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I think that you’ll all agree that spam prevention is getting better with our increased moderator team, despite the much steeper increase in member numbers.

We have however seen a number of instances where Sphinn has been referred to as an easy source of authority links. Although we do remove as much spam and off topic posts as possible, some posts are still made with very loose Internet Marketing relevance.

As a result, we will be making a change over the next week whereby stories failing to reach the homepage (going "Hot") will get nofollow’d. I see this as being a controversial move, as sometimes good stories fail to receive the attention they deserve, whilst poor linkbait can sometimes hit the homepage. We do however see this move as offering more advantages than disadvantages, especially with features planned in the near distant future.

As with all features introduced to Sphinn, we can reverse the changes where necessary. Features such as Desphinn have proved successful so far, and we hope to introduce more filtering without a detrimental effect on usability and community participation.

We want Sphinn to become the perfect Internet Marketing destination as much as the rest of you, and will strive to do whatever possible in order to ensure this quality and cohesion.

We look forward to your comments on this move.
Comments38 Comments  

Comments

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from theGypsy 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Fine by me... here for the social and the media... not links.. U could noFollow the works and I’d still be groovy - ;0) 2c (Canadian)

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from St0n3y 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

what does "failing to reach the homepage" actually mean? At what point does a post fail? Is there a time limit, or is this simply that stories will be no followed until they reach the home page?

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from DavidWallace 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Don’t know how much that wil thwart spammers. Seems to me they don’t care if links are followed or not, or at least they don’t take the time to learn if a nofollow tag is applied.It will be interesting to see if your spam goes down as a result of this move. I have not found it to be so, at least with commenting on the blogs I run.If it is successful, it will be something I think we’d be interested in incorporating at Small Business Brief where we get a lot of spam submissions as well. ;)

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from DaveDavis 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Good idea and a good incentive to submit only higher quality content. I agree with David Wallace though, I doubt it will keep the spammers out but to be honest, I think there is a fantastic job being done already.Will stories that went hot be nofollowed only on the home page or nofollowed forever in the archives?

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from evilgreenmonkey 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@St0n3y: Going "Hot" currently requires 23 Sphinns within 48 hours.@DavidWallace: Adding nofollow will not prevent basic spam, although should reduce the number of posts made by people disguising their posts as internet marketing or posting rubbish with the sole purpose of gaining links.@DaveDavis: As long as a post goes hot, it will stay as a clean link (even in the archives) apart from in the unlikely event of spam or off-topic stories going hot.

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from JohnWeb 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Uhh, Ok. I don’t see this reducing the spammy or off topic submissions as I doubt they read the fine print when creating a throw away account or before firing up the spam bot.To me it seems like you need to get people to actually report the spam that they see so that it hits the magic number of 3 submissions quicker and at least thrown into a holding pattern till a mod gets to look at it.  One way would be to reward the spam submitters with a metric in their profile, in the greatest hits section, or wherever you think is good.  You just have to watch sphinn live for a while to see that a lot of people do care about how many sphinns are by their name as they’ll sphinn everything in sight, including the spam.  Having a list of top spam catchers would get the same type of motivation working for removing the spam.  You then wouldn’t have to punish the good stuff that doesn’t go hot because they don’t have 2000 twitter followers to pound it up to hot in 30 minutes after submission, but still rather reward on topic stuff while still keeping the spam off of the site completly. If the spam cannot be controlled, then add the nofollow, bloggers do it everyday to their sites, but if you can control it, I don’t think nofollow is the answer.Sphunn for discussion, not concept.

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from JamesDuthie 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m with Dave (Gypsy) on this one. To be honest, I assumed Sphinn was already nofollow (if Internet marketers don’t nofollow, who will?). But for the sake of discussion I’ll add my two cents...Heaps of great stuff doesn’t make it to the front page for various reasons (written by a newbie, submitted by a newbie, conference on at same time etc). Some alternative thresholds/triggers that may be considered:- 10+ Sphinns indicates some level of group acceptance & article quality. A lower threshold could reward work that gains some level of support without going hot. Spam/junk posts are highly unlikely to attract 10 Sphinns.- Negative triggers are a better indicator of spam. Perhaps a nofollow trigger could be set for articles that are Desphunn of spam reported. As John mentions though, that is reliant upon us all acting as moderators.

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from anthonyverre 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I have to agree: this will not deter spam; in fact, this could have the opposite effect, it could attract more spam.  If you think of Sphinn as a wall now, metaphorically, the more "soldiers" (in this case spam articles) rushed against the wall, the more likely you are to have to one sneak through. For me, if I’m to be honest, I give as much as I take from the site.  I like to believe my ideas and opinions help contribute to the SEO dialog and community, and I like think these ideas spread through the community (egocentric as that may be) and help give another SEO/SEM an edge over their competition.  But, I also use the site to get great ideas on SEO/SEM that I can help my clients with, as there are quite a few incredibly knowledgeable folks floating in these hallways. If Sphinn feels the right move for the website is to “nofollow” non-hot, non-homepage items, then I suppose you have to make that business decision.  I don’t think it will decrease the traffic to the site that it will be noticeable.  I have to say, I like James’ solution, it appeals to my sense of middle of the road: everybody meets halfway. <!--[if !supportLists]-->           -  10+ Sphinns indicates some level of group acceptance & article quality. A lower threshold could reward work that gains some level of support without going hot. Spam/junk posts are highly unlikely to attract 10 Sphinns. - Negative triggers are a better indicator of spam. Perhaps a nofollow trigger could be set for articles that are Desphunn of spam reported. As John mentions though, that is reliant upon us all acting as moderators.<!--[endif]--> In addition to this, if you’re article gets more than 3 “Desphunns”, whether it’s spam or not, a nofollow should be added to it. Either way, I’m ok with Sphinn’s decision.

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from UtahSEOpro 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@evilgreenmonkey weekend 48hrs isnt the same as weekday 48 hrs on sphinn. i know there’s not a lot you can do on Pligg but is that something you can change manually on weekends to make it more fair? Otherwise Sphinn will succomb to an onslaught of Monday morning submissions.

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from Gab 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Jordan (Utah SEO Pro) raised a great (if somewhat offtopic) point. That would be a good improvement.Besides that, the slightly shabby/distantly related to internet marketing posts are not the real problem with Sphinn spam, imho. It’s the crap that just goes for the links. And nofollow is still benefitting spammers, otherwise comment spam would have dried up by now. Heck, don’t take my word for it. Slightly Shady SEO wrote as much recently, in regards to comment spam (and I’ll bet he’d agree that the nofollow would just hurt worthy users, which is saying something considering how much he loves Sphinn and looks out for it).

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from Gab 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

So my suggestion goes to what John Honeck (JohnWeb) suggested - focusing on rewarding people for reporting spam and killing those craptastic ’diesel generator’ and ’children’s clothing’ submissions. This thread (which i encourage you all to weigh in on to win prizes and cash) had someone suggest an idea of rewarding top spam reporters with metrics in their profiles and additional dofollow links. Sounds bright to me!My 2 cents.

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from johnandrews 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 7

Sphunn for the discussion only... not as a yay vote.I think this decision is TERRIBLE because it demonstrates the quitter mentality so many on the web would love to see validated. It’s the easy way out...and in my opinion reeks of ignorance. Spammers don’t follow guidelines and only amateur spammers care if there is nofollow. IMHO Sphinn’s quality lately has mirrored that same attitude... very low quality posts getting enough Sphinns to hit the front page, either because they rallied enough "supporters" or there was nothing better getting submitted. If you want to maintain quality, label the junk as junk. Who sphinn’s the spam anyway? Those Sphinners should get notices.. perhaps something like :Dear Sphinner. A post you Sphunn as a vote of quality was removed by moderators as SPAM. This suggests that you either don’t know SPAM when you see it, or perhaps like Spam. In either case, if you received X more of these warnings, you will be demoted to newbie, highlighted on the DumbAss page, and lose your Sphinning privileges for 2 weeks. If you need remedial assistance understanding the concept of quality, please read this tutorial (link)Junk (and spam) is the product of efficiency. If the cost is low enough, no matter how small the payout you will get inundated with spam. In fact, the smaller the payout the more spam you will get (it takes more pennies than nickels to pay for rent and groceries). The only way to stop it is to raise the cost... not lower the benefits. Either make it harder to submit stories, more costly to sphinn garbage, or more beneficial for community members to self police. I am embarassed that Sphinn handled this problem with nofollow.

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from planetc1 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@evilgreenmonkey Looks like the 23 was reverted back to 21 in the past few days. And I must have been the only person on Sphinn that assumed everything was no followed. I could have been submitting spam this whole time?! :P

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@planetc1: You’re not alone. I could’ve sworn it was all nofollowed.

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from evilgreenmonkey 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@JohnWeb: 3 spam reports in order to get removed is already getting put into place, it just slipped through the net on the last update. I wouldn’t want to reward people by tallying spam reports in the profile as some users are reporting anything and everything as spam, rather than using the Desphinn button (including Search Engine Land posts for instance).@UtahSEOpro: I’ll add this to our future development list, although we’ll probably need to wait until we launch under our new platform before making weekend submissions survive longer.@johnandrews: Users are already sent warning emails after posting a number of low quality posts, for Sphinning anything and everything, and of course we also ban accounts and IP addresses that spam the site. The registration process also involves 2 captchas, email server validation, email address validation and IP checking, so we’ve already raised quite a high bar for spammers to get passed.@planetc1: The system currently says 22 votes, which I think means that the 23rd goes hot. Either way, I think that we’re at the right level of Sphinns for reaching the homepage at the moment.

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from Gab 2395 Days ago #
Votes: -2

JohnA’s got some good points, but is also missing the point. THe biggest problem is with submissions, not votes. They know that the Sphinn userbase is concentrated in North America mostly; ergo submissions late at night will run into fewer spam haters. It’s a real PITA for ppl like yours truly who often submit at the same time (cuz we haven’t learned our lesson from the million ’top ten tips to topping sphinn’ posts ;) ). I have a screenie from last night with a 4 spam submissions on the what’s new page... and there were 2 more elsewhere.There was also 1 craptastic ’into to internet marketing’ long ass title post, submitted by a green avatar, that had no chance in hell of going hot. Those would be well addressed by John’s points. But statistically, they’re less of a problem.@ Rob - If some people ’always’ mark stuff as Spam, then ignore their votes. Looking at previous patterns could tell you the thresholds/patterns to code for, like ’everything in what’s new’ or ’everything from a green avatar user’ or ’everything from a given [nonspammy] domain’....

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from Gab 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Note: I agree with John that  increasing the cost is likelier to have a significant impact. Perhaps a ’reported direct to Google, Yahoo and MSN’ policy might help. E.g. once it’s killed, the domain gets sent to the SEs. Active and angry forum webmasters who report spam have noticed their sites being avoided as people target older, dead forums instead, for example. (Source: slightlyshadyseo.com)

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from johnandrews 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I have no problem with the "what’s new" page being full of 1 vote junk... just default sort it by votes so the crap stays out of view. If the volume  of submissions is the problem, pre-filter them through a set of eyeballs by randomly rotating the new ones into the visible mix. If they pick up votes keep them; if not, leave them ranking out of view. A 1 vote submission gets a fixed amount of exposure and if theres no traction, there’s no traction.Truth is, look around. A high pecentage of the workers around you are sub-par. The more people join sphinn, the more junk will be submitted. That’s not spam.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2395 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I tend to be with David, that I doubt that nofollow is going to stem the spammers. But some of the other mods think it will (and remember, our mods are also all moderators), so we thought we’d try it and see.Pesonally, I’m also really hesitant to be slapping nofollow on everything. I still want to do my "web through the eyes of nofollow" post where you see nofollow up on things without much thought. It might be that we can only nofollow things in the future if they get few votes -- 1, 2, 3 etc.John, I have a real problem with What’s New being full of junk. I think you and I and a few others know to sort by number of votes -- but more casual users coming in do indeed complain that it’s all noise and not signal.Spam is a big problem there, but at least it’s also easier to deal with. The mods kill a huge number of spam posts each day -- pure spam, no question, car covers, cheap ferry crossings, you name it. I just wiped another 10 right now. If you want to spend a week as a guest moderator, let us know -- if being on the outside isn’t helping you identify stuff you’d have no doubt flagging as spam, inside it’s crystal clear.The low quality submissions is another issue entirely. Here the mods tend to go more lightly, mainly because when we’ve made judgement calls in the past on borderline stuff, it can get all controversial. So usually it’s left to the sphinns -- anything on internet marketing gets submitted, What’s New gets noisy and it’s tough to deal with that.We could do some of the things you suggest, but we have in mind another plan we want to try. Everyone has the ability to friend other people here. On our build out list is a way that by default, you’d see What’s New filtered by only the stuff you’ve sphunn or that others you’ve friended have submitted or sphunn. In some ways, it would be Twitteresque where you can’t really get spammed since you’re trust in your friends.Even that’s not a perfect solution -- what if your friends don’t submit or sphinn good stuff. Perhaps we’ll also include anything the mods and editors have sphunn. But it’s a more creative solution we’d like to try -- and believe me, if that doesn’t help, we’ll keep trying lots of other things.Right now, the bigger issue is we’re frozen new features on Sphinn largely to investigate new underlying software. Pligg that we use, in a word, sucks. There may be alternatives, or we may need to write our own from scratch. Rob or I will probably start a new thread on this shortly, and we expect it will be a two to three month process. But we want to be able to change Sphinn rapidly and easily to add new features that we think are needed or that are suggested by members, and the current setup, not so easy or fast to do.Anyway, hope that helps explain things a little more. We’ll know in short order of trying nofolllow helps or not. If it’s not helping slow the spam down, then we might dump it or refine it. But I’d hope we’d at least be able to try without too much criticism. And certainly we’re not depending on it. We have multiple barriers -- sign-up systems with captchas, member reports and especially the mods that work very hard to kill real spam.

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from onreact 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Why not use a 5 votes minimum for getting a real link instead? If it gets 5 real votes it’s probably OK.

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from aimClear 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Will the old "followed" links from previous non-hot submissions not be made Nofollow retroactivly or will they remain?

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from iBrian 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The problem isn’t one of spam - it’s one of editorial organisation IMO. That’s not supposed to sound like a slap at Danny or the mods - heaven forbid, I’m not trying to be that obnoxious :) - it’s simply a general pointer on social media in general that there needs to be a strong editorial policy to keep spam out.As everybody with a blog knows, nofollow has never reduced spam, and nofollowing stories will simply change spam tactics for those who actually care about it IMO.So the only way to fight spam has to be a stronger editorial policy/team who can be the main anti-spam team - relying on the user base to do most of the anti-spam isn’t really an editorial policy at all IMO.So if the focus is on the human editorial process, that’s great and probably the right direction. 2c.

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from iBrian 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Some anti-spam tips from forums (those Web 1.0 communities people look down upon, but have been there and done it all):1. Blacklist by email - some email domains, ie, mail.ru appear only used for spam2. Blacklist domains - if reported as spam and removed, block submissions for anything else from that domain3. Don’t treat spammers as humans - much of this is played by numbers, with bots or cheap Indian labour, so threatening/warning users individually is a massive waste of time. An automated warning could be useful.4. Blacklist IP’s - you could probably kill a huge chunk of spam by blocking Asian IPs from the submission page. IF there’s a way to connected with a proxy server database used for spamming (Incredibill may be able to help here) then that could also be useful.5. More human editors, and in different timezones, so that there’s a constant set of eyes available. 6. Have human editors manually approve submission by new members. If editors/moderators are working for free, then a large enough team of these should be able to cover anti-spam and community building with little real cost7. Expand the moderator team - if too small to implement the above, then expand the team - don’t go on volunteers - look for the most active users, who therefore probably have the interests of the community at heart8. If expanding the ed team and worried about loose cannons, see if possible to set up two editor levels - senior and general - with different levels of editorial tools to ensure the seniors have more powers/responsibilities and general are more restricted and therefore less able to damage the site or community if someone goes AWOL (prima donna, troll, f’wit, etc).A lot of us may be accidental SEO’s, but we’re still essentially webmasters infected with the Open Source mentality of sharing and getting involved, so all you need to do is ask people you feel you may be able to trust with the tools you’d need to give them.Simply suggestions.

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from hjortur 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There are probably many ways to address this and if you really want to take everything into account, it’s going to be very complicated. So we have to figure out a reasonably effective but yet simple way.It can be very difficult to tell the newbie from the spammer. I would rather tolerate a little spam and keep all the quality, than shuting out all spam and a lot of new quality stuff at the same time. So the best solution would be ... well, I don’t know. Nofollow up to 5 or 10 sphinns and a reputation. Maybe newbies should have to have x amount of comments and sphinns before their first submission? Isn’t the spam usually from new accounts?

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Trust me, it is not difficult to tell the newbie from the spammer here. We probably kill 50 spam submissions per day. Just wipe them -- no hey, heads-up, you might have made a mistake here or there -- bam, gone. Maybe one person in a week complains they were wiped this way -- and often, those people indeed knew they were spamming and yet still want to try and play us for fools.We have a wide range of tools already in place. IP bans. Email bans. Etc. Once spam hits, we can kill it and sources pretty well. But there are lots of IP addresses out there, as well as email addresses.I can’t say enough how the problem isn’t a case of low quality or people not being educated enough. It’s one of drive-by submissions for car rental places, vacation homes, weight lifting tips and more stuff from people who aren’t going to read about Sphinn, what we want here or care. They’re too busy moving along to the next place to spam.Again, I also think these people are probably too busy to even notice if they get a follow or nofollow link, but some of the mods think it’s worth a try, so we’ll lump that into the other barriers to test.One thing I’m pushing is that you might not be able to submit unless you have an avatar. Spammers rarely take the time to upload an avatar. Like almost never. When you see submits without one, it’s a pretty good sign of spam. If we say you can’t submit without an avatar, that might be low impact on those who legit want to submit (since most everyone who does DOES have an avatar), and it might be yet one more thing that keeps spam out. Of course, smart spammers would take the extra effort to upload one. But if you’ve seen the spam, these aren’t smart spammers. If they were, at least I’d respect them a bit more :)

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from incrediblehelp 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Adding nofollow will not prevent basic spam, although should reduce the number of posts made by people disguising their posts as internet marketing or posting rubbish with the sole purpose of gaining links."I highly doubt spammers will even notice the home page is nofollowed.Their seems to be small niches of people that Sphinn each other here. I see posts from certain blogs go hot no matter the quality, because they have enough friends to get the post hot. Now that doesnt mean this is spamming by any means. We are just seeing a lower quality post go hot while others live in limbo because they lack the friend power to push them hot.  Maybe this is just the nature of the Sphinn beast or any social media website for that matter.

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from iBrian 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"If we say you can’t submit without an avatar, that might be low impact on those who legit want to submit"That could be a good policy, with the following caveats:1. Some smarter forum spammers are already adding avatars to try and avoid appearing overtly as spammers2. As soon as you let it be known avatars are required, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is broadcast by anyone advocating spamming sphinn.I guess you’re on the ball in terms of needing multiple anti-spam tools autmatically built in - but it’s definitely an annoying problem for any community builders, so best of luck with it. :)

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from lsbweb 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I have a problem with the idea that an article with a certain number of desphinns would be given a nofollow. Highly contentious articles do arise on this forum from time to time and we all have differing viewpoints - that’s what makes Sphinn work because it’s so dynamic. So, if we had a highly contentious issue that had 60 sphinns and 4 desphinns, automatically attributing it with a nofollow would be defeating the point altogether. We’re not all going to agree, but take it like an adult and get on with it. If you spot something in ’What’s New’ that looks like spam, smells like spam and tastes like spam, then it most likely is spam. Do us all a favour and report it.  If we were all a little more diligent in our reporting I’m sure it would help out the community tremendously.

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from JohnWeb 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I don’t want to be contentious as it’s your site and you can do whaterver you’d like with it, I just get defensive when it comes to using nofollow as a crutch for masking the real problems.  It’s just too easy to slap a nofollow on a site/page/link and not worry about it anymore, but that’s another discussion.  From reading Danny and evilgreenmonkeys responses this isn’t a debate and the decision has been made.From what I read here the implementation of nofollow on stories that don’t go hot is much less about spam as the title may have suggested but more about not rewarding and thus inspiring weak submissions.  Personally I don’t see how one can even navigate to stories that are more than a few days old anyway, so I doubt they would be passing much link power at all and I still fail to make the connection between weak submissions just for the links, but hey if you’ve seen people talking about it somewhere it must be happening.If I stipulate that some people are sphinning weak stories just for the link juice and the fact that it get’s archived somewhere with a live link is encourging this behavior, then I think this plan brings in another potential problem.  If the system only rewards the weak story with a live link for 48 hours then lets it go nofollow so it’s no longer worth anything, are not the submitters going to notice that as well?  Instead of being satisfied with knowing their story has a live link somewhere on page 50 of the navigation they will now change their behavior to resubmit further weak stories towards the end of that 48hr window?  A valid link is a link and just having a search engine crawl it is enough motivation to get it up there.  Adding nofollow 48hrs later doesn’t have an immediate affect on the link as #1) the link changes deep within navigation where crawl rate has to be much slower and #2) Search engines have a long memory and don’t generally react to quickly #3) often discovery is the only motivation.What I am saying is that by having the link followed for 48 hours is basically giving the weak submission exactly what they want AND giving them inspiration to continue to submit weak articles to get more of it.I can’t believe I am saying this as I am generally against sites that have blanket nofollow policies (wiki, lazy bloggers, unmoderated forums, etc.) but in the context of this stated mission of testing to see if adding nofollow reduces the noise I think you should consider nofollowing the links from the initial submission and THEN following only the hot links.  I just think that if word gets out that sphinn links are good for 48 hours you will have an influx of people trying to keep their submissions fresh and within that 48 hour period.Then again, it’s not my site and my opinion doesn’t really matter.  If it were up to me any submission with the word "twitter" in it would be nofollowed, filtered, redirected to disney.com, and generally punished. j/k :) Good luck.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s not a crutch we’re slapping on. Let me really make this clear, what we do to stop spam here:1) You have to register with an email address that’s verified2) You have to get through a captcha that challenges even some non-spammers with its difficulty3) You only get to submit one item to begin with4) Five Sphinn members (soon only 3) can report an item as spam to get it removed5) Any moderator can (and they do) wipe out an item as spamStep five we use the most, and it’s just not enough. I’ve wiped out about 20 items today personally, and I’m not the only mod.Step four will make things easier, because then other members here can help pitch in more. We kept the count higher in the past to ease into it and avoid abuse. We haven’t seen much abuse, so we need to bring the treshhold lower.The idea of adding nofollow has nothing to do with trying to decide if a link "deserves" credit or not. it is simply another deterrent that some mods have suggested we try, which might cause some spammers who indeed are looking here as an easy way to get indexed to perhaps think again. If we thought it was a magical crutch, we’d just do that and drop everything else. As I’ve said, I doubt actually it will stem the tide much, but yes, we have made the decision to at least try it.John, to be clearer, I believe it will be that anything submitted new will start with nofollow. The nofollow will only go away if it moves to the hot page. So there’s no 48 hour window or anything like that. And your opinion and the opinion of everyone always matters. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have started a thread about it. We have decide to try this, want to let everyone know, want to hear the opinions, and if it’s not helpful, we might very well change back.

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from JohnWeb 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sounds good to me.For the record I wasn’t trying to say you were using nofollow as a crutch but rather trying to explain my position on the subject in general.  Blame it on poor wording and lack of post editing on my part.  I just wanted to make it clear that normally I don’t recommend using nofollow when it can be avoided and since I knew the point of my comment was going go into the nofollow use I thought I’d preface the comment with my position.I realize you and the team have setup a lot of mechanisms to fight the actual spam.  I didn’t realize that the threshold for mortals hitting the spam link was at 5 and not at 3 as advertised, this would explain a lot of stuff that tends to hang around longer than it should.Nofollowing from the start makes more sense I was confused by "stories failing to reach the homepage (going "Hot") will get nofollow’d" which made it sound like the nofollow was added after the failure to go hot.

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from DanThies 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 2

It’s a shame that you have to try this approach at all. In one sense, I hope it works and you all get some of your time back. In another sense, I hope it fails because it’s a band-aid solution at best. On the other hand, anyone who is dying for link juice from Sphinn probably needs more help than Sphinn can offer. :DAnyway, now that the rewards for spam have been reduced along with the rewards for some actual contributions...You guys might want to do something about duplicate submissions. Seems like I’ve seen a number of items that would have gone hot if there hadn’t been multiple copies competing for Sphinns.

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from Gab 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Danny - I’ve been here months and only reading your comment did I realize you could sort by Sphinns (wouldn’t I make a funny eye-tracking heatmap!). Having that as the default would probably be more interesting, and probably push more stories to the front page since in effect what’s new would default to most popular in upcoming. That could in turn balance things out if you blanket nofollow stuff from the get-go. (Which, while I think is a shame for QUALITY stories from people/sites with small friend networks who won’t get dofollow links anymore, it would be more effective against the mass of manually submitted CRAP.)Also, points 5-9 from iBrian are absolutely brilliant. As a former (addicted) mod at a forum when I was in high school, where I volunteered -happily, for some reason - to clean forums 3-4 hours a day, I can tell you those suggestions are great. In particular the point about different timezones (or else by when they’re most often on the site) is excellent - that would help fight the late-night spam/crapola submissions.The avatar point is also intelligent. I’d augment that by creating a common pool of banned avatars for forum/community mods - within a circle of trust - to refer to, the same way security and email spam sites/software makers share blacklists. That could help address the smarter spammers. It could work on the same principles of image recognition that make captchas work.@Incredible Help - Social media is about friends. You’re entirely right that crap slips through as a result of peer pressure in friendships, where saying no to sphinning/submitting crap is extremely difficult. And I agree that quality stuff doesn’t go hot for the same reasons (look at my submissions for stuff from trusted people who regularly write quality yet aren’t involved here...). BUT: The upshot is that this teaches internet marketers the greatest skill of them all: meta keyword stuffing. Err, I mean networking. On a related note, the opportunity to filter by only showing stuff from people you friend would be a great use of the friends feature. Likewise random rotation and dofollow links only for posts that get traction.@Danny - If you do change software entirely or create your own, what happens to the profiles people built up? Will they carry over? That obviously means a helluva lot to plenty of folks (especially your top users...), myself included. That said, you guys have so many issues with Pligg that it might be a good idea to start over with something custom. Plus I’m willing to bet that the "powered by Pligg" in the footer and other Pligg footprints have you marked in spammers ’to spam lists’.

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from Gab 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Speaking of avatars and sphinns for craptastic submissions, here’s a screenshot of the state of Sphinn spam. Sad to say, but they’re already using avatars (and thus I missed some on my first look at what’s new) and sphinning their own crap. There’s also ’site submissions’ rather than post submissions, like Top Sites Fitness for Fitness Bloggers and Communities Posted By: liftw8 11 minutes ago Topic Type: News Story (Jump to http://www.topsitesfitness.com) my network | add to My friends Category: SEO We are a top sites list of fitness blogs and fitness communities, whose number one goal is to network for the purpose of increasing visitor traffic. Read up on our SEO posts and traffic monetization ideas. read more » .

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from evilgreenmonkey 2394 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Gab: Profiles will be transferred across no matter which solution we choose, and Hot stories will also be moved across.

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from Gab 2392 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ah, well then that’s reassuring!

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from bwelford 2390 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The whole NoFollow concept is poorly though-out.  I’m not sure it does anything positive for Google and I’m sure it will do nothing here.

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from JohnWeb 2390 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think there may be some other motivation  as just about everyone here has agreed that it should have no affect on the spam.

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