I've been wondering why my Google Buzz wasn't linking up with Superuser and Serverfault. I got a pretty good suggestion at webapps.stackoverflow.com. In short the theory is the "rel~=nofollow" throws it off. I'm wondering if it is appropriate to require a reputation of 2000 before the nofollow tag is dropped from the profile?

Google could certainly fix this on their end, but it seems as a copied profile should just carry over the dofollow link so Google makes the XFN for Buzz. Is it possible to remove this instance of "nofollow" or to find a different way to establish non-spammer status other than reputation? I presume you're doing this to prevent spam, rather than as an incentive to get 2000 reputation points.

I plan on using the other sites in the trilogy but I doubt I'll make 2000 reputation anytime soon on them.

I think this is the message that StackExchange is trying to send:

Please come join our community. But, if your friends want to follow you, they'll have to join our community too. Thanks -- spam prevention team.

  • 7
    So you're the reason we have the nofollow tag. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:40
  • I'm kidding, but I disagree with your idea. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:41
  • I just want to make it easier for my fan club to use Google Buzz. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:44
  • 2
    I think 2000 is a bit high for this kinda thing. Why not make it something lower like 500 or 1000 rep instead
    – Earlz
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:44
  • @Earlz I think the real reason is the establishment doesn't want the independent thinking users to organize behind my Google Buzz -- something they have no control over short of disabling it. Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:49
  • 2
    @Evan no, I'm pretty sure it's for spam protection. Believe it or not, the administrators are not out to get you or your "fan club".
    – Earlz
    Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 19:57
  • 2
    I don't know why you think you have a fan club. Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 20:35
  • 5
    "Google could fix it on their end but..." You're not that important.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 21, 2010 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


Addressing only your question, the reason for this is most likely spam protection. I say that the team should be safe in making the reputation requirement for followme links on the profile a little lower. I would suggest either 500 or 1000 reputation.

  • 7
    Then people will complain and it will be lowered to 200... then 100... then 50... Commented Jul 16, 2010 at 21:24

The last time I looked at this with Sam Hasler, I was assured that the rel="me" and rel="nofollow" could be combined with no issues.


If you host user profiles and allow users to link to other profiles on the web, we encourage you to mark those links with the rel="me" microformat so that they can be made available through the Social Graph API. For example:

<a href="http://blog.example.com" rel="me">My blog</a>

However, because these links are user-generated and may sometimes point to untrusted pages, we recommend that these links be marked with nofollow. For example:

<a href="http://blog.example.com" rel="me nofollow">My blog</a>

With rel="me nofollow", Google will continue to treat the rel="nofollow" as expected for search purposes, such as not transferring PageRank. However, for the Social Graph API, we will count the rel="me" link even when included with a nofollow.


I believe that if some user has earned certain amount of reputation , it has by his verified engagement earned both the trust, and the right to have link to his site without nofollow. Earning 1000 or 2000 of credit to put a link to your site would be a highly inefficient way of spamming. It is correct to give a back a little bit by stackexchange to the people who put their effort and knowledge into these sites.

Make it a badge.

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