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Pros and Cons: Allow signature links on a forum

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Zanswer, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. #1
    I’m building a forum and still debating on whether or not to allow signature links by members.
    SEMrush
    The drawback is obvious: lots of people will just post “I agree” repeatedly to get free backlinks (this is not the case on DP, of course :). But on the other hand, it does make the board look busy and attact more visitors, especially at the beginning. My forum is not webmaster related so the main audience shouldn’t be interested in SEO stuff. For this reason I’m inclinded to allow links. I know many members on this board have done this multiple times, so what is your take?

    Thanks.
     
    Zanswer, Jun 25, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Teunel

    Teunel Guest

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    #2
    I also use signatures. Most of the time, it's for my members to show off their Photoshop skills. Just like you said, lots of people aren't interested in SEO, so I don't see a reason why you shouldn't include signatures.
     
    Teunel, Jun 25, 2007 IP
  3. DeViAnThans3

    DeViAnThans3 Peon

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    #3
    My feedback: allow it! Really, it makes that your forum gets quite a bit more active. Of course, you could limit the amount of links in the signatures ...
     
    DeViAnThans3, Jun 26, 2007 IP
  4. Etherfast

    Etherfast Peon

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    #4
    You should allow it. A forum with too many restrictions, doesn't look too good.
     
    Etherfast, Jun 26, 2007 IP
  5. ShReYaS

    ShReYaS Peon

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    #5
    Allow pics with a restricted size and allow only limited links...
     
    ShReYaS, Jun 26, 2007 IP
  6. mickmel

    mickmel Peon

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    #6
    I agree. Allow them, but limit them to some degree.
     
    mickmel, Jun 26, 2007 IP
  7. stribny

    stribny Peon

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    #7
    Definitely yes, but you can have some restrictions for them in forum rules (for example only non-commercial links).
     
    stribny, Jun 29, 2007 IP
  8. Endurer

    Endurer Well-Known Member

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    #8
    I've had bad luck with it so I wouldn't recommend it. There were lots of spammers joining in just for the sake of signatures. Now I do have signatures, but guests (or bots, for that matter) cannot view them.
     
    Endurer, Jun 29, 2007 IP
    EGS likes this.
  9. rickdev

    rickdev Peon

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    #9
    Just do something like this site does. Make it so that they have to have a certain amount of post and age of the account. Most accounts that get created for spamming will not stick around long enough to get the required post or account age to have a signature.

    I allow them on my site and I think the users like it to express their creative juices or advertise their site.
     
    rickdev, Jun 29, 2007 IP
  10. Colleen

    Colleen Illustrious Member

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    #10
    It's pretty stingy not to allow signature links, it's the least you can offer your members for their dedication to your forum, without them, you'd not have a forum. ;)
     
    Colleen, Jun 29, 2007 IP
  11. 1-3-3-7

    1-3-3-7 Well-Known Member

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    #11
    I think your concern is that your afraid they might advertise competitors, for example you have a fishing forum, and then one of your members advertises a bigger fishing forum in their signature.

    You could disallow competing sites, however, this shows that your insecure about your site. So it has it's ups and downs.
     
    1-3-3-7, Jun 30, 2007 IP
  12. clancey

    clancey Peon

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    #12
    If you are creating a community forum around a topic -- like DP -- signatures are a good because people feel involved and welcome.

    If you are creating a support forum for a product than I think signatures are not necessary.
     
    clancey, Jun 30, 2007 IP
  13. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #13
    Put a non sequitur rule in, as well as an anti-one-liner rule, then enforce them. An infraction or two for breaking the rules should cut down on the number of "I agree" type posts. You can also just auto-delete "PM-sent" type posts, as new PMs are obvious on log in, and certainly don't need a post to let people know.

    You can also limit the size of signatures in various degrees.

    On my forum we allow images for signatures and have a 200x400 size. The size is eyeballed by the mod team, and rarely broken...but then, I have a non-webmaster forum as well so spamming is the farthest things from most members minds.

    Spammers are generally easy to spot and get rid of... so give sigs a chance :D
     
    Qryztufre, Jun 30, 2007 IP
  14. rdv817

    rdv817 Peon

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    #14
    I use phpbb2 and is not related to webmasters. I made it to be like DP, the members must make a certain # of posts and wait a certain # of days before they can post signature links.

    For me this works...it prevents the spambots and allows actual active users to self promote if they wish.
     
    rdv817, Jul 2, 2007 IP
  15. Zanswer

    Zanswer Peon

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    #15
    Thanks for the suggestions. I was leaning toward allowing signatures, so will very likely do so after this thread. I don't really mind if members trying to promote their own stuff, even websites, as long as they don't over do it and in the mean time still contribute to the forum. But some other members might be annoyed by that.

    This will be the first forum for me, so have to learn from scratch.
     
    Zanswer, Jul 7, 2007 IP
  16. llamafier

    llamafier Peon

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    #16
    I agree, and all my users would be really bothered if they couldn't put their huge image in their signature(as much as I hate it).
     
    llamafier, Jul 8, 2007 IP