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It seems spammers have found a way to work around spam filters using the URL in the user profile. This can come from the Home Page field in the form that unregistered users must fill out (the following image is from Android Enthusiasts):

Unregistered user form from Android Enthusiasts

At least one user (see here) has exploited this by posting a very short answer (10k only) without a spam link, instead taking advantage of the website field in the user profile to link to the spam website, in an attempt to score SEO points for the website. Any ideas on how to address this?

Here's a clearer illustration on how it works: How the URL in the user profile can be for spamming, without posting a spam link in an answer

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    I'm actually glad they do that. Makes it easier to identify them. – slhck Aug 25 '12 at 10:16
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    Even if ist were a link, it'd be nofollowed. – Daniel Beck Aug 25 '12 at 15:17
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    While I fully agree this is shady, he's a user, and he put his website in the field offered for doing so. So, I'm not sure doing this is "spam"? If someone decided to put www.amazon.com as the URL in their profile (say because they REALLY like Amazon, and don't have their own website), would that be spam that needs to addressed? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 25 '12 at 19:15
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You don't score SEO points on just text. It has to be an active and valid link. Fresh in the pants spammers might think they're hot shot in plunking down an URL in that field, but it's just text.

If you want to help them get nowhere, just flag their posts as the spam it already is. The URL in their profile isn't even linked until they have 15 reputation.

  • Search engines do cache the URL, even if it is not a valid link. This could be used to associate a common search query, which is in the username (in this case, laptop batteries), with the URL in the profile. i.stack.imgur.com/fe8LP.png – bwDraco Aug 25 '12 at 4:59
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    They cache the text, yes. But it's not a link you can click on or drive traffic to. – random Aug 25 '12 at 5:24

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