I would imagine that "xenforo"-websites have been specifically targeted by bots ? For whatever reason.....
So I think bots can see the wording "xen" and "xenforo" in the source-code of our forum-scripts and then hitting all of our forums with spam ?
A long long time ago I have purchased a "branding free" licence for XF and have asked why there is no version which is removing the wording "xenforo" from the source-code.
The answer from Kier was:
I am wondering now if the reference to "xenforo" in the source-code would be eliminated, would this then diminish the spam and bot-attacks ?
Ah yes, I did much the same for the same reason.
Buying brand free will only hold of the bots for a small amount of time (it usually buys you a few months, depending on what you do).
I'm afraid once you are listed, that's it, there is no getting you off of the linklists... this linklist are manually shared and also given away with the core
The lists are harvested in various ways, there are actually sites just dedicated to these list... but don't forget these list are also manually edited
(just do a quick google search for "linklist forum
" or "linklist xrumer
The fasted way to find your self on one of these lists it to have a hight PR site with the standard Forum copywrite in the footer
... generally many of these lists are fist generated by a search engine crawl for certain phrases (for example "Forum software by XenForo" -xenforo.com
), but this is not the by any means the only way
... list are also generated by crawling through sites like this (with a high number of related outbound links to XF forums, XenForo.com is a good source), or even directories of forums
... even having the word "forum" on you site can make your self a target for these lists
... they are also generated by manual users adding to the lists
So, by removing "XenForo" in the source you get a a reduced % of chance that you will be added to a list (if you haven't already been added), but this really only ever buys you time
These list often have a value (they are sold, or give users a certain amount of creditability). For instance, if I can generate a list with High PR sites that are easy to spam, that would be valuable to a link builder
There is not really much value in taking out non spamable sites from the lists, since it looks more attractive that I have a list of 10000 sites that are easy to spam (since hey, they are XenForo sites which we are targeting), rather than a miserable list of 500 sites that actually work (after all, I am a black hat in this scenario , and the forums that can't be spammed now might be possible to spam later)
Don't forget, that these linkList don't just target XenForo (although there are some lists that a pure XF) or even forums for that matter, they target places where it is possible to register and leave links, so even if you don't look like a XenForo site, if I can automatically register and leave links, you are a valuable resource.
In short, unless you only want to buy time and you don't intend to be easily found by users (from search engines or manual mechanisms), removing all reference to XenForo will only reduce the chance of you being found by linklist creators (and forum users). If you are already on a link list, you're not likely to ever be removed from that list.