My Apologies For All That Email...
Yesterday and today, you may have received one of more email messages that looked something like this:<br /><br /><img border="1" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//spt/auto/1213301509.usr1.png" alt="" /><br /><br />And by "one or more", I mean that some of you may not have received any - and some might have received hundreds. A few weeks ago, we installed a plug-in called <a href="http://www.vbseo.com/" target="_blank">vBSEO</a> - it's a search engine optimization plug-in that does a lot of interesting things. It changes the URLs of our forum threads to match the title of the first post - it makes the URLs a bit longer, which makes them a bit harder to link to, but it also makes them keyword heavy and that helps out with the search engines in a big way. One of the other features it has is based around linkbacks - people who use blogging software are familiar with this term. A linkback is a way for you to tell when someone has linked to your post, and link to their mention of your post. It creates a nice web of links between sites that are linking to each other, raising awareness of who's talking about your content, and the links back and forth help out with the search engine rankings.<br /><br />What I didn't know, however, was that the developers at vBSEO decided to have the "Email Notifications on Incoming LinkBacks" be <em>turned on by default</em>. :-( This program has easily over 100 different options, and I didn't look at everyone one of them. So that's why you received all those messages - if you'd ever subscribed to a thread in our forums, vBulletin treated the linkback like a new post in the thread and "helpfully" updated you about the new post in the thread. The problem is that it's not really new content in the thread.<br /><br />I've now turned that "feature" off and no one should be getting an email from our system about linkbacks/talkbacks again. I'm also going to be contacting the developers of vBSEO and suggesting in fairly strong terms that it's completely idiotic to have that feature turned on by default.