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How do you tell an honest software fan from a ruthless advertiser

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February 29, 2012 9:31:20 AM

Hi,

I sometimes see messages with links to different shareware products (especially in data recovery). I can't help but start wondering if they are affiliated to the products' makers, and just want to put out the word, and get higher search engine ratings.

But if they are, they are really getting sophisticated. They set up an account, post a couple messages without links, just advice, like "there are data recovery tools, use Google to find one", and after some time, they put in *THE LINK*. It's all about the link...

But how is that different to an honest person, who had a good experience in the past using a specific piece of software, and wants to recommend it, in good faith, to others? (Like me.) It's really a poetic question, I'm just wondering...


They make some errors, though (and if they read this, they'll learn, unfortuately...). Resurrecting old threads is quite a tell. Answers which are only marginally relevant to the OP... like recommending a mac software and there wasn't any indication of mac so far in the thread. And yes, the registration date, and considering all the contribution someone provided, to decide... maybe that's the only way. I don't envy the moderators. :) 
February 29, 2012 5:18:45 PM



Posters with numbers of posts in single figures is a good indication. I just draw the Mods' attention to it and assume they have lists of IP addresses of folks they barred before but as you say, no cause to envy them.

March 1, 2012 8:09:09 AM

They are most likely spamming for SEO reasons, but external links on this site are all NoFollow links.

You can generally sense spam after a while. For starters, few people will link to a piece of software using "data recovery tool" as the anchor text.
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March 1, 2012 1:25:16 PM

An "advanced" method could be to try to interact with the suspect. They probably don't want to put in too much of their time to maintain the disguise.

An amusing, but a little bit frustrating story:
The other day, I saw a spam message, and I pressed the Report button. When I got back, I saw that a prominent member (not moderator) had replied to the message in the meantime. His reply was quite brilliantly composed, a serious (non spammer) member probably would have felt inclined to respond. At least I believe, that that was the intention.
Unfortunately, after a while, the spam message (along with the spammer, I think) disappeared, so I never knew if it would have worked out or not, so I was a little bit angry to myself. :) 
March 1, 2012 1:33:25 PM

Oh, and while I got your attention (now I'm hijacking my own thread). I reported some messages from different threads today, but I checked them later on, I noticed that the whole threads are inaccessible now. (The reported messages were just a replies to otherwise perfecly legit threads.) I hope it is just temporary, but the guys who started the threads might be a little bit confused, I'm afraid. Maybe it's the standard procedure and I'm too impatient.

I find the prompt response action very effective anyways. Good job.
March 1, 2012 1:39:42 PM

Ahh, and one another topic we touched here earlier. The other side.

I have only marginal experience with it. I went to a job interview, and it was a written "exam", and to my great surprise, there was an excercise, in which there was a promotion text, and I had to re-compose it, so that the meaning should remain the same, but I had to use different words. (The interesting part was that it was in English, and I'm not in an English speaking country, neither is English my first language.)

I didn't get the job, anyway. Dunno why (I know I kill the language sometimes, especially under pressure ;-) that's why I read my messages after I post an I go and correct the mistakes... haha :) . But maybe not a big loss, afterall. :) 
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