Many fake user profiles may be created to generate links from the member profile page. To turn this to your advantage, edit the forum template to remove any outbound links from the member profile template. The advantage comes from activity being noticed from search engine spiders and regular new content being added to your site.
Avoid having a welcome thread. This is surely a magnet for spammers since they don't have to contribute anything meaningful to get their message published on your site. It seems very anti-social to do this, but what is the primary purpose of your forum? Is it to chat with bots?
Regularly prune inactive members, members don't need to register to read threads, and if they don't post, they may as well be de-activated. Maybe after 100 new members have registered and they didn't post anything useful for 1 month. If you leave it too long, your member list may spiral out of control. Remember that almost all of these inactive accounts will be fake users.
Delete posts that offer little value to discussions that only thank for the information rather than hitting the thanks/like button.
I think that by being quite aggressive from the start in pruning inactive accounts, it should be easy to detect when worthwhile members participate in your forum, and easy to tell which accounts are there only for SEO.
That may encourage junk posts. It wouldn't surprise me if there was an option in link-building tools to keep posting until a link is published. Or in written procedures given to outsource workers.I would suggest not allowing any live links until a user has at least 25 posts.
Funny that I read these replies right after deleting 5 identical thread starts from a guy in New Delhi.
Why does anyone join a forum thinking that's a great way to start off? Amazing.
Welcome threads DO serve a purpose besides greeting new folks though. Forstarters they help identify spammers.
I believe a possible solution is to have enough active admins to maintain each forums, because no matter what you do, spammers will always look for another way. Yes, deleting members with lets say less than 10 posting may work, but then again, they can easily junk posting their way to more than 10 posts.
These days i think the bulk of social interaction that once took place in forum communities has migrated to facebook. That leaves
(1) serious buiness discussion, which is a fragment of most forums
(2) niche groups that are loyal to a specific forum community they like
(3) the goofballs religiously spamming forums because they are practicing what passed for seo about a decade ago
The first group is as always still small. The 2nd is still in the forum of their preference chatting. The third group we largely eliminated here, which made the room pretty much echo when you talk. Not sure what the proper answer is from a successful forum standpoint. I've watched DP essentially get over-run by digicrap, ours went the other way. V7 was somewhere in between last time i looked. Be interested if anyone has ideas... I dont pretend to be an authority on the right answer.
I would probably be more active here, or even dp, but very little in either forum to hold my attention.
Here, all the posts about what is going on in the world, the usa, I have already read the stories, seen the stories, etc.
So no interest for me in most instances.
DP is just a freaking wasteland of people asking the same damn crap questions since the day DP went live.
My time, spent at namepros.
Pretty active as domainers are there.
Speaking of which... I normally run an extreme geo-filter on who gets in here. Just let a batch in intact... Just to see how it goes.
I agree. Also, for community building for your business there are FB pages as one avenue, and blogs, Twitter etc. I still plan to build a kind of weightloss community forum, but it will be more like a web-app that people use.These days i think the bulk of social interaction that once took place in forum communities has migrated to facebook.
Anyway, happy new year to to everybody on NB.
robjones (6 January, 2014)
It appears to a moderately seasoned eye that Big G has put the kibosh on most off site activities that once passed for SEO with the exception of direct traffic measures, and IMO aside from that, sigs in a forum are as useless as tits on a boar hog.
As such forum traffic in general is way down with the exception of the idiots in a few third world burgs that missed the memo or are taking money from businesses that have no idea getting a zillion forum sigs via a Chinese kid armed with Xrumer is a bad idea.
We'd oddly still be over-run by those if we removed all the filtering on the entry process... but I'll get a little more lax and see what happens. Have still got the system auto-filtering a lot of IPs that have never generated anything but moderation issues, but will loosen up otherwise and see how palatable the result is.