Google is going to reveal today a new link attribute called "nofollow", which site makers can use to classify hyperlinks as not being counted by search engines, in order to make most types of spam useless. A site owner would program links in certain areas to have this text in the link tag:
rel="nofollow"The link would then not be counted in Google, and presumably other search engines will support the tag. For example, as soon as I can figure out how, I will update my blog software to add that tag to all links in the comments. Not that it will stop the comment spammers. They'll probably assume I didn't take that step. After all, I already redirect links so they don't count, and yet I get spammed. Still, at least Google will be less spammy. Till they figure out another way.
This is confirmed by Scoble, who says it will be announced today on the Google Blog, and says he's already told the MSN Search team they should support it. Danny Sullivan went ahead and confirmed it, seeing that someone had leaked it to Scoble anyway, and he explains in an earlier post how it works, and why it is so important.