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...think this could be reason enough for a real harsh Google penalty?
All the above granted, but why would one not moderate the UGC and eliminate the spam? Automation is fun---that's google (and they can kill you)---when taking charge is so easy? Websites are not "set it and forget" doohickies.I honestly had to look this up first:
doohickey: A thing (used in a vague way to refer to something whose name one cannot recall)
I would try to find a way that wouldn't allow anyone to post a URL
All user generated content should use rel=nofollow tag. Unfortunately this won't stop the spam.
All user generated content should use rel=nofollow tag and that includes member profile user "homepage" links.Guys, the whole point of this thread was to discuss an issue of having URLs in the text of a UGC page but not as links, nofollow or do follow. Just plain text. Also, I have no user profile pages. So, there should technically be no reason to spam my forum because you cannot gather links from it but I assume that spammers can only survive it they automate their operations. I doubt anyone spamming there has actually been to any of my sites to verify if it merits spamming.
I would try to find a way that wouldn't allow anyone to post a URL, even if it isn't an active link, until the destination was reviewed and determined to be relevant/helpful -- through means of automation or human eyes ($$$)...and/or...
[edited by: bill at 2:52 am (utc) on Apr 2, 2010]
[edit reason] tidy up [/edit]
But, yes, I sympathize with your frustration and I do remember names of my sites. But since I also want to remember the names of my children, I cannot claim that I review every single post being made. And, as you correctly point out, automation often fails.