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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Slashdot "Nofollows" Submittors

Slashdot now puts a “nofollow” on links to the sites of those who submit stories. That means submittors won’t gain any “googlejuice” (Slashdot’s a PageRank 9). Earlier this month, Slashdot’s CmdrTaco said:

“Conspiracy theories again run rampant as users accuse Slashdot Editors of being in cahoots with scam artists. (...)

Now technically speaking, we could add a nofollow to their URLs. Or strip them entirely. But that puts me into the position of editing not just the submission, but the submittor, and i really don’t think that this is ’Right’.”

Later, after reading through the feedback, he adds:

“Allright it’s been about 300 hours. I’ve read every comment posted so far, and replied to many. Even managed to whore myself a couple dozen upmods ;) I think we will add a nofollow to the submittor link. Several users raised good points and they ultimately convinced me that since the focus of the story is the submission, not the submittor, any link that detracts from the focus is less relevant.”

By the same reasoning, bloggers could add “nofollow” to all of their “via” links. But that doesn’t seem fair to me. Shouldn’t you give credit where credit is due? If nothing else, by adding nofollow CmdrTaco greatly lowered the incentive for people to submit stories, which in turn may lead to good stories being submitted less quickly (or not at all)*.

*Slashdot’s reward system is not as “social” as Digg’s. On Digg, while you don’t get a backlink to your site, you can watch your submission getting diggs and comments. On Slashdot on the other hand, often you will end up submitting 10 stories, with only 1 of it being published in the first place.

[Thanks Alek.]


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