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Wiki spam begone!

December 21, 2010

Where there are users and content, spammers are sure to follow.

They don’t take hints, they don’t make sense and they certainly can’t be rationalised with.

Spammers are not really hoping that you will click on their links, although if you do they are likely to be happier. Their actual goal is to improve their position in Google searches. Wikis are characterized by their open access and willingness to let anyone edit pages. Google measures its PageRank based on links from one site to another, weighted by the PageRank of the site linking to the other. Wikis are PageRank machines, being both massively linked and with hundreds or thousands of pages. These two factors, openness and PageRank, make wikis like Zenbu a tempting target for spam attacks.

Spamming Zenbu is pointless, because external links have the rel=nofollow attribute, which means they will get no google ranking boost at all. However, many spammers seem not to realize this, and carpet-bomb anyway.

Online battery sales and Italian shoes have been popular additions on Zenbu over the last few months. One particular community member, thanks burgla!, has been removing the entries as fast as they arrive – we ban the users but they have just kept coming.

From today edits and additions will be restricted by a number of factors including the country of user origin and Zenbu country targeted. We trust that this will reduce the time-wastage caused by spammers and allow the Zenbu community to focus more on growing valuable content.

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