Well look what I just found! I was playing around with the new Digg.com profiles when I had the urge to take a peak inside the source. And what did I see? A big ol’ fat nofollow attribute mocking my link. Tell me it ain’t so. Not the democratic, user-driven Digg.
Well, turns out it’s not your usual garden variety nofollow. It’s a “me nofollow,” instead. But you get the point don’t you? The presence of nofollow in the Digg link syntax portends that outbound links will not be carrying voting weight.
There has been much angst over the nofollow attribute since it was initiated. There was speculation that this would occur after Wikipedia added nofollow to their links earlier this year. Since then, many webmasters began adding nofollow to their Wikpedia links.
Does this mean you should add the nofollow attribute to all your links to Digg? I think not. The new profiles give Digg users a chance to add any links they want to the right side of their profiles. Spammers would have a hey day exploiting this feature. Digg would be crazy not to nofollow the profile links. I certainly wouldn’t allow users to create free-for-all links pointing to where ever they want on my site. Would you?
What about the other links on Digg.com? From what I have seen, the news story links are still naked. I seriously doubt that Digg would block these links, since they are so big on crediting sources. Yet, Digg’s spam problem seems to lie squarly in submission gaming. Hmm… Digg, you wouldn’t would you?
Update: I can confirm the nofollow attribute has now been removed from the Digg profiles. Regular hyperlink code now appears. To Kevin Rose, et al at Digg.com, thanks for giving back to Digg users by removing nofollow.
Update 10-7-09: Nofollows are back on Digg profile links. Make up your mind, guys!
Update 1/25/11: Mix of follow and nofollow links, external link outs are 301 redirects