Comment Spam on the Rise – Thoughts on Nofollow

Dataminning has a nice graph showing the rise of comment spamming this year. Almost all comment spam that gets through today has the nofollow tag attached to the link.

I am starting to believe that Google does more than simply not follow “nofollow” links. I think that they may look at the percentage of nofollow links a site recieves and if it is greater than X %, the site is considered spammy.

If that is the case, one has to wonder if a “nofollow” link actually works as a vote against a site. After all, if you are saying with the nofollow tag “I don’t trust this link”, the search engines may decide they don’t want to trust that site, either.

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6 Responses to “Comment Spam on the Rise – Thoughts on Nofollow”

  1. Dan the Automator says:

    I wonder if this rise is due, in part at least, to the rise of comment spamming tools for sale on eBay etc.?
    Used to be the case that you couldn’t get into blog spamming unless you knew how to write your own tool to do it… Damn it!!!

  2. Sniper says:

    I run a group of legit sites that get upwards of 100k hits/month… nothing much, but still big enough to get a pair of PR 6’s. Anyway, I was just doing some backend work the other day and found that I had 1.8M spam comments flagged in the backend.

    1.8M in about 6 months or about 10k/day.

    My cleaning script wasn’t working otherwise I would have only seen the last week.

  3. BobArdKor says:

    I can’t see why would google do that…

    A website that uses “nofollow” is more likely to be _opposed_ to spam – I know I’ve been using a french weblog platform that is now crippled by both comment and trackback spam : hundreds of users have “nofollowed” spam links in their comments, as only a fraction of the users did care to disable trackback and delete naughty comments.. I guess this situation is also happening on other sites, and that doesn’t make them anymore “spammy” nor do I think Google might think they are.

    But hey, I’m only beginning in the sharkpool, and you may as well be right

  4. phaithful says:

    I sort of agree with you… but that’s just a slippery slope. That means all those comments that I leave using my domain, that automatically put nofollow on their anchors will count as votes against me. You can basically comment yourself out of the index.

    Not to mention that would suck if nofollow tags were amplified by TrustRank sites. Things like’s directory where they place nofollow on those individuals not paying them would be disasterous.

  5. ur probably right about the number of nofollows. coz one of my site have links from a few high PR site that use nofollow. but if i check it using a on either Yahoo or Google, i can still see a valid inbound link from those sites.

    but i don’t believe it could be used as a vote for SE’s. but if that’s true, we’re lookin at another way for google bowling no?

  6. QuadsZilla says:


    I’m not saying that using the nofollow tag makes your site look spammy. I’m saying that if you have 100,000 links pointing at your site and 90,000 of them are nofollow, then you look like a spam site.