There’s nothing worse than browsing through a forum that’s full of Spam posts. Spammers target forums because they think that the pages in the forum will get crawled by search engines and the links in the spam posts will get indexed. The more popular the forum, the more attractive it becomes to spammers because the forum has a higher Google page rank. Spam in forums is usually created by bots but can also be created by real people who can easily get past the obstacles put in place to fool automated bots.
Here are some things you can do to reduce SPAM in your forum:
1. Make users register to your forum using their Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. These services are occasionally victims of fake spam accounts but they put a lot of effort into fighting spam and do a pretty good job.
2. If you have your own registration, include a CAPTCHA and get people to confirm their email address before they can post anything. CAPTCHAs are those images of distorted letters that you often see on forms and are meant to confuse automated bots. Taking this a step further, you can also manually approve each new registrant before they can post.
3. Don’t let people edit posts after 24 hours have passed. Spammers often post something innocuous and then come back once the thread is off the front page and add a bunch of Spam links.
4. Set links in posts to “nofollow”. This tells search engines not to crawl those links and renders most spam useless. Most spammers won’t know this and might not directly stop spam on your forum but it makes the spamming less effective.
5. Practice daily hygiene. Delete all SPAM and ban spammers on a daily basis. Enlist the community to help identify spam that wasn’t picked up by your spam filters.
Spam is the scourge of the Internet. Don’t let it get the best of you and spoil your community.