Reducing spam/google risk

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User avatar
Gridlock
60
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:14 am

Reducing spam/google risk

Post

Hey,

I see plenty of spam posts, which can reduce your rank in google (and hence threaten traffic) - this could be avoided (both the posts and the risk) if you implement the NOFOLLOW attribute on forum links, perhaps only signatures and newly-generated accounts, I'm not sure what options/modules PHPbb has.

In any event thought it useful to advise you, as far as Google is concerned letting the links go live even briefly can harm your site's reputation in their eyes if the links aren't NOFOLLOW. Many many "user generated content" sites, even highly regarded ones, have suffered through this. Having links which pass PageRank makes your site a target for spammers.

I can provide further info/links if you want, but this is my area of expertise and I like the site so couldn't not say anything ;)
#58

Blanchimont
Blanchimont
309
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

An easy way to fix this problem could be to disable the capability to post links if a user has a reputation of zero or below.
Don't know if this is possible with the software, but i would solve the problem.

Edit: http://www.michel-kraemer.com/5-anti-sp ... for-phpbb3
Dear FIA, if you read this, please pm me for a redesign of the Technical Regulations to avoid finger nose shapes for 2016! :-)

User avatar
Steven
Owner
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:32 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

Plenty of spam posts... in the last two days I believe there were 6 that made it through. Spam has become a considerable problem since 22 November when suddenly we became very popular among spammers. Fortunately, a lot is being caught by our spamfilter.

To be precise, we get approximately 1 user registration attempt per minute, and nearly 99% of those is blocked by an IP/email filter that we have in place.

Secondly we have a spamfilter in place that checks each post that is being made, putting it on the mod-approval list when it smells. This area has been improved, but it turns out not everything can be caught. Our filter currently checks various things:

- non-latin characters
- other characters very uncommon in English
- nr of links: 2 are allowed without the spamfilter kicking in
- various spamwords (such as fashion makes and other words we've seen as spam)

The same filter is also applied when users change their profile information, subsequently deactivating the account. During the last 3 days, this has led to 61 deactivated useraccounts.

Sadly, despite all this, some things still sneak through, and we're doing quite a bit of work to make sure that this is reduced to zero.

I'm happy though with the suggestions, but I wanted to put things in a bit of perspective to make sure that you know we're working hard on that ;)

More suggestions are VERY welcome!

User avatar
Gridlock
60
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:14 am

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

"Plenty" = "more than zero", sorry :)

That sort of volume, ratio-wise, is probably more than safe as far as Googleslaps go. Certainly as long as Italian fashion houses, australian boot makers and various pharmaceutical products aren't appearing you're doing well.
#58

User avatar
Steven
Owner
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:32 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

Agreed, the target is ZERO spam of course ;)

tim|away
tim|away
58
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:46 pm

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

Spambots are interested primarily in linking to a website. Here are my suggestions:
  • Do not allow users under 10 posts to have a custom signature (so no linking from the signature will happen)
  • All posts made by new users that contain links will be in a moderation queue and need to be approved by a mod first. There will be false positives of course, that can be approved manually. Pontentially tricky corner-cases to watch out for: bots that sign up, but only post after a while; bots that sign up and make 20 spam posts all on the same day.
  • Set all links within posts to rel="nofollow" as Gridlock suggested, but for different reasons. The google rankings aren't going to have much of an impact in the grand scheme of things, as the posts are usually deleted fairly quicky and google will catch up with it. However, spambots are targetting forums that "do follow" links wherefore f1 technical appears more attractive to them. Therefore, it's a good idea to remove the incentive for spambots.
I think the above points should reduce the amount of spam considerably.

Manoah2u
Manoah2u
416
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Reducing spam/google risk

Post

has this website become some sort of target suddenly? i can't remember any forum in the last years i've visited that seemed to get such clear amount of spammers :wtf: :wtf:
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.