Reports are surfacing that a mysterious posting from Dave Winer on the BloggerCon website stating “Watch this space for an interesting announcement.” and comments on Scripting News on Friday, indicate that Dave has teamed up with Google to test a rel=”nofollow” attribute that will deliver a knock out blow to comment spammers who depend on Google to deliver them higher page rank and therefore increased traffic through the increased links the spam provides them.
In laymen’s terms, the rel=”nofollow” tag would be inserted into all links within the comments of a blog, and by agreement Google would choose to ignore these links when calculating page rank, destroying the main benefit provided to Comment Spammers currently.
Whilst currently speculation, if Google does get on board, and blog software vendors agree to the tag, Comment Spam would start to decrease within 12 months of the implementation as users update their software and tools to incorporate the new tags.
Whether other search engines will need to get on board with the initiative is yet to be seen, but if Yahoo! and MSN where to also recognise the tag, the main sources of profit for the Comment Spammers would be cut off.
Not everyone is optimistic. Phaedo.cx posts that comment spammers will keep on spamming none the less on the chance that the blog they are spamming doesn’t have the tags in place, which is fair comment, but given time, enough bloggers will have the tag to make the spamming a waste of time and effort.