Karl Auerbach’s prediction that the internet is balkanizing into groups of people who only accept traffic from each other took another step closer to reality today. The veteran TCP/IP engineer and ICANN board member has warned of the effect for years.
“The ‘Net is balkanizing. There are communities of trust forming in which traffic is accepted only from known friends,” Auerbach told Wired last year.
This is worrying. And it’s a trend that could be enforced if the new link attribute, “rel=nofollow” becomes popular. Given that the likes of MSN, Yahoo! and Google intend backing the use of this new attribute, their search algorithms will not give weighting to the target URL. In addition, the major ‘blog vendors have given the nod that they too will follow suit.
Given that this very ‘blog is part of the ever-expanding Google empire, it seems that a wire fence could be drawn up around the ‘blogger, separating us from the broader internet.
The purpose of this new attribute is to kill off comment Spam, but some think it will do little to stop the problem.
I simply don’t know enough about this topic to even begin to have an opinion. So I will read and I will learn and I will return with my findings shortly…