Spam in forum boards consists mainly in two activities, that are the following ones:
• Spam Threads
• Spam Member Profiles
Spam threads are new topics in which spammers put lots of links, usually pharmacy drugs and sex related, in order to obtain links for their websites and gain some traffic from the search engines.
This activity, apart of being illegal, it is totally deprecated because it promotes website that may potentially sell dangerous products, scams or could even bring to phishing sites.
Moreover, letting those links stay alive on your forum board may let your pages on being penalized, if such links are categorized as “bad neighbours” from the engines.
Last but not least, users seeing too much trash on your pages won’t return on your site anymore, and you will progressively lose traffic along with having your content quality drop to nothing.
For such reasons spam prevention is essential in order to keep your forum board tidy. Therefore the main question is: how can you achieve the goal of preventing spammers infest your forum board?
First of all, you will need to moderate your board by yourself or having some dedicated moderators in order to delete spam threads when these appear. If you are using PhpBB you should find a hack to add a thread report feature so to make your regular users help you in the spam prevention task.
Also, if you want to avoid people to sign up just to put their spam website on their profile to be shown, you should activate the email confirmation on your forum script. Both PhpBB and vBulletin are supporting this feature.
Manual activation of the accounts from the forum admin may be an idea, but this would slow down new memberships and could be an unsustainable extra work from your side.
You could even remove the possibility to add a website on your members’ profiles but this could limit your legit users, and you want your community to have all the benefits you can give them.
A good solution may be to remove the live links from profiles and the member list, and this can be easily done with manual modification of your forum script. It is easily feasible on PhpBB and vBulletin as well.
If you don’t know how to do this, you can contact a professional forum promotion firm and make them do the job for you. For instance, my company is doing such jobs for the public.
About the author: Alessandro Golkar is the founder and CEO of ForumBoosting, the forum promotion and enhancement firm that established its operations in November 2005. They are helping forum owners to kickstart their board and revive old ones, putting fresh content on them, and making a proper search engine optimization on their pages. Paid forum posting is the main business, along with forum seo.