Each question/answer in isolation is not bad, per se, but it's clear the user is farming for traffic.


I'd think there's a role for the moderators to play here, but whats a lowly user to do? Downvote? Comment? Flag?

2 Answers 2


Putting on my user hat for a moment, I would take each question / answer in isolation (i.e., don't imply intent based on previous contributions). I think that links to one's own site are totally legitimate in well-written content. For example, an answer that looked something like:

"I have encountered a problem like you describe in above-question. As I said over here[link to my totallyAwesomeSiteD00D]:

Quote of relevant content, edited for brevity, including some choice bits indicating
why it was selected.

In your specific situation, I would recommend doing specific-thing instead of what I originally suggested because of some-good-reason. Words words words."

In contrast, a one-liner that looks like this is going to get a down-vote from me:

Try this: [link].

unless that link is solid gold. Even then, I'm going to comment on the answer to say something like "hey, this could be a good answer - please make a bit more of an effort so I can up-vote it."

In terms of this specific situation, their site looks an awful lot like an attempted clone of the stackexchange format with a few cuts and pastes of other people's content. Unless they pick up a lot more useful material, harvesting a bit of our modest traffic isn't really going to do them any good in the long run.

EDIT to add a bit of follow-up: I'm seeing this site show up a lot "www dot automotix dot net" in what are clearly spam answers. I'm now actively interested in tuning the spam filter to start assuming that any content with a link to that site is automatically assumed to be spam.

Admittedly, this has been a pretty annoying day. But still!

  • Is there a general StackExchange policy for this sort of thing? It has to have come up on other sites before, but I'm too lazy to go Meta Mining at the moment. Dec 5, 2012 at 19:45
  • 3
    Hi @MarkJohnson, the FAQ section on promotion makes it clear that occasional, relevant promotion, with an affiliation disclaimer is okay, but if the bulk of your posts are to promote your product, the post could be flagged as spam and/or deleted. Judging by the lack of actual content, these posts don't look very genuine to me. I'd suggest the removal of the links, then leave the user a nice comment pointing to the relevant section of the FAQ.
    – jmort253
    Dec 16, 2012 at 9:37
  • @jmort253, yes this quote is the point that I was trying to make above with the exception that the FAQ is official language and less silly than my examples above.
    – Bob Cross Mod
    Dec 17, 2012 at 1:38
  • 3
    Hi Bob, your examples aren't silly, but I do think there is a slight difference between a link-only answer and someone egregiously trying to promote their product. Both are bad, but in slightly different ways. At least the link-only answers are genuine attempts to be helpful. MotorQA guy only cares about stealing our traffic so that he doesn't just have 8 questions on his site... :)
    – jmort253
    Dec 17, 2012 at 2:26
  • Have you emailed the team about this request (your most recent edit)? I fully support that idea! May 6, 2013 at 16:01
  • @Larry, I'm now just automatically searching for url:"automotix" and checking out anything that comes up. That might be sufficient.
    – Bob Cross Mod
    May 7, 2013 at 0:58

I've noticed a new user doing this - 'neomy' always links to the same site in each of their answers, with no context to the link

  • I edited all of his questions and removed the links. They didn't add any value to the post and were out of context as you mentioned. Jan 30, 2013 at 13:37

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