Wow, first of all, Harry, thank you for the info. I'm reading about those Google algorithms and now it all makes sense. And I really mean all of it
I've been registered here for 9 years so I was able to observe all the changes to the forum. All the weirdest and cumbersome changes were made in more recent time, as far as I've noticed. I started wondering then - especially considering that Admin explains his lax attitude towards racist and all kinds of "phobic" comments by his respect for freedom of speech and apparently doesn't mind the vile and tiring abuse on the forum - why at the same time he's so "anal" about technical aspects of the forum - why he's making so ridiculously stringent rules which may put off less hardcore users from the forum. I simply thought that he's weird, that he's not entirely right in the head or sth. But now I've realised that it's all about Google rankings. I know, Harry, that you suggested in the past that certain posters (probably including you) are allowed what they are allowed to do because they write often and thanks to this PF goes up in the search results and I also suspected that. But only now that I started reading about this did I realise how much of what Admin does is geared for the purpose of being high in those rankings.
The first change that I recall was the links becoming "unclickable". I couldn't grasp why would any administrator of an internet forum make it more difficult for users to use links, especially that I've never seen anything like that being done on any internet forum, blog, site, etc.
So why this change? Why some links that may get broken in the future are such a problem in the Admin's eyes?
Because Google "penalizes" sites for broken links - their search engine results may drop.
Source: "6 SEO Mistakes That'll Make Google Hate You Forever" on smartblogger.com.
Apparently links from sites in another language may be a problem too according to an article "50 Reasons Your Website Deserves to Be Penalized By Google" on blog.kissmetrics.com.
An older rule about "not copying /plagiarising content from other sites" is also connected to Google rankings - "when a site has a large amount of content that is copied from other sources on the web" it gets targeted by Google's so called Panda algorithm.
Now I've also remembered that I had problems with preview feature when I had the Adblock Plus turned on on Firefox in 2013 (I made a thread about it in Feedback). When I was turning the Adblock Plus off on PF ads would show up. I switched to Chrome and then I had adverts on PF all the time. Now they've been gone for quite some time, from what I've noticed? Why? Maybe because of this?:
According to an article "Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird" on moz.com "you also run into problems with duplicated content on your own site". So, it seems Harry is right - the new "3 quotes in one post rule" isn't really about the number of quotes, it isn't even really about quotes at all. It's about "duplicated content
". It's the same with the 50 words limit in quotes. I remember when once I got really irritated by that rule and I simply copied and pasted a fragment of someone's comment and put it in quotation marks instead of quoting it as usual - as far as I recall my post got edited by a mod. So I guess this answers mafketis' question.
Also, I don't remember anymore in which article I've read it but another thing that boosts Google rankings is frequently posting new content, preferably every day. So this is most probably why certain posters get a free pass here.
Is that actually so bad?
It is bad, in my opinion, when boosting or preserving Google rankings becomes more important for the administration of a forum than the so called "user experience".
Btw, as far as I understand, all those Google algorithms are meant to increase user experience, not decrease it and to do that they penalize sites that are boosting their traffic in some artificial ways. If PF isn't doing that then what's the problem? Why is Admin going to such great lengths to avoid absolutely anything that could lower the rankings of the forum in the slightest way? For most of the time that I've beeen registered here quotes or links were never a problem and now suddenly they are. Maybe it's because PF isn't as busy as it used to be and Admin wants to make up for it in this way? If the answer is yes then I'm afraid it's not the right way to go about this...
It would be better to improve the quality of the content and the debate here rather than obsess over quotes, links or other technical aspects of the forum, in my opinion.
A good advice from smartblogger.com:
"Instead of trying to figure out how to manipulate the Google algorithm for better rankings, just create content that deserves to be on the first page, promote the hell out of it, and wait for Google to catch up. Their goal, after all, is to move the best stuff to the top of the pile."
And in case someone would like to read up about those Google algorithms:
Pigsy wants to know what would happen to the Google Rankings if we all quit using the words Polish or Poland and replaced them with "olish" and "oland" ? lol
I propose "Owland" for "Poland" and Owlish" for "Polish" ;D