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Weblog Comments - A New Frontier for Spam

Weblog Comments - A New Frontier for Spam

Posted Oct 30, 2003 10:32 UTC (Thu) by james (subscriber, #1325)
Parent article: Weblog Comments - A New Frontier for Spam

So where are Google and the W3C in all this?

Imagine a "type=untrusted" tag added to the <a href... element (by the comment software, after the commenter has submitted the comment). It would mean that the URI quoted did not come from the principal author(s) of a page, and so should be treated with suspicion.

Google could then use it to severely downgrade the importance of the link, which would then make it that much less useful to spammers. ("How much" could be a delicate balancing act: possibly a Google that plain ignored all such links would be more useful than one that could be spammed and subverted this way.)

Browsers could use this as a hint that the link was possibly dodgy. They could turn off javascript links, and maybe show an alert if there was something "odd" about the link (say www.microsoft.com@167772161, where the number is the IP address and the www.microsoft.com is the username).

Actually, they probably should show alerts on that last one anyway...

It shouldn't be so difficult for the site engine to add that automatically: it's one line of sed. There aren't that many popular comment-based packages, and the option to make the site much less useful for spam should be popular with users.

James


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Weblog Comments - A New Frontier for Spam

Posted Oct 30, 2003 10:51 UTC (Thu) by hingo (guest, #14792) [Link]

I suspect that google is already employing techniques to de-emphasize weblog-links. I
remember reading that they had problems with some sites suddenly popping high up in their
results, because a lot of weblogs were linking to the site because of some recent and
interesting event. (Consider it a google-variant of the slashdot effect if you will.)

How they are doing it I don't know, but what you are describing is exactly what google would
want to do anyway: A "real" link is more valuable than one found in a weblog, especially one
in a weblog-comment.

henrik

Weblog Comments - A New Frontier for Spam

Posted Oct 31, 2003 23:29 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

the URI quoted did not come from the principal author(s) of a page, and so should be treated with suspicion.

I don't really see that that's reason for much suspicion. If lots of people are referring to web sites in weblog comments, that's generally as good reason for me to be interested in that web site as if keepers of weblogs are referring to it.


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