[theforum] nofollow in articles (was Re: New article)

Dean Mah dean.mah at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:16:25 CDT 2007

David Kaufman wrote:
> Hi Marcel,
> Marcel Feenstra <marcel at wintasy.com> wrote:
>>>> Tonight, I noticed that my article (about search engine friendly URLs
>>>> with ASP) had been published, but apparently the system had added
>>>> "nofollow" to the external links (including my user profile, BTW).
>>>> I *assume* this is not intended. After all, nofollow was meant to 
>>>> *fight
>>>> spam* --it is a way of saying: I'm linking to this site, but I *don't
>>>> vouch* for it... I can understand if it is used *in the comments*, but
>>>> surely not *in the articles*?! Anyway, when I tried to *remove* the
>>>> nofollow, the entire article disappeared... :-(
> Dean Mah [dean.mah at gmail.com] wrote:
>>> No, the 'nofollow' attribute is intended.  As a policy, evolt.org has
>>> decided to add that to all links.  Articles go back into moderation
>>> whenever an edited to the article is performed.
> Marcel:
>>> I am quite surprised that you should have made that a "policy" [...]
>>> I can certainly understand that evolt is unable to offer *financial
>>> compensation* for articles written, but I do *not* understand why it 
>>> does
>>> not want to give *proper credit* --wouldn't that be, more than "simply
>>> polite", a matter of basic Netiquette?! (When I submitted the article, I
>>> did *not* expect any money for it. I *did* expect the article to be
>>> either rejected --if it did not meet evolt's standards-- or printed "as
>>> is" --but *not* substantially modified, which includes the addition of
>>> "nofollow".)
> Dean:
>>> [...] If you would like to withdraw your article, I can certainly
>>> understand that.
>>> For my part, I do not have the time to decide which links do or do not
>>> require the 'nofollow' tag based on a value judgment.
> Marcel:
>> I think it would be a little premature to withdraw the article at this
>> time, I'd much rather *discuss* this matter first... :-)
>> Actually, when I followed that thread, I found a post by David Kaufman:
>> http://lists.evolt.org/theforumarchive/Week-of-Mon-20070507/006235.html
>> that sounded *very* similar to what I wrote in my earlier e-mail:
>> "I need to dig a little deeper now to see if/how I can force links in
>> *comments* to use this filter, but not links in approved, published
>> articles." :-)
> It is true that I did not intend, initially to add nofollow tags to links 
> in Articles which the content team has reviewed and approved.  The fact 
> that this done was collateral damage in our war against comment spam links. 
> There was no simple, easy way to set up a second Drupal input filter, like 
> the one we have already heavily customized, that differed only in this one 
> detail.  I did intend to try to fix this later, but found neither the time 
> nor the inclination.

For the record.  I add the nofollow attribute manually.  We are running
an older version of Drupal (pending upgrade) and we did not turn on
Drupal filtering for this purpose.

> it's become so tiresome for 
> our volunteer content team to even *try* to separate what we think *might* 
> be of some interest to our members from all the meaningless marketing hype 
> and blather, that we have all but given up trying.

No, I have given up.  :)  Hence all links get the same treatment.

> So, since we do review and approve articles, and (as you noticed) we are 
> protected from someone attempting to alter their article after we've 
> reviewed, approved and published it, I would support your suggestion of 
> removing automatic nofollow tags on links in articles.

I disagree slightly.  Since the links do not add anything to the
article, I would consider them self-promotion.  But then I'm making a
value judgment which is debatable.  Thus, all links get the same
treatment from me.  I throw the baby out with the bath water.


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