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Google, Submission AdSense and NoFollow Letdown 104

John Battelle is reporting on his blog that word has leaked about a possible new API from Google that would allow sites to distribute AdSense earnings to individual members based on submissions or participation. From the article: "To toss a bit of cold water here, however, I've never seen UGC sites as the least bit driven by money. They are driven by pride, the desire to be first, reputation, whuffie. But dollars? That often screws it all up. I guess we'll get to see soon enough..." Relatedly many users are calling the 'nofollow' tag "Google's embarrassing mistake". Justin Mason is just one of many to take a look at the current status of nofollow and what may still be in store for that particular tool.
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Google, Submission AdSense and NoFollow Letdown

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  • Re:UGC? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alizarin Erythrosin ( 457981 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:30PM (#15437646)
    I dunno either. I'm gonna hazard a guess and say it stands for "User Generated Content."
  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:47PM (#15437809) Homepage
    The AdSense API is not a new thing. It's been around for at least six months and is in wide use by larger publishers like adsense+api []

    Google simply doesn't make the existence of this API public.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:49PM (#15437825) Journal
    What nofollow could have been useful for is a simple "I don't endorse this link" statement so that you can link to sites you dislike without adding to their fame. But applying it to all user-supplied links in blog comments, slashdot threads, wiki pages, etc. diluted its meaning, and as a result, diluted its usefulness.

    From the comments of TFA:

    pudge said,
    May 31, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

    I implmented nofollow for Slashdot. And I did it not primarily to reduce comment spam which our moderation system and other tools handle pretty well already, as Slashdot gets very littler comment spam but to reduce the effects of comment spam on search engines. If you post with a comment bonus (which you can get with high karma), you get no nofollow attribute, because we figure, chances are, your links will be useful to the search engines.

    I didn't know that about the SlashCode, but it makes sense.

    The type of person who blasts multiple sites with automated software isn't likely to spend time building up karma on (multiple) Slashdot accounts for his SpamBot to burn.
  • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <error.ioerror@us> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:50PM (#15437843) Homepage Journal
    I was going to update my nofollow story [] from a year ago, but it seems nothing's changed -- except that blog spam has dramatically increased. Which anybody could have predicted -- and most people who thought about it for more than a second actually did.

    Nofollow was a hare-brained idea from the start, cooked up over a couple of apparently drunken [] (or perhaps stoned) nights between developers at Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:26PM (#15438173)

    So, please tell me why comment spammers continue to blast comments to blogs powered by WordPress

    Because, like you pointed out, pagerank is not the sole motivation for all spammers. I was quite clear in saying that there was no point for pagerank purposes.

    I agree that at least some comment spammers are motivated by things other than pagerank, but I do believe that at least some of them are just after pagerank, and I believe nofollow moves them on to lower-hanging fruit (i.e. other websites that haven't implemented nofollow).

    You also have to consider the possibility that some of the spammers continuing to target Wordpress are simply using outdated software. They don't all write their own code, do they? Maybe they just haven't all upgraded to the latest version of SuperSpamomatic that knows about the Wordpress changes.

  • Not a Rumor! (Score:4, Informative)

    by DevanJedi ( 892762 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:48PM (#15438358) Homepage Journal
    This is not a rumor- it was officially announced [] by Google today. Also, even though the API may have already existed, this allows people to create and manage accounts through the API.
  • Actually, Coral CDN is now advocating the use of port 8080 instead of 8090. Both will still work for the time being.

    There is more information in this posting to the [coral-announce] list [].
  • by DevanJedi ( 892762 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:23PM (#15438674) Homepage Journal
    Except that now, with two low-quality posts in a row you have risked a lowering of your Karma!
  • by brion ( 1316 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:48PM (#15438908) Homepage
    Nofollow does one thing, and it does it just fine:

    1) It reduces the impact of comment spam, forum spam, and wiki spam on the search engines that every web user relies on to get their work and play done.

    As a side effect, very wide implementation *could*, hypothetically, one day lead to link spammers giving up on at least some of their spamming in the long run. Cool if it happens, but *not* required to reap the benefits.

    Universal implementation is not required; every little bit helps. It's just part of being a responsible web site operator, like avoiding open relay configurations is part of being a responsible mail server operator. Closing open relays doesn't prevent all spam either, but it helps reduce the number of avenues it can creep through and thus helps reduce the impact.

    Open comment systems, forums, and wikis are like open mail relays. If you must run one, being responsible about the impact you know it will have on the web ecosystem seems like a very good idea to me. Nofollow is a useful and important part of that impact mitigation.

    Does it solve every problem everywhere at once? No. Does it help to do particular things in the real world here and now? Yes.
  • Relatedly? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ickoonite ( 639305 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:54PM (#15438974) Homepage
    "Relatedly" is not a word. "Belatedly" is.

    Consider "In other news", "In related news"...


    iqu :|

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.