In my RSS reader this morning was a blog post: My “Beware Of Dog” Don’t Spam Me Sign from Danny Sullivan. He was getting frustrated about the idiocy of the spam attempts on his blog. It struck a chord with me as I have had my views on forum spam. This is an ongoing battle for forum and blog administrators vs the SEO Kiddies who think that forum and blog link dropping is legitimate SEO.
One way that Danny Sullivan is coping with his frustration is to add this to the comment box on his blog:
Thinking of dropping your link spam? Consider this. Seriously, STOP & READ. The guy who runs Google’s spam fighting team? I know him pretty well. In fact, it’s sort of a joke between us to see what’s the latest absurd link drop I can share. So if you want your site to be a poster child on his idiots wall — and probably to encounter a Google penalty — go ahead, drop your link. It’s nofollow anyway, plus I do have built-in spam fighting and what gets past that usually gets nabbed in a few minutes to a few hours. So you got to ask yourself. Are you feeling lucky?
I was inspired by this and have done the same on all the forums I admin (eg). Using his suggestion, I added this to the registration page:
WARNING! If you spam this forum, we’ll report your link drop to Google, which may result in your site being penalized or dropped from search listings. Are you really sure you want to take that risk? All external links here are nofollow’d so you will not get any benefit from the link drop.
In vBulletin, find the register_rules template and add this just below $vbphrase[read_agree_abide_by_rules]</phrase></strong>
<p><strong>WARNING! If you spam this forum, we’ll <A href=”https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?hl=en&pli=1″>report</a> your link drop to Google, which may result in your site being penalized or dropped from search listings. Are you really sure you want to take that risk? All external links here are nofollow’d so you will not get any benefit from the link drop.</strong></p>
It is not as though its going to make any difference, but maybe one day they will get it! I feel better for doing it!