BEWARE "Sneaky Spam" !!

zen-r

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Lately I've been finding (& reporting) an increasing number of "Sneaky Spam" ......



It looks like a normal post by someone, usually quite short, & without any links in it.

It often doesn't really make a lot of sense, but sounds like it's talking about something relevant to the thread, maybe in reference to an earlier post. So people usually just ignore the post because it looks pretty normal, & is by a newly joined member.

However, I'm calling it "Sneaky Spam" because ;


It actually does have a link in the post, usually at the bottom, & hidden by the use of white text so you can't see it.

Since no-one is likely to click on an invisible link, it is presumably intended to work as a back-link to increase the site's page-ranking.



So next time you see a post by a new member that looks a bit pointless, you might just check that it isn't "Sneaky Spam" !



How do you see white text? - There are 2 easy methods ;

1) Click your mouse in the area you wish to check, & drag it so as to highlight anything which may be there.

or

2) Click once in the intended area & press Ctrl+A to "Select All" items on the page.

If anything is there, whatever colour, it will now be highlighted so that you can see it. If it is a link, it will also show as being one when you hover your mouse over it.

Here is some white text (not a link) for you to test on : This is White Text <-



If you do find anything like this which is in breach of x10's posting rules, you can report it in the usual way, by clicking the Report Post icon (
report.gif
) which is found in the corner of each post.

Keep spam off our forums. Zap a spammer today!



Please click my Reputation button
reputation.gif
(at the corner of this post) & make me :) -it costs you nothing!

If I've traded services/credits with you, please remember to leave iTrader Feedback. Thanks.​


 
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tittat

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Nice post zen-r! I have seen users reporting posts like crazy ;)
 

Livewire

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Christopher's been giving me a hard time cause he keeps getting email-spammed with stuff that probably looks like this:

"X10Hosting Forums: Livewire has reported a post"



Although I haven't seen the sneaky-spam as of yet. Lately it's been spambots for rival webhosting companies (although the ads themselves are horrible and get erased in a hurry) or people violating the TOS within their first 5 posts.

Now I know to keep an eye out for this new spam attack. Christopher's gunna hate me if I find some though ;)
 

galaxyAbstractor

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I think there is a lot of these post in the biggest thread ;). lol j/k. But I haven't noticed anything like this yet.
 

zen-r

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That's the thing - they're hard to spot.

Plus, I jump on them early & get them zapped! ;)

Hopefully, if we get them removed quickly, it will discourage the spammer(s) from continuing, & should nip this in the bud early on, before it becomes a noticeable problem.
 

zapzack

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this cool idea

x10hosting.com - Best Free Webhost

I'll be suprised if zen-r checks this ;P
 

zen-r

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this cool idea

arrow2.png
x10hosting.com - Best Free Webhost

arrow2.png
I'll be suprised if zen-r checks this ;P

Actually, yes I did check your post for hidden text!


It's a shame that it didn't read something like "50 free credits if you spot this"! ;)
 
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zapzack

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Actually, yes I did check your post for hidden text!


It's a shame that it didn't read something like "50 free credits if you spot this"! ;)

hahaha.. it was worth a try.. But will he see this?!?!?!?
 

ichwar

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Someone needs to find (or build) an addon for firefox that will highlight ALL white text when the page is loaded. ;)
Edit:
Actually, there is a way to do that from the firefox settings.
 
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adamparkzer

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Isn't linking to your website in your signature not breaching the forum's rules? (I surely hope it isn't, because if it is against the rules, I've been breaking the rules ever since I joined the forums...)

Wouldn't it be better for these "secret sneaky advertisers" to instead just join the forums and make logical posts, but advertise their site in their signature like a normal forum user would?

Edit after reading ichwar's Automerged Doublepost: Yea, I noticed something like that before, except wouldn't that just make every single character black, and you can't have any custom colors whatsoever?
 
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ichwar

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I think Google has learned to ignore sigs. :D
 

taha116

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Serisoly? That is kool that you caught it, infact i though the topic was gonna be some sort of joke before i read the your whole post... (you need to work on condensing them).

So can you give us some links to any posts you noticed with this sneaky spam? Or did you not keep tabs on the ones you noticed in wich case thats fine.


Important Note* I remeber reading about common SEO mistakes, 1 of wich was that if the links color is the same as the background then it is considered as spam by searchengines and can result in not indexing the page at all... Just something to note.... the people trying this stuff wont really benifit much, instead they will just cause harm to the forums they are doing it on, making it harder for that site and their own to get indexed.
 
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zen-r

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....
Wouldn't it be better for these "secret sneaky advertisers" to instead just join the forums and make logical posts, but advertise their site in their signature like a normal forum user would?.....

I agree, just doing normal posts would be far more sensible for them.

But I guess that link-spammers impressively combine the qualities of both laziness and stupidity. ;)

I think Google has learned to ignore sigs. :D

It depends what you mean. I've found my sig appearing in loads of Google search results.

If, on the other hand you mean that they ignore these links when calculating a site's page-ranking, then yes, that is quite possible.



By the way folks, did you notice that ichwar demonstrated the use of an invisible link in his earlier post? Clever & sneaky, isn't it?!

I only demonstrated invisible text in my first post, because I didn't want anyone to be able copy the technique for links. Oh well - so now you know! :happysad:
 
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adamparkzer

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It depends what you mean. I've found my sig appearing in loads of Google search results.

If, on the other hand you mean that they ignore these links when calculating a site's page-ranking, then yes, that is quite possible.

How would Google know if something's a signature or not? I heard that Wikipedia has something where all links on a Wikipedia page don't give page ranking, except that applies to the entire page using a Meta tag. Is it even possible to just exclude signatures? And wouldn't that also rely on the forum host's use of signature-identification methods?
 

ichwar

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And wouldn't that also rely on the forum host's use of signature-identification methods?
Obviously, Google can't ignore sigs from every single forum on the web, but vBulletin is common enough that I think Google would of gone through the effort to figure out a way to sort out the sigs. from the posts.
 

zen-r

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... (you need to work on condensing them)....

Yeah, I know they're long. But I find that if I don't make them really clear & include all the info that's needed, then people just start asking loads of questions afterwards, & get each other all muddled up with correct & incorrect facts.

It's no good including more info later in the thread, because many people are too lazy to read past the first post, before they make their own post!

So can you give us some links to any posts you noticed with this sneaky spam? Or did you not keep tabs on the ones you noticed in wich case thats fine....

I can't give links, because I assume they all got deleted after I reported them!
flick_dry.gif
 

jtwhite

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I think I know how search engines exclude the signatures. Most search engines link to the "lite" version of the forum software, where it's not graphically advanced, I think they do this to load the page faster for indexing. I doubt this "lite" page includes signatures, because signatures contain images, usually.
 
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