I’ve been a user of Akismet right from when it was in Beta and running under a completely different name – it is so good I can’t imagine turning it off. I’m surprised, though, that spammers don’t take the threat of being blacklisted more seriously. I know I’d be seriously pissed off if I hired someone to promote my site and they got me banned!
Thanks to the Black Hat community not keeping a lid on their activities I’ve been made aware of a spamming system targetted at the DigitalPoint forums. It can, however, be used on any vBulletin forum – I would assume. Some have implemented different rules around when you can send a private message, and some might even have captcha – but it’s all circumventable.
I check the whois records for domains reasonably often. Whoisguard type systems are commonly in place to protect the identity of the domain owner. No problems there.
What irks, though, is the people who give completely false information… like this one where the info is incomplete and gives an Australian address yet I know that the actual owner is in India. By saying he’s in Melbourne he aquires a western credibility he perceives as superior to his Indian identity.
I’m a moderator on a few forums, one phpBB and the rest are vBulletin. One was a surprise – I hadn’t realised until I started getting reported posts 😉
Personally I find the vBulletin forums better to moderate than phpBB but it’s a relatively close call – until you start banning people and looking for cheats. Then vBulletin comes into it’s own.
I was doing a reorganisation of RealState’s Ontario category and wanted to manually check one of the sites and found I was “forbidden”
You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
While the rest of us are using Akismet, content filters and the like this site’s webmaster had taken a bolder approach to knocking dead the spammers…
NoFollow was hailed as the saviour of our sites, the answer to comment spam, forum spam and poorly maintained sites.
The idea was that by adding the “rel” attribute to a link the search engines would know that the link isn’t endorsed by the site.
The syntax isn’t difficult and easy enough for a spammer to find, and walk away from.
Sadly, the spammers haven’t caught on, and continue to employ unfortunates to do their dirty work, hoping that one day someone will see the light and spend some money on their ridiculous sites.
A spam filled site is a neglected site, one where the owner has had good intentions but not the time or inclination to follow through. The spam becomes a red flag to Joe Average that the site isn’t maintained and to look further for the information sought. That the site will eventually be downgraded in the search engines is appropriate – it is after all, stale and abandoned.