Trackback spammers beat Typepad nofollow

Brian Turner has found something really interesting here: Trackback spammers beat Typepad nofollow.

This is the kind of thing that must keep search engine engineers up late at night. What a mess.

(Note: SitePoint uses WordPress, which doesn’t appear to have been exploited yet)

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  • http://www.napathon.net/ vinyl-junkie

    My web host has a blog in which they asked for feedback from their customers regarding blog comment spam. While I don’t have a blog myself, I did note an interesting comment from another customer. He doesn’t say what blogging software he’s using, but apparently he has found a way to defeat most blog comment spam. Here’s what he said:

    I’d just like to add that a while ago I added a plugin (can’t remember what it’s called now) that forces a commentor to preview their comment once before they can post. This had the immediate effect of almost completely eliminating all comment spam, even spam that didn’t go to the site but ended up in moderation queue. Since then, the only spam I’ve gotten is stuff that seemed pretty obvious to me to be actually posted by a human being (i.e. it made some glancing, mangled-English reference to the content of my site before putting in a link to whatever it is they were pushing.)

  • http://boyohazard.net Octal

    WordPress’ anti trackback spamming measures are very good, I can’t see Sitepoint or any other WordPress users suffering to the same degree as MoveableType bloggers

  • http://www.dustindiaz.com polvero

    Damn spammers. I wish we could get them all in one room and let every web developer give ‘em a swift kick in the rear.

    This is also one reason I left moveable type (a child of the sixapart network as well).

  • http://www.seoresearchlabs.com DanThies

    CAPTCHAs can be defeated in several ways, but at least they discourage the less aggressive. They won’t stop “Texas Hold-’em Guy.”

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    Why do SE’s put so much emphasis on the trying to stop spam at the link rather than the destination? Seems to me like trying to stop a weed spreading by chasing the seeds as they blow in the breeze. Pull the plant out by the root.

    At the end of these spam links, there is a destination site. It will inevitably have a signature pattern of mostly unrelated, unqualified incoming links. Flag it. Ban it.

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    Wordpress’ anti trackback spamming measures are very good, I can’t see Sitepoint or any other WordPress users suffering to the same degree as MoveableType bloggers

    Out-of-box, the anti-spam measures of WordPress(as yet) are not that good, spammers can easily bypass them, & frankly, moderating each comment can be a pain if your blog is a bit popular(& more of a honeypot for spam). But plugins like SpamKarma2 make the life of a WordPress blogger much much easy by catching almost all of SPAM. I doubt that SixApart have paid equal attention to spam as the WordPress hackers & developers, else we would’ve seen something more concrete in MovableType that would’ve held the fort a bit longer instead of giving in at the first attack!!

    Why do SE’s put so much emphasis on the trying to stop spam at the link rather than the destination?

    well Alex, as I understand it, its because not only pill or porn sites are on the SPAM run, I’ve weeded out a lot of SPAM from my blog that was to other legitimate websites as well, like some new web-dev resource site or some new seo site etc. While I agree that most of the times its those ‘P’ type sites that are spamming, its not always, as other websites are on in the game as well.

    But I don’t think that the ‘nofollow’ is going to hold, it doesn’t hold even now. WordPress has all links tagged with it by default & yet you can see a lot of SPAM on WordPress powered blogs, the spammers hardly care, even if they know that the links are not directly linked & tagged by ‘nofollow’!!

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    well Alex, as I understand it, its because not only pill or porn sites are on the SPAM run, I’ve weeded out a lot of SPAM from my blog that was to other legitimate websites as well, like some new web-dev resource site or some new seo site etc. While I agree that most of the times its those ‘P’ type sites that are spamming, its not always, as other websites are on in the game as well.

    asp_funda, SEM isn’t really my area, so I’m probably missing something. But, to me, it isn’t about the topic of the site, it’s about the form or shape of it’s ‘link network profile’ for want of a better term.

    I’m guessing that if you produced a network diagram that modelled the incoming links to your blog, the incoming links to this blog and the incoming links to a heavy link spammers site, your diagram and ours might differ in scale, but be quite similar in form, whereas the spammers model would be radically different, regardless of their site content. It’s that signature shape that would determine the spammer.

    I don’t know. Just thinking out loud really.

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    well, dunno what you said, it went over me head!!! :P Maybe I need a cup of coffee!! ;)

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    hehehe,.. Fair enough. I’ll have to think about a better way of explaining it ;)

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    yeah, unless you do that, I won’t be reading Design View anymore!! ;) :P

  • http://www.seoresearchlabs.com DanThies

    Why do SE’s put so much emphasis on the trying to stop spam at the link rather than the destination?

    Alex,

    The problem with penalizing the destination site is that you have no idea whether they’re responsible for the link. If search engines penalized the target, competitors would take advantage… especially in the amazingly fun porn/pill/casino markets.

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    right ye are Dan, but then this sort of advantage can be taken right now as well!! Like suppose you are my competitor & in-order to give my website a badname, you go out on a SPAM run & SPAM thousands of weblogs & forums etc. with my link, making it look like I did it, all the while I’m unknown to this evil. And then the RBLs and other Blacklists will have my domain sitting pretty in their database, no?

  • http://www.britecorp.co.uk I, Brian

    WordPress has some great anti-spam tools already installed, but Six Apart only released a version of MovableType with built in anti-spam tools last week with MT 3.2.

    As for AlexW’s comments:

    At the end of these spam links, there is a destination site. It will inevitably have a signature pattern of mostly unrelated, unqualified incoming links. Flag it. Ban it.

    Do that and you immediately have the spammers using normal sites as shields against anti-spam.

    One apparently already doing the rounds is documented by SpamHuntress.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    The problem with penalizing the destination site is that you have no idea whether they’re responsible for the link. If search engines penalized the target, competitors would take advantage… especially in the amazingly fun porn/pill/casino markets.

    I see what you mean, Dan.

    But hey, if they all managed to get each other banned, the problems solved :)

  • http://www.seoresearchlabs.com DanThies

    The problem, of course, is that someone could get you banned too… :D

  • joaquin_win

    Hi, I’ll soon will be coming into the blogin scene. Where can I get som info on good anti-spam for blogs?

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    Six Apart only released a version of MovableType with built in anti-spam tools last week with MT 3.2.

    Yes & those anti-spam tools are hardly worth a mention, you should know, as I’ve seen, SixApart hasn’t really focused as much on anti-spam as they should’ve!!!

    Where can I get som info on good anti-spam for blogs?

    Joaquin, you can install WordPress and SpamKarma2 with it & forget about spam. Its almost 100% effective against SPAM. :D

  • joaquin_win

    I checked WordPress, great software, the problem is that I wish to use my own front-end… specially the public area of the blog. It is posible to develope a theme for it, but I actually had something different in mind. Is it leal to use only their scripts but rebuild the graphical end?

    Thx (maybe I should open a forum instead, or is it ok to use this comments this way?)

  • http://www.igeek.info asp_funda

    joaquin, I think that you better open a thread in the forums. Btw, you can do anything you want with WordPress, bend it, twist it, its GPL, so no restrictions on hacking & modifying the software!! :)

  • http://www.google.com Anonymous

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  • felamaere

    thank you for your work