Do you see some auto-generated content in comments sections or forum threads? It may include some content that you may not want to be visible on your website. In a recent post by Google, they included some suggestion on how to protect your site from user generated spam.
In most of the cases, spammers abuse sites owned by someone else, by posting deceiving content and links. This is done to get more traffic to their website. Here is an example.
So how to protect your site from user generated spam?
- Keep your forum software updated – Make sure your forum software is up to date. Install latest security update and keep an eye on any important issue with your forum software.
- Add a CAPTCHA – this is effective in case of bots. CAPTCHAs require users to confirm that they are not robots in order to prove they’re a human being and not an automated script.
- Block suspicious activity – You can set time limits between two posts. Also, you can find a plugin to monitor huge traffic from a particular IP address. For example, phpBB, Simple Machines, myBB, and many other forum platforms enable such configurations.
- Keep an eye on Forum’s top posters – Keep checking their content, and make sure they are not spammy.
- Use moderation feature – If possible, enable moderation feature. For example, you can restrict users from posting links before they reach a certain level. If possible, change your settings so that you disallow anonymous posting and make posts from new users require approval before they’re publicly visible.
- Use the “nofollow” attribute for links in the comment field. This will deter spammers from targeting your site. By default, many blogging sites (such as Blogger) automatically add this attribute to any posted comments.
- Use automated systems to defend your site. Comprehensive systems like Akismet, which has plugins for many blogs and forum systems are easy to install and do most of the work for you.
You can also take help from official Google help article about User Generated Spam.