Arantor

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Powered by SMF footer
« on July 12th, 2013, 09:43 AM »
Something I've been noticing for a while, but it's only recently that I've had enough information to form any kind of hypothesis about it.

The biggest way of sites getting found is by having the 'Powered by SMF' in the footer. Not a specific version but simply that footer. I have a number of SMF sites that have questions that haven't been changed in months - but that the bots just haven't found the sites. All the sites are in Google but they're not being picked up by the spam bots at all.

It's one more trait to discouraging spam, giving them something less to target. The other software has essentially the same problem: if you have powered-by-whatever in the footer that's common to most installs, it's an easy way to be found.

Of course, this is at odds with the implied advertising of software where the footer is used to indicate what the software is that the site is running in order to get some cheap promotion, but perhaps it's reason to consider something else instead that can't be searched by Google. I don't know what that would entail at this stage but it's something to think about. Meanwhile I'm quite happy being low-spam ;)
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Nao

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Re: Powered by SMF footer
« Reply #1, on July 12th, 2013, 11:10 AM »
Removing the credit is something that can be done for SMF, but not for Wedge -- unless we establish some kind of paid 'authorization' to do that per site, right now there's no other way to get known (and thus used) than through this kind of exposition, of course...

But when it comes to SMF itself, I'm sure if it became more widespread, bots would simply get smarter and look for ?action=whatever in the URL, or whatever is SMF-only that doesn't relate to using footer text, really...

Arantor

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Re: Powered by SMF footer
« Reply #2, on July 12th, 2013, 05:34 PM »
Quote from Nao on July 12th, 2013, 11:10 AM
But when it comes to SMF itself, I'm sure if it became more widespread, bots would simply get smarter and look for ?action=whatever in the URL, or whatever is SMF-only that doesn't relate to using footer text, really...
Doesn't work like that. Can you, right now, do a search in Google that will find SMF sites based on having action=profile in the URL? (SMF doesn't unlink profiles, so any that has any kind of public presence will have profile links. So any SMF site that has a public presence will have that in it.)

As opposed to a straight up Google search for the phrase 'powered by SMF' which will guarantee to find you SMF installations. By the way, Xrumer knows about this. It also does similar for the other main forum software.
Quote from Nao on July 12th, 2013, 11:10 AM
Removing the credit is something that can be done for SMF, but not for Wedge -- unless we establish some kind of paid 'authorization' to do that per site, right now there's no other way to get known (and thus used) than through this kind of exposition, of course...
Oh, I'm well aware of that, I even mentioned it in my post. Which is why I specifically suggested maybe we need to look at something else that won't be searchable but will be shown to users. Perhaps an image containing it. Perhaps using CSS to insert content. Whatever... as long as it is harder to find through Google to get an easy reduction in spam for no apparent hit to any other SEO factor.

Auk

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Re: Powered by SMF footer
« Reply #3, on July 13th, 2013, 09:20 PM »
Anyone creating a bot specifically for Wedge will find a way to spam anyway. We can only reduce the impact at the expense of convenience and ease to use.

Most people do not bother modifying their copy of the install. Most people (at least me) will find a way to know how I can obtain a copy of an install used by another website. It is true that I will come across a website and not know what content manager the website owner used. I learned about phpBB and etc purely by the logo that appears on webpages. Not the "powered by". Desperately, I will learn about the origins of various softwares by copyright/credits that appears on the page.

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