a plugin to change it or even know it exists, then indeed many links will be useless.

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