This is a particular pernicious form of spam. The spammers join forums and create fake user profile to leave a link back to their website in the profile, again in the vain hope that it will help their search engine rankings. Forum admins and owners do not want them and often complain about them. They put in many automated tools to block them and then manually check them later (ay least those who have the resources and time to do so), so that they can be deleted. Despite the many automated tools to block these, many manually created fake profiles pass under the radar. Google and the other search engines make it clear that websites should not link out to ‘bad neighborhoods’, so forum admins do not want this profile spam and the potential harm it could create for their own websites. They want more control of those links going out from their websites. They want the legitimate users to have links to complete their profiles so other members of the forum can get to know them and who they are.
Does forum profile spam actually work? Those that sell the forum profile making spam claim it does. Those heavily invested in the spam claim that it does, but that is mostly wishful thinking:
- Most will probably get deleted anyway when found (assuming that got past the automated checkers)
- Most will be nofollow’d and be of no benefit
- Most won’t get indexed, so will be of no benefit
- The search engines are not stupid and know this goes on (surely they can see a zillion forum profiles links to the same site with a post count of zero in each of the forums. They can tell a fake profile when they see one)
- PageRank (or PR) is based per page and not on the home page of the website, so forum profile will only rarely get above PR0 and be of no benefit
- Google specifically warns against creating fake user accounts! They obviously do that for a reason.
- Most forum profile pages have over 100 or so internal and external links on a page. Any link juice has to be shared by those 100 links. So a page with next to no link juice, divided by 100 means the link juice from that one link is nothing or miniscule.