February 29, 2004
Google Juice must be denied

As many of you know, the blogosphere has been under assault from comment spammers. The comment spammers are not directing their spam at you, they are directing it at Google. If a spammer can get their URL into your blog, they are trying to get Google to think that their URL is important.

Getting Google to think your site is important to getting high search placement and is refererred to in some circles as Google Juice. That's why you see lots of comment spam for things like gambling or viagra. The spammers want their sites to show up as high as possible when someone searches for it.

As a defense against this, the most recent version of Movable Type, the blog software I use, has changed to deny the Google Juice. If you look at a post with comments and put your mouse over the link to a commentor, you don't see their URL anymore, you see a redirection link. This link prevents the comment spammer from getting what they so desperately want, the Google Juice.

The problem is that many people like to mouse over link and see the URL before going there. I know I do.

So I made a little change. If you look at a list of comments, you will see the URL next to the commentors link in a non-hyperlinked form between brackets. That way, you, a human being, can see the URL, but Googlebot doesn't see it as a meaningful link.

The code change was simple. In the Comment Listing Template I changed this section:

To this:

Note that all I had to add was at the right spot.

It appears to have worked like a charm. YMMV.

Posted by michael at February 29, 2004 02:10 PM