It also notes that Technorati has a draft specification up for the attribute. It's not clear to me if this is something Technorati is drafting for itself or instead for proposal to the W3C.
That nofollow spec also links over to another, earlier Vote Links spec. Vote Links suggests a way that people can indicate -- at least to Technorati -- whether they actually approve of a link or dislike it. Technorati rolled out support of that in November 2004.
The idea of being able to have positive and negative links that point at others has been discussed for ages. Just a tiny, tiny sampling:
- On the responsibility of linkage, Tom Coates, 2002
- Vote Links, Kevin Marks, 2003
- Vote Links, Many-to-Many, 2004
Now that nofollow has made it into the major search engines, will something like Vote Links follow? We effectively have two out of the three:
- Regular link: A positive vote
- Nofollow link: An abstention
What's missing is some way to overtly negative link to people. I wouldn't lobby for such a thing to come to the major search engines, for the moment. It would easily be abused.
Want to discuss or comment on the nofollow attribute? Visit our forum thread, The New Nofollow Link Attribute.