Digg Nofollow Links: Matt Cutts Approved

Cutts Tells Why He is Behind the Move

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Yesterday, Digg announced that it was changing the way it handles some links with regards to the nofollow attribute. The point of the changes is to cut down on Digg spam. Digg is now adding rel="nofollow" to any external link that they aren’t sure they can "vouch for." This means:

    – External links from comments
    – External links from user profiles
    – External links from story pages "below a certain threshold of popularity"

Google’s Matt Cutts posted his feelings on the matter to his blog. "I think this is pretty smart," says Cutts. "Digg isn’t adding nofollow to everything, just the links that they’re less sure about. Once a story looks real to them, I can imagine that they would lift the nofollow."

Cutts also shared a couple of videos he has done where he discusses how Google takes a similar approach, and answers two questions about Nofollow:

You may recall the topic of the first video from an article WebProNews ran about it this week. Cutts specifically talks about Google Knol, and how at first authors receive nofollowed links, but as the authors gain more turst, they sometimes remove the nofollows.

"So [the] new move by Digg is a positive change in my opinion, because Digg decreases the benefit for spammy stories but Digg still helps normal and high-quality stories in the search engines," says Cutts.

Digg said the decision was made after consultation with "leading experts" in the SEO/SEM and link spam fields. The company says it is looking out for content providers and the Digg community.

Digg Nofollow Links: Matt Cutts Approved
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  • http://www.neotericuk.co.uk/seo-london.php Seo London

    Yes good move but Digg need a very good system to filter the URLs to keep spammer at bay.

  • http://www.acleaningbid.com Thomas Anthony

    I believe it a good step only if once an author’s credibility is accomplished, the no-follow attrib is lifted.

  • http://www.laokay.com Steve

    Spam isn’t just about getting link popularity for a page/site.
    …and don’t forget that not all search engines will nofollow a link just because you said so (and why is Google writing it’s own standard as it applies to bot etiquette?)

    Imagine you had more links up about a product on the market than the next guy. Who’d make more sales on that product?

    The obvious answer isn’t necessarily the site with the most links, it’s the site with the most traffic, but it does help if you have a lot of links to it.

    How do you accomplish that tho? You post links all over the place about the product. On blogs, you tweet about it, you might even, yes, spam email people about it. If it worked the first time, why not do it for the next product? After all, you’re making money at it, right? Who cares of the people who just delete the spam, there are plenty of others who will be suckered into read it, especially if it looks like a legit email, and since you have to send out a lot to get a sale, just send out a few million more.

    Spam doesn’t just work in the traditional way either. The more you see a product name and what it’s used for, the next time you think about which one you are going to buy for whatever. You didn’t buy it from that link, but you still bought the product. To think that manufacturers don’t spam at all about their own product is ridiculous. Maybe not every manufacturer, but a lot do.

    To be technical, spam is every ad you see on every website, but we don’t call them spam, we call them ads. We didn’t ask to be shown the ads, and we surely can’t opt out of them. There is no form on Google’s website to ask them that you not be shown any of their ads, and nobody asked your permission to show them to you either. It’s always been implied as a condition of you visiting the website.
    So why is this ok over email? Because most websites wouldn’t exist if it was not for spam…errr I mean ads.

    You could block the ads entirely with add-ons to your browser, but then sometimes they fail and block actual content because of the way the content is displayed.

    Hell, if spam was eliminated, or at least reduced significantly, DSL would seem at least twice as fast as you wouldn’t have to wait in line for spam traffic to pass before your connection went through.

    All QOS routing is doing, is making email packets and ftp packets wait in line for other bandwidth intensive services like streaming audio and video. So instead of minutes to send an email, it could be hours till they get it.

  • http://www.discountwebdesign.co.uk web design company

    well that’s good move for digg against spam.

  • Sofiane Delloue

    I’m surprised the didn’t do it before, but it was maybe an accelerating factor they used to launch the service. Today, they don’t need to provide dofollow to convince people to send interesting links.

    The problem is : if gbot visits the page before it has a good rate, they wont get the importance of the url before days and they will lose a part of the system’s immediacy.

    I was wondering the same about Yahoo Buzz : Google followed yahoo dir’s redirection urls, is it the same treatment now with YB links ?

  • http://blog.3-prime.com Ryan

    As aptly stated in the article “as the authors gain more turst, they sometimes remove the nofollows. “, I have been working for years to gain Turst, and somehow it continues to slip through my fingers!

    Trust, I am sure, means links to the article. So they are saying if the article receives links, that also appear trust worthy, i.e., not sidebar links, that article gains “turst” ; / ) … and can start to pass PR to the links out from the article. Sensible.

    What interesting is they are saying that Google’s own property, Knol, dynamically assigns “nofollow” attributes based on the turstiness of the article. Does that mean they apply the coding or that they silently butcher authority-passing of low-link-popularity articles?

  • http://www.copywriter-ac.com Alan

    On the face of it, it sounds good.

    I’m always a bit wary of anything that uses human subjectivity though.

    Google already uses pagerank to determine the appeal of the page in question, so I’m not sure just what critieria is being used here to determine “good” from “bad”.

    As a copywriter I can tell you what page will sell the best but I wouldn’t want to be responsible for judging anything else!

    It strikes me that this does nothing to overcome, in fact makes worse, the inherent “get links, get attention, get links..” closed circle.


  • http://www.zygella.com Zygella

    Great move. Anything that stops spam can only be a good thing.

  • http://www.bikeshopcastlehill.com.au Home Solar Power Systems

    This is a very good progress against spams. Thanks Chris

  • http://www.danlew.com Dan Lew

    I think this is good as it will cut out all the spam giving other links more weight!

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