IMPORTANT: All signatures are now nofollowed

Megan's picture

She has: 11,419 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

After some discussion and a related poll, we have decided to add the rel="nofollow" attribute to all signature links.

We hope that this will improve the quality of posts in the forum. Also, moderators will have more time to help out and answer questions if there is less spam to delete.

Work on the migration to Drupal 6 is currently underway in a test environment. When that happens we will be able to remove the nofollow for certain members. We expect this to happen by October.

They have: 18 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

hi Megan,
Bummer... but I understand. Too bad that everyone has to be "punished" because of a few (well, maybe a lot of) bad apples.
I'd be curious to see if you can post an update as to whether or not the number of spam posts actually drops. I suspect that spammers don't pay attention or won't notice... but I'd love to be proven wrong.
I'll also look forward to October!
Though in all honesty, I think signature links carry very little weight even if they are "do follow".
Anyway, let us know if the change helps, if you can!

greg's picture

He has: 1,581 posts

Joined: Nov 2005

trade-show-bill wrote:
Though in all honesty, I think signature links carry very little weight even if they are "do follow".
This is very true, but the unfortunate truth is most noobs or low grade unprofessional promoters/SEO people either don't know this, or don't care.

We know in the grand scheme of things signatures are not really worthy of the time to join a forum and post nonsense, time that could be spent promoting in a meaningful manner with real results.
But alas, the world has numb-brained spammers who think if they send me enough "buy cheap Viagra" emails I'll eventually buy some... Doh!

trade-show-bill wrote:
Too bad that everyone has to be "punished" because of a few (well, maybe a lot of) bad apples.
It's not really punishment, because as you said, dofollow doesn't really carry any weight anyway. So there's no real great loss in it.
Sure, it was nice to think that even a tiny amount of weight was given to Google and alike, but it's really not worth losing sleep over.
We come here to learn, help others and chat, not get our site ranked from our sig links.

It wont particularly help reduce "spam", as spam will always happen and outright spam gets removed anyway.
But we hope it will help reduce the number of pointless and meaningless posts people do just to get their sig presence and that little bit of SE return.

It's hard and most unfair for anyone to decide that someone else's post is "meaningless" and just there to get sig presence, however obvious it may look. So we cannot fairly moderate this, as, with any forum, freedom to post what and how you want (within reason/rules) is paramount to maintaining a friendly community - which we all of course want to retain and build.
So hopefully as people learn the forum has nofollow sig links, the sig presence spammers might thin out.

There is no magic fix, and we sincerely hope it doesn't deter or upset decent members, but something has to be done to try to better the posts and topical discussions. We have some great users, and good discussions, but the handful of debatable sig-presence-posts spoils it and it seems to be getting more prevalent.

They have: 3 posts

Joined: Aug 2009

The do follow signature crawl the web site on search engine and improve the quality of posts in the forum.

They have: 15 posts

Joined: Aug 2009

I hope it does improve. One thing I've noticed is that there is not much new posts going lately. What happened? O.o

Megan's picture

She has: 11,419 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

Things usually do get slower in the summer, particularly in august. I've been noticing that for years.

We've also been unpublishing a heck of a lot of spam.

aharown07's picture

They have: 43 posts

Joined: Oct 2008

Good move!

soundtank's picture

He has: 168 posts

Joined: Jan 2000

Signatures? I didn't know we could put one? lol
Anyway, good move. Some people join forums just to put their sigs in. Smiling

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