Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Google Creates Comment Spam

There’s one central culprit that’s gone unacknowledged in this whole comment spam discussion: Google.

Google is the central motivating force here. Comment spammers are adding their links to thousands of weblogs not because the audiences of those weblogs are particularly valuable, but because the links raise their PageRank with Google.

Now, this is far from the first time some group has tried to game Google’s system. Google has evolved over the years to combat it, making it more difficult, perfecting their recipe. The plague of comment spam is just another attempt to game Google’s system, and it’s up to Google to stop it.

Google’s bots could be made smart enough to ignore links that come from comments. Ben and Mena of Movable Type could help facilitate this. How hard would it be? I don’t know – I’m not a programmer. But I do know it would fix the problem.

If comment spam stopped raising the spammer’s PageRank in Google, how long would they keep doing it? Take away the incentive and we could easily avoid the nightmare scenario Mark is so convinced will happen, not to mention make all the work Jay is doing a nice defense against a nonexistent problem.

I’m not saying it ain’t a big deal. I’m not saying it’s not complicated. I’m just saying, let’s lay the blame at the feet of Google, where it belongs.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.

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