Friday, June 6, 2008

Monitoring "Bad" Internet Sites without Boosting their Google Ranking

Given the concerns I raised in the previous post about boosting the ranking of Holocaust denial [and other racist and/or antisemitic sites] if you go and look at them, I received the following suggestion from an Internet savvy person:
You expressed concern about raising the site's Google ranking by linking to it. There are a couple of ways to avoid doing that. First is the rel="nofollow" tag:

If you don't want to mess with HTML, you can simply use to generate an indirect link to the website in question. this technique has the added bonus over the "nofollow" tag of preventing the owner of the site from telling where any additional traffic is being referred from as well as preventing Google from viewing your use of the link as an incoming link that adds to the website's Google ranking.


Curt Hopkins said...

Three out of four local news sources have called Irving an "historian" in advance of his coming here to the University of Oregon. One of them, our local subpar NPR station, called him "not a Holocaust denier" and said he was considered a hero to the free speech crowd. I wish you'd take a moment to disabuse them of these sad ideas, though I doubt you could make journalists out of them, by writing a letter to the local daily, the Register-Guard.

Hume's Ghost said...

Thanks for posting this. I've had the same concerns about linking to places like Stormfront and what not.

AHL71 said...

"nofollow" is acceptable for preventing comment spam, but not for political fights. Then it is only abusing of good idea.

Anonymous said...

Your last two post, and maybe your obsession, is about revisionist/denial sites. Aren't their arguments absurd? Why don't let them along? If is people is so stupid to belive in gas chambers... they may be so stupid to belive in deniers arguments? Is that your point?

Made4biz Security said...

There is no guarantee that tinyurl doesn't boost visibility of sites, and it is certain that search engines other than Google ignore the nofollow tag. What is the reason for giving any of those sites live links? Why not just write "" to specify the source, without a live link?
People can copy the text into a browser and get to the page to verify it.

Ami Isseroff
Zionis m & Israel

cinemazone said...

Good Blog

Unknown said...

I may be wrong but I don't think that actually visiting the site boosts the Googling ranking.

But putting a link to a google-indexed webpage will boost its rating very slightly.

Anonymous said...

like reading what you write.

acadia said...

Dear Prof Lipstadt,

I think you made an interesting observation. Every time we show examples of the Holocaust denial and Genocide denial web sites, we slightly boost their popularity. From now on, I am also going to implement "tinyurl" every time I "reference" Srebrenica genocide denial web sites.

Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor)

Have you read the latest OP/ED from Elie Wiesel about Srebrenica genocide? I republished it on my blog. If you wish you can read it there and comment. Thank you.

ΆγνωστοςΓνωστός said...

It is the first time I am visiting your blog for Ph.D. purposes.

I feel unconvinced by Mr Irving but by you as well (these are the two sides of the coin, it seems I am on the flip side).

The fact that he was imprisoned in Austria for his beliefs should be condemned irrespectively of the fact that he might not be a good historian according to a Court's decision (anyway, I was not cognizant thus far of the fact that Courts can give also academic credit or discredit).

Moreover, he still might not be a particularly good historian or might be "a historian wilfully distorting the truth", but the freedom of speech includes him as well (I remember someone called Voltaire).

Finally yet importantly, it seems that for everybody numbers and not human life is the issue. One claims that in Dresden 135,000 people were killed while others say "they were merely 40,000". One says that 6 million Jewish were murdered, others say 3 million, and some others claim “600,000 Jews and three million Gypsies”. But we do we care about numbers after all?
Aren't all numbers big enough?

I think that on this specific point but some other as well Kurt Vonnegut's novel (Slaughterhouse No5) has still a lot to teach. So it goes.

Anonymous said...

Tom is correct. Visiting the site does not increase its Google profile. Howver, it may increase its revenue from
Google advertisements.

Google has a policy regarding unacceptable content on pages showing Google ads. Look here: and scroll down to "Site content".

Instructions on how to report a violation are here:

Unknown said...


I just picked up your 'History on Trail' book and in a matter of days have read 200 pages. I want to thank you for fighting 'the good fight'. I look forward to reading the rest of the book. I am very much interested in learning more about the Holocaust, possibly getting a degree in the subject. One of the areas of interest to me is the involvement—I should be more clear – voluntary involvement of governments and companies with the Third Reich. As a Jew I think that is imperative to say the least that I keep the memory alive so the likes of Irving don’t have extra footing. What sources or books can you suggest, besides your own—all of which I was able to get for the price of one. Nice deal huh?

hockey hound said...

"The fact that he was imprisoned in Austria for his beliefs should be condemned irrespectively..."

If I remember correctly, Prof. Lipstadt protested against Mr. Irving's incarceration [in Austria].

"I feel unconvinced by Mr Irving but by you as well (these are the two sides of the coin, it seems I am on the flip side)."

And that's just where you'll remain - ever vacillating, ever indecisive, ever unreasonable. You sound as skeptical as Voltaire.

The undecided are inconsequential to the purveyors of truth but, sadly, efficacious in the cause of those who devote themselves to the dissemination of hatred and lies. The undecided deserve no extolment save for putting real scholars to sleep.

You remind me of the Italian proverb, "He who eats alone dies alone."

hockey hound said...

"...our local subpar NPR station, called him "not a Holocaust denier" and said he was considered a hero to the free speech crowd."

That's equal to deeming Islamic extremists heroes of free speech for teaching their children that the Jews are "the decsendents of swine and monkeys."

Slander does not make one a hero; it makes one a scoundrel. David Irving is a hero only to those who are not uncomfortable in the company of mentally decrepit liars.