The new era of weblog comment spam is upon us.
Google determines rank in search results depending on # of incoming links from other sites. Posting a comment w/URL on someone’s else’s site causes Google to “like” the commenter’s site more. So essentially someone is hijacking my comments system (and probably lots of other blogs’ comments systems) to abuse Google’s algorithms.
Back when Alta Vista was the King of Search, META keyword stuffing was the primary mechanism of search rank abuse. Google had seemed to put an end to that, but where there’s a will… Clever. Though stupid that they would drop both fake comments on a single post out of nearly a thousand, three months apart. Also, it’s hard to imagine these not looking suspicious to any blog owner.
Update, 10/15/03: As it turns out, this has become the single-most spammed-upon entry at all of birdhouse. If you are reading this without having had to wade through tons of spam, it’s because I’ve deleted tons of them manually, and (later) because excellent tools such as MT-Blacklist have made dealing with rising blog spam much more manageable.
13 Replies to “Google Abuse”
Which reminds of me of this post (http://philringnalda.com/blog/2002/10/comment_spam_alert.php and this post (http://www.decafbad.com/blog/tech/old/ooocda.html, including the comments). And I seem to recall seeing a very recent discussion among MT users about ways to foil this, but it escapes where that was at the moment. But I think it involved trying to make your comments moderated so that you could delete the offenders before they saw the light of day.
This has happened on multiple occasions to my buddy, Coldforged, where a comment spambot posted a comment with a link to some zip code lookup site. I think he ended up banning the IP address.
Yup, happens about once a week on my site, as Jay mentioned. I tend to ban the person’s IP address for what it’s worth. That and — to refuse them the Googlejuice that might result — I modify the URL that they leave (almost invariably zip code related) to be something else. Easy to do now, since I have a rather low traffic site. If I had a bigger site, I’d probably modify my comment system to have a regular expression ban list on the URL. Foil the bastards at the source :).
I’ve had it happen twice now, so far. All info logged.
ColdForged, very good idea to alter the URL in the comment. I’m really reluctant to remove anyone’s comments, but I can certainly subvert the subversion… Just did so.
Fight the power! ;-}
i agree with the author.
This is the same kind of spam than appears in server’s logs with faked referrers, because some of them are later published as pages whith this referrers as links.
The best way to avoid may be change blog’s program to don’t use Hyperlinks in the text, nor in the URL of the signature. Making it visible only, without link, will loose the efect on spiders and this folks will stop to spam with this activity.
Banning IP might not be helpful, if the user has dynamically allocated IP or is connecting via proxy though
For MT users, Jay Allen announces: Killing Comment Spam Dead for Dummies
Just installed Jay Allen’s system and it seems to be working perfectly. Thanks for the tip, Michael.