SEOClerks

Do forums that allow signatures encourage spammers?



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Do forums that allow signatures encourage spammers?

From my experience, forums that allow members to have a signature encourage spammers. For example, people would join, add a signature and then post very low quality posts. It doesn’t matter if your forum guidelines states that one worded posts are not allowed but people would come and post “Thanks!” on every topic. This just increases the workload for moderators and it wastes a lot of their time which could have been used to make posts to boost activity. Of course there are people who follows the rules and make quality posts in return for their link in their signature but there are always those spammers that just make extremely low quality posts.

Do you agree that forums that allow signatures encourage spammers?

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angie828

Yes I do feel in a way they do encourage spammers. However, I do feel that some forums have the right idea that the poster needs to have X amount of posts to even have a signature. This will help keep the forum somewhat clean, as often times, spammers are not going to want to post so many posts in order to get to leave their signature.




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robertman11

Yes, especially if they are dofollow links. However, allowing them also encourages people to post because they get something back. I'd say the pros of allowing them outweigh the cons since you should have a support staff that actively finds and disables spammers.




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Beverly

When I had my own forum, I used SMF forum software, which (apparently) has do follow links by default. And it was ridiculous how many link spammers hit my forum. Most not really even bothering to leave good posts. Not really sure how they got my forum link, except I recognized at least one spammer's name as someone from another forum I was staff on. I was not very happy with that. :/




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anwebservices

If the forums are well moderated like Seoclerks forum i guess it's OK to allow signatures. It may encourage members to be more active and moderators will definitely clean the spammers out.




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hitmeasap

I do agree with you. I would never do something like that myself though. Just spamming "thanks!" on every thread or topic just in a desperate attempt to spread my signature and hope for visits.. It's just plain stupid in my honest opinion. Spamming threads with "thanks!" or similar posts are useless as those posts won't benefit others or contribute to the topic. In my experience and from my point of view, there's always better to contribute and create valuable posts, as these will first of all, be appreciated by others.. And what happens then? -When people realize that I contribute and bring value they are also more likely to actually click my signatures.. That said, value is key. Always.

Best Regards,
hitmeasap




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EliteWriter

As long as some measures are taken to keep them under control I think that there is nothing wrong with allowing signatures. Actually a forum can become more popular as many look for this allowance. Moderators who keep an eye on any possible spammers would obviously need to be there so as to deter them, as well as remove any such comments. All in all an active forum without spamming can be attained and as mentioned above I believe that only immature people end up spamming because at the end of the day everyone knows that he is bound to attract more attention if the signature comes with a valuable comment.




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ajlancer

Hi agree with MasterA yes forum signature encourage spammers to spam on the forum by leaving very silly word. For example hi/ hello/ thanks etc. And it is just intentional on make advertise for own product or link by signature. And this situation make double forum moderator work for each day to clean up them. But nowadays most of the big forum impose some rules for posting and using signature. Like SEOclerks forum. After posting on certain amount of thread only those user can use signature. And after joining certain time passed. So, it is great Idea anti spammer. Yes I still believe forum owner per away to detect solid spammer and 100% clean up. And again I agree with you, forum signature encourage spammer.

Thanks by Ajlancer




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Beverly

What I love about Community Discussions is that we don't have signature links here, unlike the old support forum where anyone could get a signature link after a minimum of posts. You might think the minimum post count would slow a spammer down, but most times, they would just post enough 'Thank you!' posts until they hit whatever magic number they needed and then spam that signature and leave the forum forever. We don't have to worry about that now at least.




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idealmike

Yes, even if you set an amount of posts they need to have before they can have a signature a lot of people will post rubbish one liner posts just to increase their post count and get a signature link. After this they stop posting because they've got a backlink from their sig space and that's good enough for some people. But that's not how to do forum signature marketing. To do that you need to be active posting member and always contributing to the forum in the latest posts. That way, people see you're being a valuable member of that community and are much more likely to visit the links in your sig and it means much less chance of your account/profile being deleted for spam.

I also think it comes down to the moderation of those forums as well though. Not many forums heavily moderate and a lot of duff, fluff posts get through. But a good moderated forum that has good moderators on it should be able to spot it from a mile off.

I think that the best way around it and to combat the spam it can cause is to hand pick the people that are allowed to have a link in their sig space based on the quality of their posts. Rather than saying, you can have a link in your sig when you reach 100 posts.




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Beverly

Pretty much that's been my own experience as a forum staff member and previously forum owner is that people will spam it up until they 'earn' the signature link. A better option for forum signatures is to only grant those for premium/paid accounts (most spammers won't bother if it's going to cost them a few dollars for a signature) or to have a specific requirement(s) for the signature (possibly unrelated to posting) that can't be earned with numerous thank you posts.

When a person spams on a forum just to get that signature link, they lose instant credibility with the person viewing the link (as well as risking ban).

As you say, there's a huge difference between forum spamming and forum marketing and the latter is all about relationship/trust building.




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MasterA

Only allowing signatures for premium/paid account is a good idea. I think another way you can solve this issue and allow more people to have signatures is to have a forum currency and let them buy the ability to have signatures using it. This way, more people can get signatures without having to pay real money but also stops spammers from coming to spam and then get a signature. You can also have a minimum word count to get forum cash so those “Thank You!” posts will get nothing and they will need to make good posts in order to get the signature link.




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Corzhens

Spammers will always be in our midst regardless of the design and policy of the forum. In the issue of spamming, a safeguard should be in place. Primary to this issue is the posting of an alert moderator who can easily spot a potential spammer that should be blocked at once. I don’t see any problem with the signature in this case since most community members joined for that benefit of having their signatures. Regarding the low quality posts, we cannot do anything about that except maybe to send a message of notice to encourage good posts.




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