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Antispam measure for Advanced Guestbook  XML
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lloyd_borrett
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Joined: 19/06/2004 11:58:35
Messages: 40
Location: Kilmore, Victoria, Australia
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G'day there,

Some of you may be aware of the recent move by Google to combat spam links. This initiative is now also being supported by MSN Search and Yahoo! See http://www.google.com/googleblog/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html

If you're a blogger (or a blog reader), you're painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites' search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like "Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site." This is called comment spam, we don't like it either, and we've been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn't a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it's just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.


While this antispam initiative is focused on blogs, it is also appropriate to support the initiative in guestbooks. Thus I decided to work out what changes would be needed for Advanced Guestbook 2.3.1 to support this initiative.

To add the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks in Advanced Guestbook, you just have to make a simple change to your templates/url.php file.

Change:


To:


If you have HTML Codes and/or AGCodes enabled, then there are probably other places changes would need to be made. But for security reasons, I don't enable those features and thus haven't bothered to work out the required changes.

Best Regards, Lloyd.
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JTD
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Joined: 08/05/2004 21:52:50
Messages: 529
Location: Arkansas
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You can do that with a meta tag. Nothing new there.
<META name="ROBOTS" content="index,nofollow">

LINK-> Use Lazarus Guestbook
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Carbonize
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
Messages: 4291
Location: Bristol, UK
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Useless to me as I already use the rel attribute as the target attribute is only supported in transitional doc types. As JTD says the robots metatag can achieve exactly the same. This move by Google is pointless. Yes one reason for spam is to increase search engine positioning but it is mainly publicity, the more links to your site the more likely people are to click it.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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D.A.
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Joined: 05/02/2005 03:42:19
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I think you all are wrong. The robots metatag does not achieve exactly the same thing. The robots.txt "noindex, nofollow" is to keep your guestbook from being indexed by the search engines. The (rel="nofollow") is for guestbooks that you want indexed but you do not want the hyperlinks appearing in the guestbook to get credit. See the difference?
Carbonize
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If spiders are told not to visit your guestbook then how are they going to follow the links within?

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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D.A.
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Joined: 05/02/2005 03:42:19
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Can you read?

The (rel="nofollow") is for guestbooks that you want indexed

If you want them indexed, you would not put the noindex,nofollow in the robots.txt file. You would do as Lloyd Borrett suggested and make a simple change to your templates/url.php file.

So, there are two choices:

Do not allow spiders = robots.txt file meta tag

or

Allow spiders, but disallow the following of hyperlinks = edit templates/url.php
Carbonize
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
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And I repeat THIS WILL NOT STOP SPAM. It's a nice idea but it's also the search engines trying to boost their own ego's by claiming that people only spam guestbooks and blogs to boost their ratings.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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ET
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Joined: 21/02/2003 22:17:48
Messages: 179
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My 2 cents.... I see both points as valid. But the validity is flowing in different directions. Spammers may spam for link counts via unsophisticated search engine trackers.... BUT the links like *Viagra* free online trials.com or *Enlarge* your member.com are not trying to get higher rankings in the search engines.... LOL

These types of spam just want click thru traffic and posting anywheres and everywheres using their little bots has nothing to do with ranking higher in the Search Engines

And Hackers, of course, have a different mission -

But the two things that Spammers and Hackers have in common is that they both use the Search Engines to find easy targets to post their advertisements.... (albeit their ads look very different)

---------------
JTD
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Joined: 08/05/2004 21:52:50
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Location: Arkansas
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LINK-> Use Lazarus Guestbook
[WWW] [Yahoo!] aim icon [MSN]
D.A.
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Joined: 05/02/2005 03:42:19
Messages: 5
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No, I don't need to read up on it. You need to stop posting stuff that will confuse people who don't know. We are not talking about the same thing, but you can't seem to understand that maybe because you don't realize that some people want their guestbook indexed and are not excluding the robots. THE SUGGESTION IS FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT USE THE ROBOTS.TXT EXCLUSION.

Carbonize is right, the rel="nofollow" will not stop people from spamming, it will only stop the spammers from getting their rankings improved because of it.
ET
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Joined: 21/02/2003 22:17:48
Messages: 179
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JTD wrote:
D.A. wrote:I think you all are wrong. The robots metatag does not achieve exactly the same thing. The robots.txt "noindex, nofollow" is to keep your guestbook from being indexed by the search engines. The (rel="nofollow") is for guestbooks that you want indexed but you do not want the hyperlinks appearing in the guestbook to get credit. See the difference?


You really need to read up on robots.txt files and doing the same thing with a meta tag. They both do the same thing. With one I make a small little meta tag with the other a nice big list of bots and files I either do or dont want them to index.


Actually, D.A. is right in that the <a tag rel="nofollow"> does not belong in the robots.txt file or in the metatag and performs a different function.

JTD, you're talking apples and oranges - both are fruits, but from different trees....

---------------
Carbonize
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Joined: 12/06/2003 19:26:08
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And both are total bollocks. This will not stop spamming and I somehow cannot see the nastier bots out there giving a rats arse about robot.txt files nor robots meta tags.

Carbonize
I am not the maker of the Advanced Guestbook

get Lazarus
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lloyd_borrett
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Joined: 19/06/2004 11:58:35
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Location: Kilmore, Victoria, Australia
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G'day there,

Using the META tag

or equivalent robots.txt file entries means the search engines will not index or follow EVERY link on the web page. That's not something I would want to happen with my guestbook pages.

Using the rel="nofollow" option on individual links on web pages means that the search engines are being told not to follow and rank the subject of those specific links.

These are two very different outcomes.

Sure the rel="nofollow" won't stop spam entries getting into my guestbook, but it will help to make those spam entries less beneficial to the spamers. And anything to hinder spamers, in my book, is beneficial.

It would seem most of the major blog engines have already endorsed this move by Google, so they must all see some good in it. I expect most guestbook and forum engines will follow this lead in due course.

After all, this move doesn't really hurt legitimate users. Certainly I don't add my URL to guestbook, blog or forum entries as a means of increasing my search engine rankings. I do it so others can simply use the link should they wish to find out more.

By the way JTD, the meta tag

is a bit of a fallacy. None of the major search engines support it. My understanding is that it was introduced by one obscure Canadian search engine and is not used by any others. Indeed, some of the search engine optimisation associations won't let people who have that tag on their web pages join their associations. They think it shows a lack of fundamental knowledge of SEO factors. That said, it's on almost all of the pages on my sites, because I didn't know that at the time, and I haven't got around to doing anything about it.

Best regards, Lloyd.
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ET
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Joined: 21/02/2003 22:17:48
Messages: 179
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Carbonize wrote:And both are total bollocks. This will not stop spamming and I somehow cannot see the nastier bots out there giving a rats arse about robot.txt files nor robots meta tags.


Yep - 89% of spammers don't spam for increased Search Engine Rankings!!!

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bSeen
Newbie

Joined: 08/02/2005 00:21:51
Messages: 1
Location: Houston/Pittsburgh
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I'm new to php, and not too savy about the html anyway so I'm left with the question: would I need to exclude robots by entering that code in every file or just some, maybe the url.php file? Thanx,
 
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