Cleaned up spam accounts

Hey guys,

When I upgraded the forum, I did a massive users cleanup.

There were still remaining spam accounts, most of them publicly displayed advertising URLs in their profile, and I just got rid of 8200 of such accounts.

The cleanup should be safe, but just in case, if you encounter possibly related issues when using the forum in the following hours/days, please notify me.

But again, that shouldn’t happen, I’m just being extra careful.

Fun fact: on 180000 accounts, only 13500 are actually legit or active users :exploding_head:.
166500 accounts were either spam or unused accounts (never posted anything).


Holly fudge. :scream:
Nice job!

I seem to remember that on the old forum if you had a link in your signature, Google considered every single post you made to be a separate backlink, which made it rather good for SEO!

What do you call a “separate backlink”? I don’t know much about SEO.

So Google uses backlinks (among many other things) to determine how popular your site is, and therefore how high they should maybe put it when someone’s searching for similar website terms.

Any public link to your site that’s not on your site is considered to be a unique backlink. On the old forum if you had 3k posts and you updated your signature to be a link, Google would count that as 3k backlinks (once it had re-indexed all of those pages).

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I think that the type of page that the link is on also affects how good Google considers the backlink to be.
Forums and blogs being better than just standard webpages as someone’s likely to be posting about it more genuinely - that’s why you see so many mostly-nonsense free-to-host blogs that just scrape random content and post a series of links within them.

I’m pretty sure Google knew was a spammer’s dream, so the links probably didn’t matter much, but still people would pay the spammers for a certain number of backlinks, and they could point out the page authority score of a page to meet their guarantee. The most common spammers would just create an account and update the links in their profile and leave. We used an old version of vbulletin which never marked the links as nofollow links, which help tell the search engines to not count that link. I wanted to prune these accounts and glad it happened now. With less spam links, Google will probably rescore the site and the existing links will have more of an SEO impact.

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@Eddbmxdude, was it you that I was talking to some years ago about the backlinks?

By default, links posted by users are nofollow until they reach trust level 3.


Possibly. I always had a link to my site in my signature but because it was coming from one URL it always had a pretty low value for SEO.

Soooo, signatures aren’t a thing anymore?

Nah… :slight_smile:

Signatures are so 2019 ! :rofl:
I do miss the post count and location under the user’s icon though. I know, I can click on the said icon to see the info, but it’s not the same.

I agree, even when I click on the members profile I don’t see where they are from or have any idea of age as we used to have in the old format. It makes it hard to interact if we don’t have a clue if a person is a 10 year old kid in Timbuktu or senior citizen in the US.


You can enter your location (as precise or unprecise as you want) in your profile:

It is also displayey when somebody clicks on your icon in a thread.

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No age?


We can’t add a date field in users profiles, only regular text, checkbox or dropdown.
Further customization would require some coding and I don’t know how to do that.

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That is too bad, I found the location and age to be a very useful thing in the old forum. Like I said above, “It makes it hard to interact if we don’t have a clue if a person is a 10 year old kid in Timbuktu or senior citizen in the US”.
I don’t like FB for several reasons but one advantage they have is that you can usually get an idea who you are talking to. Even in the individual profiles here, many do not list a general location.

In my case age doesn’t mean much. I just turned 45, but usually behave like a 12 year old :smiley:. Not only my wife says that. At work I’m the only one who loves creating Easter eggs in our software. The others are too serious for that.