Web Communication Link Relationships

As I described in Link Relationships Revisited, Part 2, I was in the process of writing a draft proposal for link relationships called Web Communication Link Relationships. After spending most of the last 5 days writing and editing the thing, and thanks to some contributions from Charl van Niekerk, I’m finally finished.

These relationships don’t directly address the problem that Google attempted to solve with it’s proprietary nofollow value; but that problem really shouldn’t be solved at the markup level anyway. However, this proposal does include two relationships that fulfil both purposes of nofollow:

  1. To identify links contributed by users.
  2. To identify links that the author does not approve.

The relationships to address these specifically are the contribution and unendorsed relationships, respectively. The idea is to apply contribution to all links that have been contributed by users and to apply unendorsed only to those that have not been moderated.

The contribution relationship, unlike nofollow, is not designed to reduce the benefit of PageRank for legitimate contributors, but is designed to semantically identify those links for user agents to use in whatever way seems appropriate for the user.

The unendorsed relationship, on the other hand, is designed to be used like Scoble’s use for nofollow (via Phil Ringnalda); though it is also allowed to be used on comments, as described in the unendorsed examples, on the condition that it is removed after moderation. Of course, there are much better ways to block spam that should be looked at rather than with link relationships, which won’t work anyway, but that’s another issue.

Finally there are many other relationships included for things like permalinks, comment pages, archive pages , syndication feeds, the ability to express communication paths with via and related links and many more. So, let me know what you think, all feedback is appreciated.

One thought on “Web Communication Link Relationships

  1. This makes much more sense to me than the nofollow tag, if nothing else than for the semenatics you’ve included. Well done.

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