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Battling spam on Iconfinder

Handling more than 400,000 icons, 1.75 million tags and thousands of new icons coming in every month is a big task. The small Iconfinder team can’t keep up with spam by manually removing it, so we had to come up with a scalable solution for this problem.

Icon designers can add tags to the icons themselves and with a chance to show up on a lot of popular keywords such as “arrow“, “computer” and “people” there is little reason to limit the number of tags that they add to their icons. However, this ruins it for everyone else by making the search results much worse than they could have been. Today, we’re taking the first small step towards automating the fight against spam with a small change to the ranking of icons. Basically, the number of tags above a certain limit will influence an icon’s rank (think PageRank for icons.) – simple, yet effective.

You can see comparison of some search results below.

techno

We felt this was a good way to kick off 2015. Let us know what you think in the search results.

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  1. Great news! Great idea!
    I have one more suggestion – talk to your top selling author. I think he is responsible for most of spam as you can see on this screens :)

    • We’ll send out an update to all designers – not all designers are spamming intentionally, but we have no interest in pointing fingers at anyone either.
      The more more you spam, the bigger the penalty. We have faith in this will solve problems automatically.

  2. I think it’s a bit unfair to rank icons with many keywords lower then with few. For example it’s strange to see icons with 0 sales higher then icons with lot of sales. The best solution i think would be to cut out automatically if it say exceeds 15 of keywords, 7 keywords is a bit too few for some more complex concepts. Most marketplaces have automatic limitation for number of keywords, so why don’t implement same thing here?
    And one question, what if i will update keywords on my old icons, would it have impact on it’s ranking?

    • For prove that very limited amount of keywords is not very good i can make an example, lets say i am looking for something on “budget” or “funding” theme, i’m not sure what i want to see, but i want something conceptual and attractive, these words can be relevant almost to any icon on financial theme, so icons which don’t include these tags would be ignored and author would lose potential buyer. I am no saying that spamming keywords is good thing, but increasing limits to about 15 tags should be better solution.

    • Hi Maxim

      In most cases 7-8 keywords is sufficient. If you can link to examples where more makes sense, then please do.
      Also, you can still add more, but the ranking will be gradually lowered.
      If you update the number of keywords, the ranking will be updated accordingly.