I’m deeply mystified by the hallelujahs bursting forth about Google’s rel=”nofollow” method of preventing comment spam. The idea being that comment spammers will leave your own site alone, or stop spamming altogether, if they find the rel=”nofollow” tag.
I think this is false assumption. It’s based on the idea that producing a link costs something, and therefore the spammer must choose either way. Think of it this way: if I’m a guy trying to pitch a TexasHold’em site, my aim is to get people to go there. Whether this is directly, through a click through, or indirectly via Google, the effect is the same. As a spammer, I don’t care at all *how* they get to my site. I just want the eyeballs. The same for any of the other comment spam subjects. PageRank isn’t an end in itself, it’s just the means by which they get more readers indirectly.
So as comment spam costs absolutely nothing to spread, there’s no loss to me if I spam sites with rel=”nofollow”.
Basically, spammers spam everything in sight, they will stick their URLs in any orifice, whether it triggers a Google nanopoint or not. Why, because they can do a shotgun approach with almost no effort. And nofollow can hurt legitimate links. And it is just about useless until it is proliferated on w web-wide scale. Small chance of that happening before my retirement party (in 2028… April…).
I recall long long ago, a friend’s father telling us about how it takes only a small, single digit percent response to those late night TV ads to make them profitable, more or less a variant of PT Barnum’s Law.
Just last week, in my traffic school class, I was one out of about 20 others who got photo radar tickets in the mail.. followed by one from an “entrepreneur” who used public records to send us all offers for “proven ways to beat the ticket for only $60”. One of the 20 in the room (not me) actually shelled out sixty smackers for a two page printout of useless innuendo.
That is the small margin spammers thrive in, the one of human condition.
So its back to the lab for a better spam strategy. There are no magic bullets.
Sigh, it felt good while it lasted.