No sooner has weblog spam become a significant issue to me than Google steps in with rel="nofollow", a proposal to keep links from being abused by spammers. (Also see the news from Six Apart.) This has applications towards referrer spam as well; all it takes is a line or two of code in our referrer log scripts to render all outbound links worthless to the search engine “optimizers.” Wikis, likewise, and any other system where user-generated links and content are at risk for abuse.

There’s only one major problem: cobweblogs, those outdated sites by noncommittal webloggers who post a few entries, then forget about their Movabletype or WordPress installations, leaving them to gather dust, and spam. Look at these search results, for example. Spammers can still target those people.

If you have a friend who still keeps a cobweblog, do him — and the rest of the internet — a favor, and ask that friend to either upgrade it, or delete it. Every little bit helps. And if you produce or use a referrer log script like Shortstat or Refer, it’s time for an upgrade.

Dear Blog Spammers: Congratulations. Let it sink in: you’ve made an enemy out of Google.