Sebastian's Pamphlets

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogger abuses rel-nofollow due to ignorance

I had planned a full upgrade of this blog to the newest blogger version this weekend. The one and only reason to do the upgrade was the idea that I perhaps could disable the auto-nofollow functionality in the comments. Well, what I found was a way to dofollow the author's link by editing the <dl id='comments-block'> block, but I couldn't figure out how to disable the auto-nofollow in embedded links.

Considering the hassles of converting all the template hacks into the new format, and the risk of most probably losing the ability to edit code my way, I decided to stick with the old template. It just makes no sense for me to dofollow the author's link, when a comment author's links within the content get nofollow'ed automatically. Andy Beard and others will hate me now, so let me explain why I don't move this blog to my own domain using a not that insane software like WordPress.
  • I own respectively author on various WordPress blogs. Google's time to index for posts and updates from this blogspot thingy is 2-3 hours (Web search, not blog search). My Wordpress blogs, even with higher PageRank, suffer from a way longer time to index.
  • I can't afford the time to convert and redirect 150 posts to another blog.
  • I hope that Google/Blogger can implement reasonable change requests (most probably that's just wishful thinking).
That said, WordPress is a way better software than Blogger. I'll have to move this blog if Blogger is not able to fulfill at least my basic needs. I'll explain below why I think that Blogger lacks any understanding of the rel-nofollow semantics. In fact, they throw nofollow crap on everything they get a hand on. It seems to me that they won't stop jeopardizing the integrity of the Blogosphere (at least where they control the linkage) until they get bashed really hard by a Googler who understands what rel-nofollow is all about. I nominate Matt Cutts, who invented and evolved it, and who does not tolerate BS.

So here is my wishlist. I want (regardless of the template type!)
  • A checkbox "apply rel=nofollow to comment author links"
  • A checkbox "apply rel=nofollow to links within comment text"
  • To edit comments, for example to nofollow links myself, or to remove offensive language
  • A checkbox "apply rel=nofollow to links to label/search pages"
  • A checkbox "apply a robots meta tag 'noindex,follow' to label/search pages"
  • A checkbox "apply rel=nofollow to links to archive pages"
  • A checkbox "apply a robots meta tag 'noindex,follow' to archive pages"
  • A checkbox "apply rel=nofollow to backlink listings"
As for the comments functionality, I'd understand when these options get disabled when comment moderation is set to off.

And here are the nofollow-bullshit examples.
  • When comment moderation and captchas are activated, why are comment author links as well as links within the comments nofollow'ed? Does blogger think their bloggers are minor retards? I mean, when I approve a comment, then I do vouch for it. But wait! I can't edit the comment, so a low-life link might slip through. Ok, then let me edit the comments.

  • When I've submitted a comment, the link to the post is nofollowed. Nofollow insane II.This page belongs to the blog, so why the fudge does Blogger nofollow navigational links? And if it makes sense for a weird reason not understandable by a simple webmaster like me, why is the link to the blog's main page as well as the link to the post one line below not nofollow'ed? Linking to the same URL with and without rel-nofollow on the same page deserves a bullshit award.

  • Nofollow insane III. (dashboard)On my dashbord Blogger features a few blogs as "Blogs Of Note", all links nofollow'ed. These are blogs recommended by the Blogger crew. That means they have reviewed them and the links are clearly editorial content. They're proud of it: "we've done a pretty good job of publishing a new one each day". Blogger's very own Blogs Of Note blog does not nofollow the links, and that's correct.

    So why the heck are these recommended blogs nofollow'ed on the dashboard? Nofollow insane III. (blogspot)

  • Blogger inserted robots meta tags "nofollow,noindex" on each and every blog hosted outside the controlled blogspot.com domain earlier this year.

  • Blogger inserted robots meta tags "nofollow,noindex" on Google blogs a few days ago.


If Blogger's recommendation "Check google.com. (Also good for searching.)" is a honest one, why don't they invest a few minutes to educate themselves on rel-nofollow? I mean, it's a Google-block/avoid-indexing/ranking-thingy they use to prevent Google.com users from finding valuable contents hosted on their own domains. And they annoy me. And they insult their users. They shouldn't do that. That's not smart. That's not Google-ish.

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4 Comments:

  • At Saturday, June 09, 2007, Anonymous Andy Beard said…

    well I have hinted a few times that andybeard.eu is still looked on as being blogspot ;)

    My feed was managed by feedburner, and when I moved over, I kept the same feed.

    The time it takes to make the switch is significant, maybe you should just pay someone to do it for you.

    That is what Kieron did

    http://www.here.org.uk/2007/06/new-blog-design-live.html

    No hate ;)

     
  • At Friday, June 22, 2007, Blogger Cafe_Cafe said…

    That kind of info is really valuable. I´ll change my template right now to follow comments.
    Thanks a lot and feel free to visit me any day to have some fun.

    Entretenimiento Online

     
  • At Thursday, July 19, 2007, Anonymous Dave said…

    Does blogger think their bloggers are minor retards?

    Umm..yes they do. Because in most instances they would be right. Look around at most people using Blogger . And I'm a Blogger user myself, but let's face it, they aren't a smart bunch on the whole. I wouldn't trust 'em either. Seriously. :-)

    If being able to un-nofollow links in the body of a comment is important, might as well make the move away from Blogger now. It will never, ever, happen.

    When I've submitted a comment, the link to the post is nofollowed.
    This page belongs to the blog, so why the fudge does Blogger nofollow navigational links?


    That page does NOT belong to the blog, it's on blogger.com. That's probably why it's nofollowed.

    I don't understand all the hubbub myself. I got several blogs on Blogger, they work fine, they get links and pagerank and googlejuice (whatever you want to call it) just fine. I have no desire to follow links in the comments (on my own blogs, or comments I submit to other blogs) whether I have approved them or not, it's just such a non-issue I can't understand why anyone cares. I know this whole do-follow movement has stirred some people up, it's just silly if you ask me.

    I've read some of your stuff before, and seen some posts at the group, and agree with/or think you write good stuff.

    Just don't agree on this one. :-)

    But to each his own.
    Cheers!

     
  • At Thursday, July 19, 2007, Blogger Sebastian said…

    Dave, thanks for stopping by and the kind words. I'm glad you like my pamphlets, or at least most of them ;)

    I don't think the Blogger folks call their clients minor retards. Ok, every developer fights the insanity of bloody end users and swears every now and then, but not every software engineer is kinda bastard operator from hell. I believe that they just didn't get it, and that they desperately need education on the semantics of the nofollow beast.

    Well, the comment page belongs to the blog, because it handles the blog's commenting. Technically it's on the blogger.com domain, but that's just because Blogger didn't manage it to integrate commenting into the templates (yet). It's not exactly wrong to call this another flaw.

    However, the point is that they have two links to the post on that page, one is castrated and the other one (a few pixels below the first one) is clean. That makes no sense and demonstrates their nofollow-bafflement.

    My nofollow obsession may be maniac in your eyes, and to some extent you're right, it's nitpicking at least. I think that rel-nofollow in its current shape is a desaster, because only a few search geeks know how to use it. The average Webmaster doesn't care about it because its misleading in itself, and even a team of top notch developers within Google didn't bother to learn its semantics, hence they're throwing nofollow crap on links like confetti.

    I respect folks commenting here, and I strongly believe that you don't deserve a link condom when you contribute valued content to my blog. When you insert a link to your site within this content to bring your point home, you deserve the link love.

    There's nothing to say against a mechanism to devalue links dropped by users on unattended pages. But this blog is not unattended. I've declared that by enabling comment moderation and captchas, and that should tell Blogger that I'm aware of comment spamming and that I can handle it myself. I don't need no insane nofollow-confetti. And that goes for a gazillion of other Blogger-blogs too.

    Cheers
    Sebastian

     

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