Spammers and forums

There are few things on the internet that I dislike more than seeing spammers posting numerous spam messages on internet forums and message boards. It annoys and indeed angers me all the more, when the spammers are seemingly successful in their attempts. Spamming is a nightmare for forum owners, since spam messages disrupt and impede a smooth running of the forums, and they may annoy and even alienate forum particpants. And combating spam just costs time and effort for no returns.

Recently, forums that I frequently visit or sometimes have a look have been spammed, very badly. These spam threads and posts were advertising links and sites that purported to show live streams of sports events. Sometimes, spammers want to create links to their sites, so that their sites would rank higher in the search engine results. Naturally, when their spam messages are deleted by the moderators, any value that links had would also disappear. However, these spammers were not interested in making their sites rank higher in the results as such, but their aim was to get their spam posts in the forum ranked by the search engines, and either provide an affiliate link for the visitors to sign up, or guide the visitors to their sites via the spam posts. It is an indirect method, but it may be effective, if the forum is regarded as high authority or has a high amount of traffic, because spam posts are crawled and indexed quickly. Search engines will return the spam posts high up in the results for the phrases the spammers had targeted.

This kind of spam, drawing on the authority of the forums, seems to work for time-sensitive spam. These spammers won’t care if their threads or posts are deleted, so long as they stay long enough to be indexed, and generate visitors in that short window of time. For sports events, that would mean start spamming a couple of hours in advance of the start of the game, and keep on posting through multiple locations, in the hope that one or more of the threads will be indexed. It’s a shotgun approach, that causes a large amount of disruption in the forums and message boards, but it must be effective for the spammers to keep on doing.

Anyway, it is really, really, annoying.