Useful information for anyone using a community on Google+, whether as a regular member or as a moderator.
h/t Mark Traphagen
Originally shared by John Skeats
Why Your Community Posts Might Be Flagged As Spam
Many people ask why their posts to Google+ communities are flagged as spam by the Google+ spam filters. Google doesn’t share details about how the spam filters work work (because that would make it easy for spammer to stay just on the legal side of what the filters would block and annoy us all), but we know — or at least believe we know — a few things based on observation:
* Identical or substantially similar posts shared or reshared with multiple communities are more likely to be flagged as spam, especially if they are shared/reshared within a relatively short period of time. To avoid this, I recommend never sharing similar material to more than three communities within about a two-hour period.
* Posts which contain only links or links with only a minimal amount additional information (also known as “link litter”) appear to have a higher probability of being flagged as spam. Such posts violate the rules in many communities. As an aside, there are also strong indications that posts like that also have an extremely low click-through rate.
* Posts which are identical or similar to posts that have been removed from multiple communities for violating the communities’ rules appear to have a higher probability of being flagged as spam. It is extremely important to become familiar with a community’s rules before posting in the community because the rules vary significantly between communities, and a pattern of violating the rules in some communities might affect your posts to other communities.
* Posts containing the same link or similar links (e.g., links to other posts in the same blog) as posts which were previously flagged as spam appear to have a higher probability of being flagged as spam.
* Posts which are reshares of non-community public or private posts which were reported as spam appear to have a higher probability of being flagged as spam. Note that selecting the option for email notification when sharing non-community posts can lead people to report the posts as spam because many recipients do not appreciate the unwanted emails. You should virtually never use that option unless people have asked to be notified by email.
* Posts by individuals who have previously been identified as spammers by the spam filters have a higher probability of being flagged as spam. If you get indications that your posts are being flagged as spam, it is best to review and change your posting habits promptly. The longer you persist in the same behavior, the longer the spam filters appear to treat you as a spammer. In serious cases, it can even lead to your account being suspended or revoked.
What happens if your community posts are flagged as spam
When the Google+ spam filters flag a post as spam, it is held in a moderation queue which is only visible to the community’s moderators. The moderators then have three options: Approve, which makes the post visible to all community members; Remove, which removes the post from the community; or to Remove, Report, and Ban, which removes the post from the community, reports it to Google, and removes the user from the community. Banned members cannot join the community again unless and until a moderator removes the ban.