Eight things you can do to avoid website vandalism

If your web pages contain spam, Google might penalize your website and your rankings might drop. In addition, you won’t make a good impression on your website visitors if your web pages contain spam.

avoid website vandalism

If your website contains a blog or a public forum, chances are that spammers will try to abuse your website by posting deceiving content and links. Google recently gave some advice on what you can do to avoid user generated spam on your website:

1. Secure your website forum by keeping your forum and blog software updated and patched

Spammers take advantage of security issues in older versions. For that reason, it is important that you keep your software up-to-date.

2. Use CAPTCHAs to block robots

In general, spam is created by automated robots. A CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) requires users to prove that they are human beings before posting something on your site. A popular CAPTCHA service is Google’s reCAPTCHA.

3. Block suspicious behavior and check the top posters

Set time limits between posts and block excessive traffic from individual IP addresses. There are other activities that distinguish automated bots from human beings. Most forum platforms offer configurations that automatically block suspicious behavior.

If a new user has an excessive amount of posts, it’s a good idea to check these posts to make sure that they are not spammy.

4. Disable some types of comments

You might disable comments on old blog posts of forum entries. It is unlikely that very old entries get legitimate replies. If your forum is only an archive, you can disable comments completely.

5. Use the moderation features of your blog and forum software

For example, users might be required to have a certain reputation before they can post links. Anonymous posting should be disabled completely. Posts from new users should require approval before they are publicly visible. Most blog and forum tools offer such a feature.

6. Blacklist obviously spammy terms

If you find out that many spam entries on your site contain the same words, block these words. Most forums and blog tools offer features that enable you to automatically mark posts with particular words as spam.

7. Use the rel=nofollow attribute for links in user generated content

By default, most blog tools automatically add the rel=nofollow attribute to user generated links. Nofollow links will deter spammers from targeting your site.

8. Use anti-spam plugins

In addition to the above, anti-spam plugins can help you to keep your blog and forums spam-free. A popular anti-spam service that offers plugins for many blog and forum systems is Akismet. 

User-generated spam can have a negative effect on the rankings of your web pages. For that reason, you should make sure that this does not happen.

If you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines, your web pages must have the right content and good links. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get these. If you haven’t done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

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Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “http://blog.seoprofiler.com”.

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