Yearly Archives: 2011

Article Sites Going The Way of the CAPTCHA

Many bookmark sites cannot be added to IMAutomator due to the fact that they require a CAPTCHA to be filled in on the submission page – this is a dynamically generated image containing some combination of letters / numbers designed especially prevent automated submissions.

Actually they can be added – but unfortunately there is a cost associated with submission. We’re going to be adding support for a service called Decaptcher which allows these codes to be entered during a submission process like ours. But for now, we simply don’t include the sites in IMAutomator.

Most of the article directories that we use are based on a number of popular templates and it would appear that one of the templates has recently had an upgrade which places one of these CAPTCHAS on the submission page for these so we’re having to remove them also. 5 Sites were removed today but luckily we have a few more article sites on the list ready to be tested for submission next week so we should be able to get the numbers back over 50 again soon.

Sites Back Up (Again!)

The name server issie has been resolved now so our network of sites is fully working again now. There are some issues with a few others sites but nothing out of the ordinary. Aviation Central appears to have died and we have now removed that. We’re getting intermittent problems with V12 and EBaums World but we’re working on those. After Christmas we’ll be working again to bring in some more sites.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year people!

Site Issue Ongoing

All of our sites are up and running on the new server but something odd is happening with the domains which is causing some of them to continue to point at the old server. Our new host is working on the issue and has advised us that it will be resolved soon!

Sites Back Up, And Support Over Christmas

The sites on our network are back up and running now but initial stats are showing that the performance isn’t quite 100% so we’ll be keeping an eye on that and possibly tweaking things on the server if need be.

There will be no IMAutomator support on the 25th & 26th December; any emails and issues over these couple of days will be addressed on the 27th. Happy Holidays people and honestly, if you’re reading this – stop working and go spend some time with your families! 🙂

New Server Up, Sites Will Be Back Soon

We mentioned in the last post that the host on which a network of sites (that we own) took our account down for consuming too much CPU (!). Unfortunately they were not able to resolve this for us – Bad HostGator! Therefore we have now purchased a dedicated server from an alternative host.

This server is now up and running and all the sites that went down should also be back (with all data intact) within 24 hours. Thanks for your patience!

A Few Sites Temporarily Down

We have a few sites in our system that are on the same host. This host has determined that they are using too much CPU and has temporarily disabled the account. We are currently in negotiations with them to arrive at a solution and the sites will be back online soon – apologies for the inconvenience.

Language Bug Fix

The language check bug has now been fixed (just needed a quick change to the API that we use!) and the language detection has now been reinstated on the submitter.

On the subject of language detection… sometimes it has some difficulty with products when there are brands and model numbers in the title. The workaround to this is to ensure that there is plenty of plain text for it to work with. If you get an error saying that your contec is not in English when submitting something of this kind, just put a couple of extra sentences into the description field and it should go through properly.

Language Check Bug

We have encountered a problem which caused the language check to fail and report an unknown language for all submissions. We have disabled the check until a fix is found so submissions are working again now. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Spam Moderation System Now in Place

We’ve had a spam filter in place for some months now but it was rather crude and would only be applied manually after the submission had already taken place so members did not know if their jobs had been marked as spam until they next logged in and saw their job flagged and the warning that goes with it.

What we have now done is to move the spam filter check up a level to the point of submission. Now when you submit a job if the spam filter suspects that the job could be spam it will place that job into a moderation queue where it will stay until it is moderated by a human.

When moderated the job will either be deemed to be not spam in which case it will be accepted and submitted at that point just as if the member had submitted or it will be rejected and a warning will be placed on the member account as before but the job will never enter the system.

Note that we now have a link to our submission guidelines on the actual submission form so if you are in any doubt as to the content of your link, please check those guidelines.

Bookmark Sites List Will Temporarily Drop This Week

We added a bunch of sites a little while ago that appear to be from the same network and all seem to have stopped working at some point over the last weekend. We’ll give them a few more days to see if they recover and if not they will be removed before the end of the week.

Usually we’d replace them right away but we are actually putting a hold on adding new sites until we have implemented two new features. We have noticed that in recent months IMAutomator seems to have grown to a point where keeping a low profile is more difficult.

This is the reason why we are having a crackdown on the content that gets submitted. When IMAutomator began, we made just a handful of submissions daily but now that number is into 6 figures on a daily basis and that gets noticed! If our accounts get banned that is bad news for the system as a whole so we need to be ultra-strict about what gets submitted!

So, we have now enforced English language submissions, have introduced a spam blacklist and our next task is to take the spam filter one step further and introduce a moderation system. Any job that could potentially be spam will actually be put on hold until it can be human-moderated.

The second feature is an internal improvement to our account pool to lessen the impact of accounts being suspended if it does happen.

We don’t like it when our accounts get banned – it would be much better if we are able to play extremely nice with the sites we submit to so that it is a win-win-win all round. Our members get backlinks, we get paid and the sites get good content submitted.

So… once we have these two new features in place we shall continue adding new sites but until then we expect the list to drop to just over 20 by the end of the week. This will have no impact for free members and for the Pro members, remember to use the Secondary Submissions tool on a regular basis so that you can pick up all those extra backlinks when the new sites do get added.

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