Google to Put Kibosh on Blog Comment Spam

    January 17, 2005

On the surface, when Dave Winer put up a placeholder post this weekend on the Bloggercon site …

promising “an interesting announcement,” there didn’t appear to be much more to the story. But since then several bloggers have reported that Winer was testing a new Google linking mechanism that might put an end to blog comment spam by omitting all links from its PageRank calculations that have a rel=”nofollow” attribute tag.

This would change the economics behind why people comment spam popular blogs – to boost their Google search rank. If this is true, it would certainly be welcome. Stay tuned.


The problem is that just as comment spammers who spew hundreds of comments on sites, only to have them vanish within hours aren’t stopping what they are doing now – with no incentive of being indexed with the posts. So it’ll be a long time before this makes a dent, IMHO.

But a fix nonetheless.

Also: comment spammers may not care about the indexing to some extent, and will continue to plaster blogs just for the sake of doing so. As revenge, of course.

Posted by: Tom | January 17, 2005 02:49 PM

Agreed. I’ve started receving spam which points is formatted as such:

Website: http://1adsfafs871231af
Email: 12312afdfsaf981312
Comment: I love this site!

Or whatever. It’s very, very annoying because there’s actually nothing to block (in the typical sense of “look for certain words”).

And there’s absolutely zilch benefit to the spammers. None. I finally isolated a character string that was happening in each one and I’m blocking that.

But, still, I don’t think the returns are why most of them are doing it. The reality is that it’s even easier to comment spam than to email spam. And it lasts longer. And they get more clicks.

It’ll continue until there’s no way to anonymously comment.

Posted by: Jeremy C. Wright | January 17, 2005 03:12 PM

Hopefully it’ll make a dent. I’m not holding my breath. The latest on WordPress is trackback spam. It’s always something…..

Posted by: David Parmet | January 17, 2005 05:22 PM


There’s some speculation that those seemingly random strings are placeholders or test strings. I.e. if when they come back or search and they find those strings still on your weblog then your an open target and you get hit hard.

Posted by: Darryl | January 17, 2005 05:30 PM

Every little bit helps. blogsnow supports it as of now:

Posted by: Andreas Wacker | January 17, 2005 07:29 PM

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.