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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    Forum Signatures No Longer Viewable To Non-Logged In Users

    In November last year we changed our approach to forum signatures so that members with less than 100 posts had their signature links tagged with the 'no follow' attribute.

    The main reason for this was an attempt to curb the volume of people posting meaningless crap on the forum, with the sole purpose of generating back links to their own sites.

    Unfortunately this softer approach did not work, so we've been forced to take another step.

    As of now, forum signatures are no longer visible to non-logged in users. Including all search engine spiders.

    We treasure the quality of this forum and whilst it's an unfortunate step we needed to take, we felt it more important to create a fluff free environment where everyone is here to be a part of the community, rather than acting in their own self interest, than the small amount of link love we could give to members.

    Will it mean the end of fluff posting? Probably not -- we are at the top of most lists of "forums to go to and link spam" around the web, so we're sure to still get the odd uninformed practitioner. But our fine team of moderators will be all over it.

    I know this will disappoint some, but I hope you can look beyond the Google juice and help bring SitePoint back to a fluff free environment.
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
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  2. #2
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
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    thank you

    thank you, thank you, thank you

    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  3. #3
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    [sigh of relief]Whew[/sigh of relief]
    What r937 said.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    thank you

    thank you, thank you, thank you
    Ditto!
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Kailash Badu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    thank you

    thank you, thank you, thank you
    Agreed.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
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    Oh no ,it is really good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by Edward.H; Jun 10, 2009 at 00:20. Reason: I respect webmaster's decisition
    WebmasterClip - a dofollow social bookmarking site for webmasters

  7. #7
    ¬.¬ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward.H View Post
    Oh no ,it is really bad news
    It is awesome news you mean!
    Maybe when you are part of the community you will understand.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict Green Moon's Avatar
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    I think it is a good thing, but I am curious to see what it does to the volume of new posts. Will it send more than the fluff away? I suspect that at least some percentage of people who made good posts chose to participate in this forum rather than another forum because of the perceived value of the signature links.

    I guess time will tell.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot falsealarm's Avatar
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    Absolutely. One of the main reasons why people contribute in forums is the return on their time investment. I post here and not only expect to get feedback/answers/knowledge in return but also the signature links. This is not the sole but an added benefit to being a member of this forum. However, when there are several other forums to contribute and receive both the main and added values, when contribute here? This is what a considerable portion of the members will think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Moon View Post
    I think it is a good thing, but I am curious to see what it does to the volume of new posts. Will it send more than the fluff away? I suspect that at least some percentage of people who made good posts chose to participate in this forum rather than another forum because of the perceived value of the signature links.

    I guess time will tell.

  10. #10
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falsealarm View Post
    an added benefit to being a member of this forum.
    You said it. An added benefit which spammers abuse of. I repeat, an added benefit, not a mandatory benefit.

    If there were not so many people trying to break the rules, there would have not been a problem and signatures would have been dofollow.

    Quote Originally Posted by falsealarm View Post
    However, when there are several other forums to contribute and receive both the main and added values, when contribute here? This is what a considerable portion of the members will think.
    I take your point and I understand it although it is a bit of a shock to me that some people can't simply understand why this decission has been taken and prefer being spammed than keeping the quality up.

    I will insist on the fact that a forum is not created to satisfy your need of backlinks but to respecfully discuss about common interest topics.

    @slappy12 - you certainly love attention

    The picture came unexpected and it is amusing indeed, yet it is unappropiate for this thread and completely unnecessary to make your point. Please, remove it. Thank you.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    It is awesome news you mean!
    Maybe when you are part of the community you will understand.
    Yes haha,I am new
    WebmasterClip - a dofollow social bookmarking site for webmasters

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I dont understand, does this mean that all signatures are now non follow?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I'm confuzled, right now I'm posting this, and Mittineague is offline. So, he is not logged in right now. But I see his sig? And can click his links?

    So, what happened?

    Don't forget, you can always simply remove signatures entirely if this doesn't work. We don't come here for the sigs, lawlz.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I'm confuzled, right now I'm posting this, and Mittineague is offline. So, he is not logged in right now. But I see his sig? And can click his links?
    That's because you are logged in. It doesn't matter if the person who posted is logged in; it's whether the person or spider who reads the post is logged in.

    Search engine spiders are never logged in, so they will never see the spam signature links.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  15. #15
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asset Finance View Post
    I dont understand, does this mean that all signatures are now non follow?
    It means your signature won't even be seen by non-logged in users, search engine spiders, etc.

    In other words, there's no point in posting fluff just to gain exposure for your signature, even if you've accumulated more than 100 posts.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    so we now post on here for the love of helping others with there questions?

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asset Finance View Post
    so we now post on here for the love of helping others with there questions?
    I always have
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
    marketing, business and life in general.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asset Finance View Post
    so we now post on here for the love of helping others with there questions?
    That is the whole idea, yeah.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  19. #19
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asset Finance View Post
    so we now post on here for the love of helping others with there questions?
    And to ask questions of your own, interact with the community, and have a good time. SitePoint has never been a link factory, and anyone who truly believes that forum signature links have an appreciable SEO value really need to learn the truth - it doesn't.

    Take r937 for instance. He has over 20,000 posts to his credit. (I also have over 15,000, but that's beside the point.) Now that the search engines can't see his signature links, are his rankings for the keywords in his signature going to change significantly? Nope - and if they do because of this (and it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt), I'll buy the entire SitePoint staff - that's the company, not the volunteers such as myself who help run the forums - dinner. When I fly down to Australia. On my own dime.

    And you can take that cheque all the way to the bank.

  20. #20
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    are his rankings for the keywords in his signature going to change significantly? Nope
    I don't think there's any likelihood of that being wrong. You get a far greater benefit from real people following the signature links at the bottom of useful posts where the links are relevant than any benefit you'd get from the search engines seeing them.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
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  21. #21
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asset Finance View Post
    so we now post on here for the love of helping others with there questions?
    That's what community is all about!

    Thank you Admin!
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    That's what community is all about!

    Thank you Admin!
    I dont have a lot of posts ..but I joined SP some 5 years ago and surely it has been a great help for me since then! Learnt a lot from here...

    Maybe increasing the limit from 100 posts to something like 500 or 1000 posts would have been a better option than outright disabling of forum sigs for non-logged users. Maybe..

  23. #23
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umairmasood View Post
    Maybe increasing the limit from 100 posts to something like 500 or 1000 posts would have been a better option than outright disabling of forum sigs for non-logged users. Maybe..
    Why would they do that when what they have done has the same effect and is easier to apply?
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Why would they do that when what they have done has the same effect and is easier to apply?
    rite... but yea even I'd have wanted my sig to be visible to the search engines. Anyways, I have no problem with the decision taken on this issue... I m happy either way.

    SP remains to be the most professionally maintained webmaster forum I know of... doesnt change that

  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast ajcones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    That's what community is all about!

    Thank you Admin!
    Yeah, I agree. It's one of the reason why we're here and not only by aiming the backlinks. Alhtough some of us here will not agree on this new rule but it's the forum rule, so we must to accept this.


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