Useless Post Spam – Crackdown.

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

Hi folks,

Since we had our last big spam crackdown in October last year most of you have been responsible forum members, and there’s been a lot of good discussion going on here, something that Im very proud of.

The whole point in this forum is to foster conversation about SEO and online marketing at every level, from the ABC beginner stuff right through to the more advanced topics.

Recently however, a new breed of spammer has appeared – if you’ve spent any amount of time recently around the forums you will have seen threads like “what is google sandbox”, or “what is serp” or other such posts.  The accounts posting these seem to just cookie cutter pick on say 20 SEO terms, post the fist one then disappear.  Or occasionally pop back up with something like “thanks for the info”.

In short, these threads are essentially meeting the minimum level to not just be considered blatant spam.

Well, from now on things are going to be much stricter – because this kind of stuff buries the “real” conversations going on here, which makes for a much worse user experience.

SO: A warning – if you are randomly posting rubbish, the following will happen to you depending on a few factors, including my mood at that particular point in time:

1) thread closed and infraction given.

2) thread deleted and infraction given.

3) your account is banned, and ALL your past posts deleted.

 

I find it quite sad that someone needs to sit and go through all this, so please dont waste your time and my time folks.

 

Martin.

Promoting more ‘high level’ discussion?

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

Hi everyone,  this post isn’t informative about SEO or web marketing in any way – if that’s what you’re looking for I suggest you read another post.

I’m proud of what this site has achieved since launch just 16 months ago, nearly every SEO that I speak to these days has seen the site, and we have had well in excess of a million unique visitors.  Last week in fact we had record traffic days and I’m anticipating a great year of continued growth.

The challenge that I now face, and the one that I am looking to you – my peers – for advice on is:
– “how can we now promote more high level discussion on the forums?”



Don’t get me wrong, this is a general SEO forum, open to anyone of any level. Answering queries from those that have zero experience (and may infact have zero interest in search engine optimization, outside of their particular issue) is a pleasure, and I love the fact that this site will have helped in such occasions and saved people time, effort and ultimately money.

The thing is though, when I see threads that are genuinely an in depth discussion about search, well, it warms the heart. When I started the site my aim was to foster this discussion in an environment of sharing and build a resource of members that can be counted on for active debate.

high level debate

So this leads me back to my question:
- “how can we now promote more high level discussion on the forums?”

1) The answer probably isn’t in banning all the link droppers, nor is it in punishing people for poor quality responses (which lets face it isnt scalable anyway, Id need an army of moderators).

2) The answer probably isn’t in no-following all external links, or removing people’s signature privileges, when sitepoint tried that they had a revolt, and huge drop in quality posts as well.  When seochat.com did it a lot of their moderators left in protest (including one moderator, a young, impressionable, clean cut Rand Fishkin who blogged about it here), proving that its not just the spammers that lose interest in the forum.

3) The answer probably isn’t in dishing out infractions either for posts with a lack of compelling content, digitalpoint is a great example of what happens when trigger happy mods dish out infractions by the thousand – the whole thing becomes an administrative nightmare

banning members

So Im pretty good at working out what probably isn’t the answer,  but I’m struggling with what could be the answer.

There’s lots of things that are currently being used to drive the community forward, we’ve got experience awards, members badges with live stats, a nice ranking of user titles based on forum engagement, a VIP section once you have over ‘x’ amount of posts, and this week as you might have noticed I’ve been pushing the guest blogging angle a bit.

While all of the aforementioned has undoubtedly played a part in the growth of the site so far, I can’t help but feel that there are some great ideas out there that would solidify this site as the best forum for discussion of search – I want to make it that so I need your help!

I am grateful for any suggestions any of you may have as to things we could or should be doing, and you never know – this post itself might just spurn some decent conversation (ahh the irony).

If you have a suggestion, but don’t want to make it in public, just PM me on the forum.

Thank you all for your thoughts.

Guest Blogging here on SEOforums.org

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

Earlier this week I was approached by Matt @ Trellian regarding guest blogging here on seoforums.org – which is something that I am quite happy with (my blog is probably the most underused part of this site, on the basis that I tend to be more of a do-er than a blogger).

SEO Guest Blogging

I asked around and tweeted to find out if anyone else would be interested in guest blogging, and I have been overwhelmed by the positive response and have a number of people submitting posts at the moment, which I will start publishing early next week.

As this is something that I am going to open up now, I guess I had better make provisions for extra authors here on the blog, and lay down some guest blogging guidelines:
1) Any SEO related post, at any level, is welcome.
2) You are welcome to include either an intro or outro paragraph with a link or two to your websites, twitter etc.
3) links within blog posts are also allowed, as long as they are on topic and not overly spammy.
4) Articles submitted should be at least 250 words, and if possible include images to make the posts more engaging.

So – if you are interested in submitting any guest posts here on the blog, please PM me on the forums to MOGmartin.

Be an SEO VIP!

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

seoforums VIP member

SEOforums.org VIP Section Finally Open!

Im happy to announce that as of today, our official seoforums.org VIP memberships are active.  There are a few levels of membership, each with their own benefits, and you can access each level just by posting here on the forum and being an active member!

You can also subscribe to our highest VIP level if you want access to all the features, but don’t want to or don’t have time to make all the posts required.

The new VIP Levels are:

100+ Post Club
once you have over 100 posts you automatically get access to this forum area.
Its private, ie. ‘normal’ seoforums.org members can not see it and do not have access to it.
Any conversations carried out in this area are also hidden from the search engines so google and bing don’t see them.
This forum area is therefore for private discussions with other senior members about anything to do with SEO, that you would rather not have discussed in public!

500+ Post Club
Similar to our 100+ Post club, this is a private forum area hidden from other members of seoforums.org and the search engines.
As you need 500+ posts to take part in this area only the top SEO’s on the forum will be able to take part in the discussions, so you can be sure that the discussion will be high level only.

VIP Member (2,000+ Posts)
The VIP area is our top level of membership, and in addition to the above benefits of being a private forum area for top members only, and of course hidden also from the search engines, there are a number of other benefits.

  1. Access to ALL our PRO SEO plugins for wordpress and vBulletin (a £105 Value)
  2. One to One SEO advice from me, in a private environment (£Priceless ;) )
  3. Access to some pretty special (and a bit, well blackhat) SEO tools for mass linkbuilding (worth £100′s per month)
  4. Access to a powerful bookmarking/linkwheel application (again, worth £100′s per month)
  5. Special discounts on paid SEO tools from other providers (coming soon).

You can become a VIP member in two ways, either by completing 2,000 posts, or by paid subscription in our seoforums.org shop.

CLICK HERE to Subscribe to the VIP Membership.

There is a one off first month cost of £75 and a subsequent monthly cost of just £25.

That’s pretty good value when you consider that access to the tools each month can cost up to 10x that amount from other sites, and the plugins alone are worth over £100!

Please note that if you do subscribe to our VIP membership, you do NOT need the 2,000 posts.

More Free Stuff for Members

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

We have a new contest this week, for the top TWO posters of the week ending at 4pm UK Time on Friday 10th of December.

The Main Prize:
£30 in Free Adwords Clicks from Google
1x Google Goodie Bag, including a google T shirt, USB Memory Stick, Notepad and Premium Google Ball Point Pen.

The Second Prize:
£20 in Free Adwords Clicks from Google
1x Google Goodie Bag, including a google T shirt, USB Memory Stick and Notepad.

How do you win one of these two prizes?  All you need to do is be one of the TOP POSTERS of the previous 7 days (thats right, you can get started now!).

A lot of people asked me last week how they could see exactly who was the top poster, and how much they had to post – well, this week (to save on the questions) Ive added it to the footer of the homepage (see the image on the right):

The results are updated immediately, so you can see how quickly you are progressing up the ranks! Best of luck to everyone this week!

pubsubhubbub compliance test

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

this is another pubsubhubbub compliance test post. Im hoping that this works the same as the one on the forum… comment on this only if you are a spammer.

Advertising on SEOforums.org

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

Hi Folks,

running this site is becoming pretty expensive these days.  The hosting costs alone of a top 8000 alexa site are around $6k to $8k a year, and eventually I have just had to say, “enough is enough”.

We will be implementing advertising on the site to try and recoup as much of the server costs as possible.  I will ofcourse try to make this as unobtrusive as possible to the user experience.


Over the next few days I will publish information on how you can buy advertising directly from us.

thanks for your understanding.

MOGmartin

Win Free Stuff (including Free Adwords Money!)

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

Hi Everyone,

The kind folks over at google have given us a few goodie bags to give away,  each one contains the following:

1 x Google Sportsbag (one in green, the other is red)
1 x GBP £50 Adwords Voucher (thats around US $80)
1 x Google Android USB Memory Stick Keyring
1 x Google Android Notepad
1 x Google Android T-Shirt (Unisex, Medium, dont ask for another size, thats all I got)

How can you get your hands on these goodies?  Easy!

We have implemented today a new feature on the forums, called Activity Awards.

The person who earns the most points between Monday October 4th and Sunday 17th will win one of those goodie bags with the Free Adwords Credit and all the rest of the goodies.  I will personally send them to the winner, anywhere in the world, totally free of charge!

So, get earning your points now and you could get this google goodie bag and be the envy of all your friends!

Hints and Tips on How to Earn Activity Awards, Quickly!

Activity Awards come in all shapes and sizes, but the following list are some of the easiest ways to get points fast!

1) Start new Threads – but they have to be quality ones!  When starting a new thread it needs to be content rich, not just a one line question.  The more discussion it generates, the more members view it, the more points you get!

2) Fill in ALL your profile details – easy to do, yet very few people have done it

3) Start (or join) a Social Group – one of the least used parts of any forum, social groups allow you to have private discussion area’s for people within your group.  You could start one for SEO’s in New York, or PHP Programmers that love search marketing, whatever really.  Just make sure to stay active!  You get points for everyone that joins your group, so make it popular!

4) Recruit new Members to SEOforums.org – Get the word out there and attract new members to seoforums.org, its simple, all you need to do is get people to sign up using either a link (like this for instance: http://blog.seoforums.org ?referrerid=MOGmartin just replace my name, with your username) OR get the people to fill in your username in the referral box when signing up.  Be aware though, when people sign up, they need to become active members for you to get your credits!

To See a Complete list of things you can earn points for, click here.

(IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT SPAM: if you try and game the system to earn points unfairly, you will get an infraction.  When you receive an infraction you lost sooo many points, your not going to win… so dont bother trying just play nice people!)

Blog Comment Spam = Epic Fail

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates, Linkbuilding

Hi Guys,

just some quick stats on my personal blog here…

I have about 50 posts (not many I know, but Ive been busy ok!),  around 70,000 unique visitors per month onto my blog, and the homepage (seoforums.org/seo-blog/) is a PR4 with well over a million backlinks.

This is all very nice, but unfortunately it does mean that the comment spammers come out in force.

So – this message is for you if your name just “happens” to be something like Cheap Cialis or Poker Bonus Code - From now on, all author links on this section of the site are turned off.

You will NOT get any link equity for leaving comments, so unless you have something actually reasonable to say, dont bother!

thanks

MOGmartin

Happy Birthday SEOforums.org

Posted on by in Forum News & Updates

A quick announcement to make about our forums – we reached our first birthday in the last week!  Thats right, seoforums.org is now officially over a year old – although we didnt move to our domain until the end of September, the forum was officially started on fuzzyseo.com.

So – how have we done in a year?  Quite well I beleive, we have over 4,500 members, and over 15,000 posts (even after deleting over 2,000 spam posts in the last few weeks).  More importantly, and a major milestone, we have surpassed the alexa 10,000 level (today).

alexa rank for seoforums.org

our alexa rank

So, what do we have in store for our users?  Quite a lot actually – our long awaited video SEO guides are coming soon, we have some more tools to add to our seo-tools section, and we will be hosting our first webchat’s in the next few months.

Our community would be nothing though without you, our members, so thanks to each and every one of you for making this the place that it is!

MOGmartin