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redirect.cgi is it really necessary?
webmasterworld is redirecting URLs. :(
luma




msg:500838
 9:07 am on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I noticed that WW has changed it's link policy. Now instead of pointing directly to the URL it will use a redirect script. I read about concerns that people where "spamming" the board but never noticed such a thing.

Example: instead of

[domain.com...]

Webmasterworld will use

http://www.webmasterworld.com/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi?url=http://www.domain.com

Moreover the redirection is "cloaked" by a title tag. :(

I don't like URL redirects for a couple of reasons:

1. If I rightclick the URL and add it to my bookmarks, it will use the redirect URL

2. Accessing links via URL redirection is slower

3. What if webmasterworld is down for some reasons?

Please rethink your policy of redirecting URL.

PS: Is this the correct forum to post this?

 

Marcia




msg:500839
 9:39 am on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Is this the correct forum to post this?

Yes it's the right forum, luma.

>What if webmasterworld is down for some reasons?

We're hardly ever down at all, but then people wouldn't be clicking on links here anyway, if we were.

>read about concerns that people where "spamming" the board but never noticed such a thing.

luma, if what you're saying is that you haven't noticed spam links, that's because we remove them. We generally catch them quickly enough so most people won't ever get to see them or even notice that they were there.

There's some "spam" that's more subtle than dropping URLs that's a little harder to spot, but that generally doesn't go unnoticed either.

Brett_Tabke




msg:500840
 6:53 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

To tell you the truth, I'm not crazy about them either. Consider this a test phase.
I felt it was worth exploring for several reasons:
- To monitor outbound links to content such as adult sites.
- Url dropping for link pop value is thwarted (a growing problem).
- Watching for repeats and problem urls.
- Tracking page piracy.

Lisa




msg:500841
 7:19 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey, I think this is an excellent idea. I would have done it years ago if I was Brett. It stops PR snipers from scoring. It still gets people to where they are going. And now Brett knows what members go where (wait, maybe that is not good).

Your comment that if the site is down then the links don't work sounds like you are a spammer ;) Are you? The argument doesn't make sense, how do you load the link if this site is down?

I have noticed that URLs from newbies are not automatically hyperlinked. :) I think that is an excellent idea! That would cut down on admins having to check those links. You should have to prove that you are trust worthy before you are given the ability/privilege to straight link.

Newbies = no auto links
Members = redirect links
Admin/Senior = straight links

Macguru




msg:500842
 7:22 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I have noticed that URLs from newbies are not automatically hyperlinked.

And how did you find this out? ;)

Lisa




msg:500843
 7:31 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

And how did you find this out?

because I am a secret dual newbie spamming the world! Ah HA HA *evil laugh*

Because I read, I was reading newbie posts and I thought to myself. Hey, that is odd. How come that link they gave doesn't auto-link. Let me check the formating, yep. It checks out. Well, it must be because they are new. *thinking to myself, good move Brett, that will cut down on PR snipers*

msr986




msg:500844
 7:59 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that this policy will work just fine.

This is a much better alternative than dropping links altogether.

> If I rightclick the URL and add it to my bookmarks, it will use the redirect URL

If you actually visit the link, it will bookmark the correct page

I believe that the majority of this community will gladly accept this policy; myself included!

With the spam problem increasing, we need to take counter-measures to protect our resources!

(edited by: msr986 at 8:21 pm (utc) on April 20, 2002)

Lisa




msg:500845
 8:17 pm on Apr 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Brett,
I have been thinking about this link thing. I have a few suggestions. I will sudo code it for you. Because I think best when I am coding.


domain = find domain in the link
If(select from authorized_domain_list where domain=domain){
// Links to sites in an authorized list should be allowed to be straight links.
// examples: google.com, WebmasterWorld.com, netsol.com, altavista.com, etc..
real_link(link);
}elseIf(select from banned_domain_list where domain=domain){
// Links to sites that are in the banned list should not be allowed to be direct, but make them redirect links
call redir_link(link);
} elseIf(select from spam_domain_list where domain=domain){
// Links to sites that are in the flagged as spam domains
call alert_admins();
call redir_link(link);
}elseif(select from authorized_straight_members where user=user){
// Links to from these members are allowed to be straight links.
real_link(link);
}elseif(select from banned_straight_members where user=user){
// Links to from these members are automatically redirect links.
call redir_link(link);
}elseif(select from authorized_member_level where level=user_level){
if(newbies){
// no linking, just text
call no_link(link);
}elseif(member){
call redir_link(link);
}elseif(senior/admin){
call real_link(link);
}
}else{
call redir_link(link);
}

Inside the function redir_link can you put window.status=URL inside the href, this is easier to read where I am going when people do something like this Some Place [webmasterworld.com]

Brett_Tabke




msg:500846
 2:48 am on Apr 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the thought provoker. We've talked about something similar before Lisa. One suggestion was to not "linkize" new and junior members posts.

We decided against it because it would just make more work for everyone that did want to click on a link. It would also be confusing to new users.

luma




msg:500847
 6:43 pm on Apr 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you're concerned about passing on page rank just allow all links and use a robots.txt

# robots.txt for http://www.webmasterworld.com/
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

;) I'll post a more serious answer later...

luma




msg:500848
 7:26 am on Apr 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Bruce Schneier from Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. writes in his April 15th Crypto-gram newsletter (I could add a link but I don't want to get it redirect.cgied) the following check list:

This five-step process works for any security measure, past, present, or future:

1) What problem does it solve?
2) How well does it solve the problem?
3) What new problems does it add?
4) What are the economic and social costs?
5) Given the above, is it worth the costs?

I would add:

6) Document (and publish) the answers to above questions

... more to come ...

Brett_Tabke




msg:500849
 9:46 am on Apr 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

>1) What problem does it solve?

See above.

>2) How well does it solve the problem?

Excellent.

>3) What new problems does it add?

- System load.

>4) What are the economic and social costs?

- none for econ up until the point it would require a larger server (doubtful)

- Social? Possible minor inconvience to members.

>5) Given the above, is it worth the costs?

For now, it appears the benefits outweight the cost. We'll see if that holds up for a few weeks and then recheck it.

backus




msg:500850
 10:05 am on Apr 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

My pop-up killer automatically removes redirect.cgi's.

diddlydazz




msg:500851
 10:12 am on Apr 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think the redirects are a good idea, and hopefully they will deter some *dodgy* posts.

The idea of giving different member status different priveledges is not a new idea and works well in every application of it I have seen.

Nice one Brett :)

Dazz

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