I've had a couple of issues with my forums today that I don't usually have.1)
I received the following alerts from Google Search Console:
Third-party spam detected on http://www.koptalk.com/
Google has detected a significant portion of your site being abused with spam that violates Google's Webmaster Guidelines and adds little or no value to the web. The spammy content may appear in your forums, guestbooks, social media platforms, file uploader, free hosting services, or internal search pages.
This spammy content is possibly generated by site users or other third-parties, and it leverages your site to promote spam rather than the actual subject matter of your site.
Therefore, a manual spam action has been applied to appropriate URLs matching this pattern: koptalk.com/members/ubbthreads.php?ubb=changeprefs&what=style&value=4&curl=
The good news is that we generally believe your site is of sufficient quality that we didn't see a need to take manual action on the whole site. The current manual action will only affect those pages with spammy content. However, if your site has too much spammy content like this, that may affect our overall assessment of the site, result in a bad user experience, and affect your site’s reputation and ranking.
Following are some example URLs where we found pages that have been compromised. Please review them to gain a better sense of where these spammy content appears. Please note that the list is not exhaustive.https://www.koptalk.com/members/ubbthreads.php?ubb=changeprefs&what=style&value=4&curl=http://fjtrv10-30go26.%D1%82%D0%B3%D0%BF4.%D1%80%D1%84
User-generated spam detected on http://www.koptalk.com/
To: Webmaster of http://www.koptalk.com/
Google has detected user-generated content on your site that is either malicious or of no value to Google Search users. This type of content leverages your site’s reputation to promote spam rather than the actual subject matter of your site. Therefore, a manual spam action has been applied to koptalk.com/members/ubbthreads.php?ubb=changeprefs&what=style&value=4&curl=.
This also causes your site’s URLs to appear for queries not related to your actual site content, lowering the quality of search results for Google Search users and thereby also impacting your site’s reputation and ranking. For that reason, we strongly advise you to remove the spam and file a reconsideration request. After we evaluate your site and determine that you have complied with our guidelines, we will remove this manual action.
My forums went down today due to a MySQL issue. When the forums came back online after contacting my host, the forum's theme had changed to another of my themes that I personally don't use, although it is a theme any registered user can use. I changed back to the default theme that I do use and after a few minutes the theme changed itself again despite not touching anything.
In the links that Google provided I notice the reference to 'style' value. Style 4 is the one that my theme keeps changing to even though I'm not selecting it manually. Other users are not reporting this change.
Do you have any ideas what's going on and how to fix this issue that's causing Google to flag it up to me?
My forums are a closed community for paying supporters so nobody can just register and create spammy stuff etc. I've disabled style 4 but I guess that won't just fix it. I guess they are adding my url to their urls because my domain has a good rating?
If I search 'koptalk.com/members/ubbthreads.php?ubb=changeprefs&what=style&value=4&curl=' on Google you can see it appear with many Chinese looking destination URLs. I just wondered if there's a way within Threads that I can block or deter this?
Thanks very much guys