Backlink Hijinks

The OpenSees message board is kind of a mess. Not due to posters, responders, or moderators, but because of the huge amount of spam posts. I’ve seen various forms of message board spam including offers for cell phone numbers, online games, and refrigeration equipment, as well as some spam that’s NSFW.

Removing all the spam is an uphill battle, but we’re starting to make some progress. After a routine YouTube search for new OpenSees content, a friend discovered this video on backlinks. Although the video is not in English, it’s pretty easy to see what’s happening and why the YouTuber chose the OpenSees message board.

The backlink method described in the video is essentially a backdoor SEO approach, as discussed in this post on the OpenSees Facebook group. The DA and PA numbers shown in the YouTube thumbnail represent Domain Authority and Page Authority. The berkeley.edu domain on which the OpenSees message board is hosted ranks high in DA and PA; therefore, it’s a good place to backlink from.

Below is an example of a backlink on the OpenSees message board. The post is very short and generic and does not contribute to the discussion. In the signature there is a link to a website that has nothing to do with OpenSees, finite element analysis, or earthquake engineering.

Now we just need to figure out where all the other message board spam comes from!

5 thoughts on “Backlink Hijinks

  1. I don’t sympathyze with spammers at all, but I can’t help feeling some relief seeing how easily humans beat AI. The solution is very frequently out of the problem domain.

    Having said that, I hope you’ll find a solution soon.

    Liked by 2 people

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