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I have a few Social Bookmarks on my web site (Digg, Google, ...)
For all of the links I added the attribiute rel="nofollow".

I also have a RSS link so the user can subscribe RSS news. It goes to
the RSS XML file:
<a href=" " title="Subscribe

Should I add rel="nofollow"  to this anchor to?


Re: no follow

shapper wrote:

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What do you expect the attribute to do?

There's no published specification. The draft for a sketch of a proposal
"By adding rel="nofollow" to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the
destination of that hyperlink SHOULD NOT be afforded any additional weight
or ranking by user agents which perform link analysis upon web pages (e.g.
search engines). Typical use cases include links created by 3rd party
commenters on blogs, or links the author wishes to point to, but avoid

So it's a command in disguise, a procedural instruction loosely camouflaged
as an "attribute" in "(semantic) markup", and oriented towards the needs of
some companies. You can take it as a fact of life in a world more or less
dominated by Google and few others in the search engine business - but
nobody compels you to use it, and it appears to be quite counterproductive
to use it on your own links.

It's really meant to work as a feeble method of protection against link
spamming in blogs and similar material. Its name should really be


Re: no follow

Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Jukka K. Korpela"

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Right, what we really need is something that would explicitly say "Do
not follow this link because it essentially goes to the same place, with
the same content", for example, vs

Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: no follow

Adrienne Boswell wrote:

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Do we? It would still be a command-like "element". And why would we, as
authors, give instructions rather than (meta)information to search engines?
We cannot know whether search engines actually want to crawl, maybe for a
good reason, different copies of a document.

In HTML 4.01, there is a sloppily written semi-quasi-normative and
pseudo-descriptive list of rel attribute values. Among them, the following
is interesting here:

Designates substitute versions for the document in which the link occurs.
When used together with the lang attribute, it implies a translated version
of the document. When used together with the media attribute, it implies a
version designed for a different medium (or media).

Now _that_ would be descriptive. We're not saying what should be _done_ with
the link. We simply _describe_ the relationship between the linking and the
linked resource.

Yet, it says "substitute versions", not "copies". In its vagueness, a <link
rel="alternate" ...> element is almost useless, except perhaps on advanced
browsers that give the user optional access to alternate versions via
browser's interface. But such <link>ing is rather pointless, because most
users would not be able to make use of them, so explicit <a href> links
would be needed anyway.

What _could_ make sense is rel="copy" if it were defined and used as meaning
that the linked resource is a copy of the linking resource, as regards to
content, with possible differences in presentation style and format (e.g.,
Word format vs. HTML format, in cases were such format difference implies no
difference in content). This would raise the inconvenient question whether
rel="copy" is to be taken as a commitment of some kind to _keep_ the
resources identical in content.

On the other hand, such markup would be fairly useless, since search engines
need to investigate, and they do investigate, the actual content of pages to
detect copies.


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