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Google now completely blocks spammed forums

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Alfa1, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine received this notification:

    User-generated spam
    Google has detected user-generated spam on your site. Typically, this kind of spam is found on forum pages, guestbook pages, or in user profiles.

    As a result, Google has applied a manual spam action to domain.net/forum/. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.

    Recommended action

    • Find out more about user-generated spam in our Help Center.
    • Update your site so that it meets Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
    • Once your site is clean and secure, submit a reconsideration request.
    • For an updated list of manual actions currently applied to your site, visit the Manual Actions page. If no manual actions are listed, there is no longer a need to file a reconsideration request.
    If we determine your site is no longer in violation of our guidelines, we'll revoke the manual action.
    karll and digitalpoint like this.
  2. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    Makes sense to me - they should have done it sooner.
    euantor and Jeremy P like this.
  3. Freddie Agricola

    Freddie Agricola Active Member

    So now to get someone's forum off Google, just spam them until Google delists them!
  4. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    Not quite that easy if there is an forum owner and staff there to deal with spam. It seems to me this rule would target abandoned forums and forums where spam is allowed for whatever reason.
    Jeremy P and Robby like this.
  5. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    xrumer can spam faster than most can clean up. 30000 posts per week is an amazing amount
  6. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The stopbotters API is currently murdering xrumer :) Aint that right @tenants :D
  7. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    A properly run forum can use the batch update to clean up.
    They can shut down registration or leave it at manual until they fix things.

    I'm fairly certain google allows some leeway in this matter - because otherwise they'd have to shut down the big media sites whenever their comments were spammed. So it's doubtful that a few - or even a few hundred (out of 100's of thousands) spam posts would shut down a board.

    That said, I hope I never run into that! That would cut my traffic 70% or more.
  8. tenants

    tenants Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think the next move is to allow stats somewhere to compare API's, but it's pretty impresive for a 0% false positive mechanism
  9. Moshe1010

    Moshe1010 Well-Known Member

    Non-English, especially with non-latin letters have no problems with spam. We just configure one question-answer in our language and we are bullet-proof (unless there are really weird manual spam bots, but that hasn't happened to me for more than a year now, so I guess they aren't).
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
    Sheratan likes this.
  10. tenants

    tenants Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Hebrew is probably safe most of the time with QA

    For QA, most of the time (unless competitions are held) you only need to be worried about the chunk of people that use the application (such as XRumer). If the people that use XRumer also understand your language, they'll save the qa and it then gets shared globally across all applications (textcaptcha.txt). If you're from a county that doesn't use XRumer, QA's can often be affective for a lot longer (until a Hebrew speaking XRumer user decides to add some answers to textcaptcha.txt)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  11. Moshe1010

    Moshe1010 Well-Known Member

    The good thing about Hebrew that it's very limited in terms of people who can write/speak (unlike English or other languages). So I guess it would take some time (if ever) until someone would add stuff in Hebrew to XRumer. We can also change the Q&A all the time, or even put Captcha in Hebrew with numbers only (written numbers in Hebrew) which makes it really spam proof (this is what very large websites are using in Israel for many years and it works quite well).
  12. drastic

    drastic Well-Known Member

    they should block it. it's their way of limiting the effect a spammer has.

    so far i've had two spammers get through and blast me with 500+ messages selling something in the wrong language.

    i have @tenants anti spam addon and thankfully XF features let me delete all 500 at once, but once in a while - they still get through.

    then i noticed in google analytics that a few people have found my site via searching for the default XF branding and then also the weird meds they were selling.

    So if google blocks you until your spam is cleared, they're probably doing you a favor. any new visitors who see that probably WON'T return. and it blocks spammers from making a few bucks.
  13. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    True that, but if you're getting so much spam you can't clean it Google isn't your biggest problem.
  14. drastic

    drastic Well-Known Member

    Maybe were in the wrong biz...
  15. tenants

    tenants Well-Known Member

    If you ever find a bot that gets through FBHP (or one you think is a bot), for me it's really important you send any information about this user (see here). FBHP should (and does) stop 100% of spam bots registering, the XRumers AI is also not quite there to relate one object to another in a new unique image so CustomImgCapcha should also hold for quite some time... I believe what this is most likely to be is a dormant bot before you installed FBHP (in which case StopHumanSpam would have stopped it from spamming), but any information about this user (which sounds very much like a bot) would be appreciated (if it's in your FBHP logs). I would even consider contacting the bot user, I'm fairly certain it did not get through the FBHP registration (it might have come through a different way.. at first as a human / via facebook registration... in which case, there is an option to add customImgCaptha there too), but I really need to see the user in the FBHP logs (This user in the FBHP logs would be like a diamond in the rough to me, but I suspect it is not there, since it almost definitely registered before FBHP was installed)
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  16. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I'm somewhat concerned about this. I commend Google for trying to crack down on spammed forums, but sometimes owners are away from computer and can't ban those spammers [on time].

    I think the timing of xenForo's implementation of anti-spam measures was bulls-eye. We don't have to see this happen often.

    But this can cause problems - a disgruntled user goes on a spam rampage, and gets the site in question delisted, like someone else mentioned:
    Once again, I commend Google for doing this, but this also invites trouble.
  17. drastic

    drastic Well-Known Member

    If it happens again, I'll gather ino and screenshots for you!!!
  18. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely right. I have been amazed to see how easy spammers can get through the xenforo anti-spam measures on registration (which I thought was really good). One more reason to get bad behavior for xenforo.
  19. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Google are providing the site owner with an alert that something is drastically wrong; this isn't so much a penalty, as a good (and free) service! (y)

    Better to know about it and have the opportunity to deal with it, than be blacklisted from Google without knowing why.

    Out of curiosity though I'd be interested to know the scope/scale of the spam content ... and the time scale the spam was submitted over? It could be a site that has been "left to rot" with six months of accumulated spam, or it could have been hit one day and dropped from Google the next. That would make a big difference as to how much time a site owner has to correct it before being blocked!!!
  20. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    Giving the ubiquitousness of spam posts it seems to me that Google would be shooting itself in the foot if they suspended a site for spam that was properly dealt with in a timely manner. Their algorithm probably includes both ratio of spam posts to non-spam posts and a mechanism for checking to see if a post flagged as spam persists after some time has elapsed.

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