28 Dec 2005

Blog Spam Part 1 – Stopping Blog Spam.

 Blog Spam part 1,
Who is doing it and how to stop it.

So there’s 2 sets of blog spammers that I’m aware of, the Industrial turn and burn blog spam and Backlinks for link value  blog spam.

Industrial turn and burn blog spam
Those who do it on a massive planned scale for the sole purpose of generating a crap load of links at once via pressing a button and getting links from blogs that have a record of having a "hole" whereby a link will be published and counted, thus scoring rankings in some of the search engines for the targeted site. I tend to think these are gambling, porn, drugs, but might be anything that’s "turn and burn".

Last year a very well known SEO gave me the keys to a blogging spam software that was just amazing. You’d type in a keyword phrase, and it’d return hundreds or thousands of related blogs for that phrases, and would put all the comment forms all on one page, you’d fill out and submit and wa-la, you got a bunch of instant links.

I never did use that software I was show – honestly….it was just a little to scary for me, and at that time, I didn’t have a site to burn.  I’m sure there’s several more blog spamming tools, and from what I recall one night Mr. Ploppy got to drinking and just might have recorded some of these

Backlinks for link value spam
The guy doing it for the sole purpose of building links to a website for the "link" value…hey, there’s been guestbooks, forums, link trading, and yea, blog spamming. At the last SES conference I ran into a guy who was telling me about having his link team work on 90% blog posts for the purposes of "link building".  I asked him if he checked for the "nofollow" and he said "what’s that?"…. So I’m hoping that after my educating him, he’ll at least now have his team check for weather there’s not a nofollow tag on a link.

How to stop blog spammers.
No one likes having their blog spammed with blog comment spam. I’m pretty new to blogging, but here’s what I’ve been using to combat blog spam.

When my blog was set up for me, it came with the nofollow on all links on all usernames and in all comments. Meaning, that for those who make a post, where their name is a link, that link in the eyes of Google it’s invisible because it has the nofollow tag on it. I’m not sure if I like this answer (to see why, read my part 2 on Blog Spam).

I also make users sign up as a user before they can post. I then let logged in users post which immediaely gets published…. but if they post even 1 link in their comments it’s not posted until I approve it. This seems to work OK for me.

I’ve seen some blogs use that security code where you’ve got to type in the letter before you can publish your post, but I hate those (I have problems getting those damn letters right).

I know some blogs that approve all posts before publishing, and I’ve seen some blogs that will publish everything instantly, and I’ve seen some blogs just remove the ability to make comments all together.

What are the methods that you use in combating Blog Spam and how successful do you think it is?

Comments

  1. Brian Turner December 29, 2005 at 11:16 AM

    Biggest anti-spam move I made was abandoning my MovableType licences for WordPress. :)

  2. Digger December 29, 2005 at 11:20 PM

    First, I added spam lookup tools. That seemed to catch a majority of it, but it also caught some legit comments. After awhile this wasn’t enough.

    Second, I changed the “post comment” to “preview comment” and make the user preview their comment before posting it. This cut down on typo’s from users and gave them a looksy at formatting before posting, so it’s kinda a benefit to both of us. Also by removing the post button from the entry itself and having it go through a secondary preview page it cut spam down instantly. Even after doing this it wasn’t enough.

    Finally, after receiving thousands of spam comments a day I implemented the CAPTCHA on the preview page. Yeah I know you hate the little numbers you have to type in, but this has cut spam to about 1 or 2 A MONTH from thousands A DAY. Someone really hardcore trying to comment spam my site has to do it manually and even after that the spam filter catches it.

    It was either that or turn comments off totally because it was becoming too much of a maintenance issue requiring a lot of time each day.

  3. Jim December 29, 2005 at 11:25 PM

    Digger, thanks for your comments. I can understand that with a blog as popular as yours that your on everyone spammers radar…kinda a double edged sword.

  4. Digger January 2, 2006 at 3:39 AM

    Well, it’s not THAT popular. But it just goes to show that even a moderately popular blog gets slammed.

    I kind of understand the larger bloggers who have turned comments off, but at the same time I also fault them for not just finding a solution to the problem rather than taking such a drastic step.

  5. Bjorn Solstad January 2, 2006 at 11:30 PM

    I have increasing problems with spam in my blog as well. So far I have just turned on approval of all comments. That seems to work OK for now. I also hate the security code thingie, but I sure will use it if needed.

    What I find most amazing is how stupid the randomly created text sounds when I read it loud to my wife. The first time I read it to her she thought I had lost my mind completely. ANd I didnt’ even have one little beer that day ;)

  6. Brian’s Blog » No follow: one year on January 5, 2006 at 9:56 AM

    [...] Of course, even after one year, it’s early days yet – education about nofollow and its application hasn’t reached everyone. Ironically enough, even some companies that specialise in blogspamming don’t realise what it’s for. As Jim Boykin reports: At the last SES conference I ran into a guy who was telling me about having his link team work on 90% blog posts for the purposes of “link building”. I asked him if he checked for the “nofollow” and he said “what’s that?” [...]

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