Nofollow couldn’t save the Google webmaster blog from comment spam
Google's plan of "preventing comment spam" with the nofollow link attribute didn't work for its own webmaster blog.
Google announced it has removed the ability to leave comments on Google Webmaster blog. The reason Google gave for removing the comments was “most of the time they were off-topic or even outright spammy.”
It is a bit ironic, as Google said themselves, that the Google Webmaster blog has to worry about spammy comments. If you think about it, most of the messaging about search quality, spam control and the nofollow attribute came from this blog. So for Google to admit it is removing the ability to comment on this blog is indeed ironic.
What Google said. Google said that effective last Friday, commenting on the Google webmaster blog has been disabled. Google said, “Over the years we read thousands of comments we’ve received on our blog posts on the Google Webmaster Central blog. Sometimes they were extremely thoughtful, other times they made us laugh out loud, but most of the time they were off-topic or even outright spammy; if you think about it, the latter is rather ironic, considering this is the Google Webmaster Blog.”
How does one interact with Google? To be honest, commenting on the Google webmaster blog was not the best way to interact with Google. It has rarely resulted in response from a Googler. Instead, Google said if you need, you can reach out on Twitter @googlewmc or post in the Google Groups help forums.
Did the nofollow fail Google? The nofollow link attribute was introduced back in 2005 as a way of preventing comment spam. Yes, those are the words Google used in 2005. It did not prevent comment spam, in fact, today, it is rare to see a blog that has comments enabled. Comment sections on blogs are often filled with comment spam, irrelevant content and spammy links — even if the comments section uses the nofollow link attribute and even if the comments section is not visible to Googlebot.
Why it matters. If you are starting a blog and are thinking about enabling comments, you should think twice. It doesn’t just open up your site to being spammed, it can also result in a huge amount of time involved in having to moderate such comments. Additionally, spammy or offensive content can impact your ability to monetize your site with Google’s AdSense program. AdSense publishers and site owners are responsible for ensuring user generated content like comments are in keeping with Google’s hate speech policies. Google will remove ads from pages found in violation of those policies.
It is a shame that spammers have ruined one of the best parts of blogs — commenting and dialogue with readers.