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A Defense Against Comment Spam

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  • I just read SixApart’s article on this, and noticed that they already have a plugin (for MT, of course) to automatically change links from comments (or untrusted commentors) to add the nofollow bit.
    Now, adding it to the URI field or the actually body of the comments in WP… I’m thinking someone much smarter than I needs to whip up a plugin, as comment_author_link() has no way to pass a rel="nofollow" into the “author link”, and I have no idea how one would do it for the body of the comment (my PHP skills being limited).
    Anyway… that’s just some brain candy…

    Now comes the task of fixing six million or more blogs to use this functionality.

    Quote from the link posted by wpde:

    “By adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to hyperlinks, webmasters and weblog owners can tell search engines that the links are effectively untrusted.
    For example, this:
    <a href="http://spammer.example.com/">buy now</a>
    Becomes this:
    <a href="http://spammer.example.com/" rel="nofollow">buy now</a>

    Anybody up for building a WP plugin for doing this?

    Some more information at

    http://www.google.com/googleblog/

    Of course this does nothing to stop the actual spamming. It will just not increase the pagerank of the spammer. Maybe this will turn off some of them. We’ll see. I don’t hold my breath.

    See also http://annevankesteren.nl/archives/2005/01/nofollow

    The problem is, I don’t want all my links being treated like they’re untrusted.

    How about making it so people who are logged in, approved, or have more then x posts in the database don’t have nofollow added to their links? This way legit links still get linked/ranked like normal and links from unknown users aren’t.

    If this is added to WordPress, make sure its optional.

    I could probably do this, I might try tomorrow

    Yup, this is the solution to another problem, Spammers will take no notice, only a few geeks will ever know that this exists…..

    Yes, this is a geek fix which doesn’t stop the users having to deal with idiots running scripts. But it does reduce load on yahoo, google, etc, and reduces the benefit of comment-spamming. IMO it should be added as a courtesy.

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