What is Sur.ly?
Sur.ly is a free WordPress plugin created to defend your web project, personal blog or forum against spam attacks. Owing to its specific anti-spam method you can use it both as a single solution on your site or in combination with other tools to raise the overall level of protection. Sur.ly eliminates all malefic spam links which probably were “lucky” enough to pass through all other barriers, like human-verification tests, and puts its safe links instead of that unwanted ones to secure your site and visitors against many potential problems (hereafter I will explain why this technique is effective).
Why removing any unverified outbound links from your website is vital?
As you know linking your resource to other decent sites with the same subject is critical for its further promotion and traffic growth. When spammers attack your website they usually try to intrude its user-generated sections, like comments or forum, and post a bunch of unsafe links leading to some illicit content (adult, warez, etc.), malicious stuff (spyware, malware) or just irrelevant ads. Such hyperlinks can endanger computers and online privacy of site visitors who might infect their systems with viruses or phishing ware.
Of course, most of the spamming attempts can be blocked by modern anti-spam solutions, however, none of those solutions are completely reliable and the faults are not rare. If just a single spam link gets accidentally missed by protecting systems and published on your site, it might endanger your project’s legit status by involving it into a “bad link neighborhood”, meaning a relation to an outer source of prohibited content. Manually pre- or post-moderation is also not the best way out, as you risk facing quite tricky spammers that will rather hide a link in the dot within a half-wit comment (which is different than ugly “posts” typically replicated by spammers). It makes those comments and posts hard to notice and discard, especially if you have to sort a massive array of user submitted data. Moreover, this solution may require a team of watchful moderators being available 24/7 to swiftly check and process every bit of user-generated content.
The results of having any inappropriate links on your website are sad: the site will get a lower position in Google search results, suffer Page Rank drop, etc., while your Adsense account can be also suspended due to their strict policies. All this happens because illicit hyperlinks make your project less legit and valuable for search engine robots that test every outbound relation a site has before listing it in their results. In other words they consider your website as somewhat spreading malicious or illegal content, hence deserving to be less visited. Even if you use a combination of anti-spam tools, including human-verification tests, “intelligent” firewalls, etc. there is always a considerable chance to encounter breach of spam links and other improper content. That’s because spamming methods are kept continually “developed” to fight back the progress of anti-spam technologies, for example relay attacks are now used to hack the most advanced human-verification tests to let spambots in.
How does Sur.ly resolve SPAM problem?
Despite dozens of spam preventive plugins, spammers still severely pester many developing online projects. Even the most sophisticated “smart” solutions are error-prone, so not an absolute remedy – sometimes these services might block legit comments\posts and miss a portion of spam instead, leaving you responsible for fixing the consequences of their mistakes.
Sur.ly is a tool that can be your last line of anti-spam protection to ensure that no accidentally posted spam links will hurt your site. Its spam-stopping principles are proven and intelligible. They are plainly explained in the following points:
- If any unchecked content gets posted on your site, it might include unverified spam links that are a potential threat to the site and its visitors. Sur.ly will detect such links and redirect them via its service to avoid relating your site to poor sources (this will help to keep your project in its appropriate status for Google, Adsense and SiteAdvisor).
- Unapproved links can spread viruses or other bad content which might disappoint your visitors. That’s why users should get a clear warning if they decide to follow these links. Sur.ly will analyze any suspicious target web pages and show them in a safer way, via its interstitial pages, along with certain precautions to warn users.
- Spammers usually track back addresses where the users have come from to “return” and repeat their attacks. In case some users follow spam links, Sur.ly will use its referrer protection feature to stop recurrent attacks (malicious source will get only Sur.ly as the referrer).
- Spam hyperlinks often contain improper adult words, making your site less safe and less eligible. Sur.ly has an option to reduce such links down to short alphanumeric links, so no unwanted “bad words” will be spotted within your content.
That is how Sur.ly works to keep spammers away and make your project non-sensitive to their attacks. As we mentioned at the beginning this plugin is completely free. Thanks for your attention, feel free to share your opinion and ask questions right here in the comments!