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  1. #1
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    Curious about bots
    I noticed while looking for a specific person to ask a question that there are a number of bots lurking about. I realize the random questions are meant to keep them out, but when the "Welcome to our newest member" references "dbgjbjlkpeb and other users logged in include atuwtnwzthn, dbgjbjlkpeb, gyhmfxascfo, ihichmvghju, mwtwqehqjkx, qotntqxaolj, as well as MSNBot(7), Google(8), Lycos(12), Yahoo! Slurp(2), Turnitin.com, Google AdSense...well, it makes a guy wonder.

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LearnForce Partners View Post
    ...well, it makes a guy wonder.
    What is it you are wondering?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Good questions and here is a brief answer. The funky user names are sitting in moderation for me to clean out. The bots are search engine bats that are constantly crawling the site. We decided years ago to list them. Google bot crawls 300 times a day as this is an authority site and has a million pages of content.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    We employ a number of solutions to keep bots out.

    1. Captcha (weak, but it blocks the dumb bots)
    2. 3rd Party DB (we reference all registrations and first posts against known spammer DBs, which automatically blocks known spam accounts)
    3. Moderation (no replacement for good old fashioned people vigilantly defending the community)

    As Chuck mentioned, the Search bots are nothing to be alarmed about - those are friendly bots hanging out here, and they are the reason you can Google a thread title on ABW and often times find it as the top result in SERPs just hours after the thread was posted.

    Following the note above, ABW ranks strongly on SERPs because Google sees it as an authority. That makes it an attractive target to spammers. The account naming conventions you see are a result of spammers who use tools like XRumer to register accounts and spam messages across hundreds of forums in a nonsensical fashion. There are schmucks who tell people that works for helping them build successful websites, but really I think they are fleecing misinformed affiliates.

    While we block all previously known spammers or newly active spammers, we do not delete accounts - many of the automated bot accounts may show up in the new users list, but they may be already banned from posting, or they are often otherwise restricted from posting as a result of our automated defenses. Our moderators are not asked to waste their time deleting these spammer accounts, as they have better ways to spend their time doing their day job, or just participating on the site as regular members - there is nothing to gain, and only time wasted by deleting accounts which are obviously automated bot accounts - if they ever manage to actually post, the message is deleted and they get banned almost immediately.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

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  6. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    The account naming conventions you see are a result of spammers who use tools like XRumer to register accounts and spam messages across hundreds of forums in a nonsensical fashion. There are schmucks who tell people that works for helping them build successful websites, but really I think they are fleecing misinformed affiliates.
    I'm not sure why you would want to equate spammers with affiliates. Of the thousands of spammers I've seen banned over the years, I can recall very, very few that were affiliates.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I'm not sure why you would want to equate spammers with affiliates. Of the thousands of spammers I've seen banned over the years, I can recall very, very few that were affiliates.
    Michael, from what I have seen affiliates are getting more savvy when it comes to using tech. That's not to say that your statement is wrong, I'm sure it is correct. Just an observation.

    And thanks guys it was really "just curious." I recognize the value of allowing search engine bots to wander and index the site...content is king and there is a ton of content and commentary on affiliate marketing here.

    Thanks for the replies.

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I'm not sure why you would want to equate spammers with affiliates. Of the thousands of spammers I've seen banned over the years, I can recall very, very few that were affiliates.
    Most people posting xrumer spam are directing traffic or building linkjuice for web properties where someone makes income off that traffic.

    Many spammers are affiliates. Many affiliates are not spammers. Both those statements are true.

    Maybe you don't recognize the types of people who use xrumer as affiliates (I wouldn't consider them legitimate affiliates), but if you look around blackhatworld there are a number of affiliates interested in and discussing the use of xrumer to do what they call affiliate marketing. I'm not making this stuff up, look around to see what is going on around.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

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  10. #8
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    Matt,

    I do understand...and I am familiar with BHW. Interestingly, someone recently purchased our old web address. When we bought Lambers we changed the URL because we were developing additional products besides the CPA review. Paul, the founders son, didn't forward the renewal information to us (he's a smart guy but didn't realize we'd want to renew the old URL and continue with the redirects) and an affiliate marketer bought it. He actually told me that he bought it from an auction site, bought it for the links, and that I didn't understand how internet marketing works. Looking through the blog he set up I found some strange character strings and realized he had copied a web page from a french tax site and used Google Translate to load the stuff into the blog. I assume that is to get the bots crawling and indexing for the term CPA and tax. I've seen this kind of stuff (tactics) in other forums.

    Currently I am contacting every site that links to the old URL and asking them to change their link information. It's a lot more work but the links do have value.

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