__/ [Mark Shell] on Saturday 22 October 2005 16:11 \__
> My understanding is that the original and primary purpose of the
> <rel="nofollow"> tag is to provide a weblog anti-spam function. ...
...All sorts of things fall under the class "link spam". It is not solely
Weblogs. The very idea of link spam combatting is ludicrous because people
can automate (script) self-promotion provided that contribution is possi-
ble (Web 2.0).
> ... Now, if I
> use this tag on a regular page that has nothing to do with webblogging, and
> I use it selectively -- a few external links have it, and the rest don't --
> wouldn't it make a search engine think that I am trying to manipulate
> something here, particularly the PR flow from that page of mine, and punish
> me as a result?
Some (if not many) people use rel="nofollow" when referring to sites they
hate and do not wish to give credit to. So, in practice, not all
rel="nofollow" among page content should be considered evil.
> One of the reasons behind this question is:
> Say, I want to tip the search engine that I am linking to some high ranked
> relative site (and, perhaps, would like to be rewarded for that), but I
> would still like to restrict the engine from taking that grain of PR away
> from my page.
Search engine (I could have said "search engines" but I chose not to) opt-
ed for the introduction of rel="nofollow", which now leads to plenty of
extra complexity. Links have classes now. There is consequently some re-
sponsibility not to penalise the benign. If I were you, I would not worry
for a second.
Speaking of which, rel="nofollow" did not stop link spam. Wikis, forums,
blogs, guestbooks continue to get whacked.
> So: (1) could I be somehow punished for that and (2) would I get any credit
> for still linking to a relative site?
I don't think you ever get credit for linking. If it was possible, imagine
the implication on synthesised pages. It only leads to yet more of a gap
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