I have to say that I’m amazed that this radical method was so quickly adopted by so many large companies. I guess they felt like they had to do something and this is one of the few things they control that they could do, but I don’t think it’s going to work. JD has alot of what I’m thinking in his post so I won’t cover all that just go read it there.
The main issue for me is that this has essentially been tried in the email world and failed. Here the deterrent is that you won’t get pagerank. In email the deterrent is that your mail won’t get through because of Spam filters. Just about every person using email on earth now has at least one spam filter running, but guess what? I still get hundreds of email spams a day. Why would they keep trying if they know they can’t get through???
Oh yeah because it’s FREE. Spam filters just like nofollow doesn’t address the real issue which is that as long as there is no cost to spamming me a million times a day they will. Since their cost is zero they will continue to spam and perhaps even more so than before in order to get wider coverage into sites without nofollow or to get actual clickthroughs on sites that do have nofollow and at the end of the day I still have to have some type of spam filters because they’re going to spam me and even if they don’t get pagerank I don’t want their links on my site.
The solution is as it’s always been, micropayments. I would pay a penny to every blog I post comments on, no problem. It would be nothing to me because that’s 100 comments for $1 plus I’d be getting payments back when people post to me so I’d probably break even or at least be close. The spammer on the other hand would now be totally screwed. Indiscriminate spamming would now be a very costly en devour and therefor at least limit their activity to only the most vulnerable or valuable targets.