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Automated Forum Profile Link Building - Does it Work?

     
2:43 am on Oct 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So someone told me about a big reason why he's on page 1 for a particular keyword after a really short period - he's getting 10,000 backlinks a month from an automated software that creates forum profiles.

Can anyone confirm or deny if forum profiles help with SEO? Thanks.
8:45 am on Oct 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Look at the other side of the coin: You run a forum. Someone floods your forum with hundreds of fake profiles in order to boost their backlinks.

Would you be happy with that?
12:16 pm on Oct 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just yesterday I saw a few ads promoting that kind of spam. Something like "get 10,000 backlinks for $9.95". I wonder how this is still possible when its so easy to protect your forum against these sort of things.
5:38 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It is easy, there is a well known piece of script which will do this without any problems. This is not spam, it is accout creation at forums.
10:00 pm on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Would you be happy with that?

Since I'm not in charge of keeping forum owners happy, I could care less.

The problem is whether it's actually effective. I have my doubts. This seems pretty 2003 if you ask me. Surely forum software blocks most of these automated attempts, and any profiles are going to be nofollowed anyway. I'm not sure I see the value. And if it did work, I see a Google smackdown real fast anyway.

I sure wouldn't do it on a main site. I'm doubtful enough about it that I probably wouldn't even waste my time trying it out.
5:54 am on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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wheel, 99% of profile URLs are "do-follow". The key is to get these profile URLs indexed. With web 2.0 it is quite easy.

Sure you can do profile blasts on your feeder sites which link to your money site which is a better approach than creating profile links for you money site.
7:06 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Even if Google indexes these profile pages, I doubt if the backlinks from them give much of a boost to your site's rankings. Has anybody ever seen any backlinks from profile pages listed in the "Links to Your Site" section of Google's Webmaster Tools? That's a test I use to judge whether or not Google gives any value to a backlink.
7:41 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes, they appear in Webmaster Tools. I would not use WMT for judgement if links pass value or not because even "no-follow" links are listed in WMT.
8:16 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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SEOPTI-
Well I suppose that profile links probably do pass a little value. At least they could add some diversity to a site's overall backlink profile. But why do you suggest creating them for feeder sites instead of the main site?
8:33 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Because it is automated mass profile creation and if a feeder site gets a penalty it won't hurt :)
10:33 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I see. I was thinking about creating a few profile links manuaaly and had forgotten that the thread is about automated methods.
11:03 pm on Nov 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is even better, create 20-30 profiles manually on PR 6-9 sites.
2:34 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The profile links certainly help. As someone mentioned above, they should point to a "filter" site and then filter site will link to the money site. It's a way to avoid penalties and to get yourself a few better links instead of a massive amount of crappy links. There are at least a couple of software out there that can do this.
4:33 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ahh, so that's where all those off topic posts come from, where I have to delete the post and block the user.

Thanks guys.
6:23 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Profiles on my forum are invisible to guests/bots and send a 404 header... for precisely this reason i.e. f###*rs that attempt to waste my resources and water down my quality website by creating fake registrations and try to ride on the coat tails of my hard work.
6:33 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Trust me, you don't want your link progression charts to spike by 10,000 and then suddenly stop afterwards. When that happens it could be that your site was suddenly popular or that you spammed and when search engines evaluate the quality of those links it becomes pretty obvious it's spam. (100% forum, profile pages or posts that get deleted).

I'd recommend steering clear of this, at best any gain is temporary and at worst you do permanent damage to your sites stats, perhaps even labeling yourself as a spammer if they profile webmasters (highly unlikely they don't these days).
7:37 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sierra_Dad: what are you talking about? There are no off-topic posts involved. This is account creation only.

Sgt_Kickaxe: thousands of links to your money site? No, wrong strategy. As I said you just point them to feeder sites.

Asia_Expat: sure, but most sites don't hide their member profiles, there are millions.
9:09 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yea, we locked down all link benefits to registering for our forums ages ago. You have to become a contributing member, and it takes a while to earn that trust.
9:58 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I block profiles to SEs and also delete all suspicious profiles at the time they are waiting for approval. I noted that some are created automatically and I'll seek for how to block that. I use vBulletin.
10:26 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In most cases you won't even see it is a suspicious profile if it is a pro not an amateur creating this profile. Their is a "double pass" method.
10:59 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is not spam, it is accout creation at forums.


That's still spam.

Any time you make a bunch of junk pages, account profiles qualify, that adds no value and benefits nobody but yourself, it's spam.

Unfortunately, the technique used to work, and may still today given the proper forums.
11:35 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is not spam, it is accout creation at forums.


It is still spam, as far as I'm concerned. But at least it doesn't waste any of my time, as I have long ago made profiles of my members unavailable to the general public. Only logged in members can view profile of others on my forum.
11:36 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sierra_Dad: what are you talking about? There are no off-topic posts involved. This is account creation only.


Maybe not the software you are using, but someone is using software (or low paid monkeys) that generates off topic posts on a random forum or blog post. They show up a few times a week.

My user profiles are not indexed, so the spammers realized they needed to go the extra mile.

12:44 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is SPAM in my eyes. No question.

We get tons of registrations daily on our forums just so these low lifes can create dodgy profiles. Partially for that reason, we've removed web site links from profiles all together and one must be logged in if member usernames are actually linked to the profile.

Anybody who does this is a spammer.
1:30 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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'course it's spam. It's selfish and it sucks.
2:51 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It is a little disturbing your competitor can do harm to your site. He pays $30 and pushes 30k automatic profiles.
4:50 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We personally nofollow ALL links on our forum. I've noticed more and more sites doing this. You can thank spammers.
4:54 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We personally nofollow ALL links on our forum


I don't nofollow them just because nofollow is a farce.

I encode the URLs and send them thru a redirector that decodes them and I block all SE's from following links thru the redirector, which also avoids 302 hijacking some site by accident.

That way I'm 100% sure they never get credit for the link and I also get a 100% accurate click thru count for all links on the site ;)
5:26 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Web 2.0 sites send the URLs through a redirector, guess what, Google will crawl and index the redirected URLs.
5:45 am on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In most cases you won't even see it is a suspicious profile if it is a pro not an amateur creating this profile. Their is a "double pass" method.

You're kidding right? Me and my moderators are pros at spotting fake profiles. We've had lots of training forced upon us.

In addition to making profiles visible to members only, signatures are also only visible to members. We also have a strict policy that new members may not posts links until they've made at least 100 'real' posts over a period of several months minimum. There is absolutely no way to spam my website with lame amateurish SEO crud as outlined in this thread.


...and our members appreciate it and are inclined to post more as a result.

pro not an amateur

It's always an amateur that resorts to cheap tricks like forum spam.
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