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Author Topic: Nofollow tags added to all external links  (Read 11852 times)

mouser

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Nofollow tags added to all external links
« on: June 06, 2008, 02:00:04 PM »
Just wanted to mention that NoFollow tags are now being added to all url links that appear on forum posts (thanks to this smf mod).

Quote
nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place.

This should make it less attractive for spammers to post links to their sites, and reduce any benefit to them if they do.

lanux128

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 12:20:56 AM »
this is good! hopefully after this the spammers will reduce their 'affection' towards DC forums. :D

app103

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 08:33:30 AM »
I doubt it, since search engines are not the only incentive they have. The purpose is to drive traffic to their site by any means, be that in search results from a search engine or by actual humans reading their posts & clicking.

With the number of members this forum has, and the volume of traffic, it is amazing that the spamming isn't more intense than it is. (or is it and we have fast mods that catch it faster than it can be picked up by MouserBot in the irc channel and that's why I haven't noticed it?)

mediaguycouk

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 09:17:36 AM »
Surely a lot of recommended software from this forum should go up higher in search rank terms?

Can't it just be <50 or <100 posts?
Learning C# - Graham Robinson

scancode

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 09:30:49 AM »
I agree with mediaguycouk

mouser

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 09:36:59 AM »
can you guys explain a bit more about your idea and why it would be good.

mediaguycouk

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 10:14:56 AM »
For example. We decide that giveawayoftheday.com is a good site and we post about it. Other forums also think that giveawayoftheday is a good site. All forums throw nofollow tags around the website and this good site doesn't get anywhere on google due to word of mouth not raising it up the ranks.

However new poster 'iamabot' comes on promoting cleanupyourpcwithourcrap.com and never posts again, he shouldn't raise up the ranks.
Learning C# - Graham Robinson

scancode

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 10:18:53 AM »
If you have more than X posts, your posts shouldn't be nofollow'd. When we post a link, we do it because it's useful. We have real mods deleting spam. Spam links aren't here for more than 10 minutes... Why do we have to hurt all good, legit links?

Just my two cents.

Lashiec

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 10:24:52 AM »
I'm with scancode, that sounds like a good compromise, other forums don't let post pictures or start polls until certain number of posts, one could argue that it could hurt newer members suggesting interesting pages, or that spammers could, err, spam the forum to up its post count, but considering the size of the forum and members patrolling, I think it's not an issue.

Veign

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 11:12:20 AM »
NoFollow is does the following things:
- Prevent PR from leaking on a page to other sites.  Everything link on a page will leak its PR juice across all links on that page.  The more links on a page the less juice that goes to each.  By placing nofollow on every link within a page it means more of DC's internal links on a page will get PR juice.
- Preventing penalties by linking to a 'bad neighborhood'.  Bad Neighborhoods are sites that Google has severely penalized in some way for some reason (most likely black hat seo).  If you link to a 'bad neighborhood' you can be given a penalty too since Google feels you have control over the links on your sites and by linking (basically casting a vote for) to a bad neighborhood you are in some way saying they are good.
- Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks.   Removes that all important backlink from a good, trusted site (like DC).  Backlinks from trusted sites are like gold in Google.  SEO is two parts: on-page and off-page.  Without a combination of both you won't rank well in Google for competitive keywords.  This is what the spammers want.  They want that backlink from DC, they want that vote.

Understand that by placing NoFollow on all links you could hurt a good member's search result for a keyword or lower their PR.  DC could be the deciding factor on where they place for a keyword.

I would also see if there can be a post limit imposed.  When a person reaches 100 posts the nofollow tag is lifted as they are a solid contributor to DC and should get some benefits from their posts.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 09:53:57 AM by Veign »

urlwolf

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 08:05:33 PM »
I also think DC'ers should be able to spread google love. That's the currency today (attention). Sometimes you cannot donate to a great piece of software, but you can 'pay' them with recognition by recommendations here.

mouser

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 09:19:33 PM »
After some discussion in the chat channel, I'm thinking of the following compromise based on the comments in this thread.

After some number N posts (maybe 25 or so), all links in a user's posts will no longer have nofollow attribute.  This is a reflection of that fact that after that many posts the user is not a spammer and the links they post are likely to be relevant to the forum thread/page.

Maybe a manual ability to add nofollow to a link should also be possible, though im not sure what the point of that would be.

Links in signatures will always have NOFOLLOW attribute, based on the fact that such links are not likely to be relevant to the thread, and based on the fact that people with large numbers of posts will basically be creating large numbers of links that are not relevant.

EDIT: I wouldn't be surprised if google hadn't already figured out that links in signatures or on forums should be disregarded in terms of pagerank stuff, so this whole idea may be moot.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 08:02:06 AM by mouser »

jgpaiva

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 07:32:00 AM »
I think the solution you presented now is very balanced, it protects DC's PR and still helps the interesting sites (i think that linking to "good" sites also probably helps DC, right?)

Veign

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 10:00:07 AM »
i think that linking to "good" sites also probably helps DC, right?

Sorta.  It could help if a specific topic was being discussed and there were external links to authoritative sites on the topic.  Authoritative sites are classified as the best of the best on a topic - Like MS being an authoritative site on Windows.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 10:49:22 AM »
Authoritative sites are classified as the best of the best on a topic - Like MS being an authoritative site on Windows.
Try googling for "notetaking software" (http://www.google.co...ware&btnG=Search).
It looks to me like DC is an authoritative site on this topic, coming up second on the list.

DC certainly lends SEO credibility to things mentioned here. Could it be that this is a reason why we are able to get discounts for site members? Could it be why the authors of software mentioned here frequently come in to explain what they're doing?

A universal "nofollow" would make DC less valuable to these people. And if they stop contributing back, in their way, to our community, then we're all worse off.

So I think that the nofollow for newbies is a good compromise to prevent spam, while not interfering with the value derived from those whose opinions we've come to trust or at least understand.

Veign

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 11:07:14 AM »
Its not as easy as just doing a search to see what or who is authoritative.  Also every keyword and every search doesn't mean there is an authoritative site.

Yes.  Authors may be giving discounts and giveaways knowing they are getting a good solid backlink.  People sometime pay good money for a good backlink.  Thats how important a backlink can be.

mediaguycouk

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 11:10:11 AM »
Should it also be turned off for quotes in case you quote a spammer?
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app103

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2008, 11:11:26 AM »
I also think that there shouldn't be any "nofollow" on links on the blog page, regardless of how long the original poster of the item has been a member.

You have to be a mod or admin on the forum to promote a post to the blog, so spam isn't likely to end up there.

There is no reason whatsoever to have "nofollow" on portions of the site that spammers have no access to adding content.

Because the blogging mod also is used to add posts to the coding snacks page, a "nofollow" on those pages could potentially hurt the coder that fills a request and chooses to host the resulting application on his own site. This site will end up on page 1 of results for the application, and the poor coder's page will end up at the end of the results (or not at all) because DC's PR6 beats his tiny or nonexistant PR. Sticking "nofollow" on the link to his site would be just plain selfish, and I don't think that is in the spirit of what this site stands for.


f0dder

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2008, 06:31:13 PM »
Nofollow sounds like a really good idea - when it becomes coupled with the "turn off after user has N posts" idea (where N should be a relatively small number, I doubt well ever see a spammer reach even 15 posts).

Also, a thing like <quote attr=nofollow> would be good, like MediaGuyUK recommends.

We want to penalize the bad guys, not ruin the good guys.
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Veign

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2008, 07:16:53 PM »
<quote attr=nofollow>

Would have no affect.  Nofollow is for Anchor tags.

f0dder

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2008, 07:34:13 PM »
<quote attr=nofollow>

Would have no affect.  Nofollow is for Anchor tags.
Yeah, but the idea is that applying it to the quote block would nofollow the <A> tags inside the quote... including the ones that are automatically constructed from entering a http://plain.old.hypertext.com without manually using a bbcode URL blog.
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mouser

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2008, 02:18:16 AM »
A follow up:

App scolded me this morning for not living up to DC spirit of giving love to other sites because of our severe nofollow tags being added to all links.

She was right -- a major goal of DC is to give some attention and recognition to small sites and it wasn't fair that all links on our forum were being marked as nofollow.

So I've just finished making some some changes to the policy and code.  Now all links in the bodies of messages posted by anyone with 3 or more posts are linked normally, without any nofollow tags.  Same with blog items.

Links in signatures and profile, and profile website and other icon links on the left under member name, are still marked as NOFOLLOW since they are not reflective of organic discussion content.

mouser

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2008, 02:19:38 AM »
by the way if you are a web designer, this is a useful extension which can toggle display of nofollow link coloring, very helpful:
http://www.zacharyfo...-a-firefox-extension

jgpaiva

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Re: Nofollow tags added to all external links
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2008, 05:11:40 AM »
Thank you mouser!
I'm sure the owners of websites linked on DC will be thankful too ;)

Oh, and thank you app for pressing mouser to do this!