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trackback ping spam

As I have mentioned in previous posts, comment spam has caused a number of headaches for me. Comment spam, thankfully, has been reduced to only a couple of day after implementing some extremely basic proceedures to deter spammers. I have a timetable for the implentation of stronger solutions; however, for the moment, the dam seems to be holding.
The next situation which developed was Trackback Ping Spam. Trackbacks are great, in theory. The idea is if I, as a weblog author, saw something on your weblog that I really liked, I could not only write about it on my website but send your weblog a “trackback ping”. Your site would list the trackback pings it has received to direct your viewers to my website to “continue this discussion” on whatever topic.
I love the idea and wish I used it more myself. However, currently, the only people who have “trackbacked” to me has been spammers.
Movable Type’s parent company, Six Apart, along with other blogging vendors and most major search engine companies have combined together to create a new standard: rel=”nofollow”. The nofollow standard would have the weblog’s automatically add a “nofollow” tag to any link in a comment or a trackback. This tag would tell search engine “spiders” not to count those links in figuring out the particular rank of a website.
What does this have to do with spam? Spammers have been sending comment/trackback spam not to gain new visitors directly. By having all these thousands of pages linking to their website, places like Google and Yahoo would think to itself, “wow, a lot of people link to this site. It must be great! Promote it on the results page”. Then when you, a websurfer, searched for “online poker”, the spammer’s website would be near the top of the list.
By adding this standard, the industry has, in effect, shut this door. Currently, I simply removed the trackback script to disable ALL trackbacks to my weblog <sarcasm>big loss</sarcasm>. I’ll be implementing the nofollow tag within the next 24-48 hours and will reassess the suspension of trackbacks.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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