This is a short non-mining topic but it’s something I found interesting. Spam and spamming is everywhere.
I started this little WordPress blogging site a few months and enable the readers to comment on each blog. Well lo and behold it didn’t take long for the spam to start arriving. The image below shows the typical spam that I would get in the comments section, even though commenting requires one to enter an email address in order to post. It took a few weeks to start but most recently I would be getting 5 to 10 of these spammed “comments” each day. It’s not like my website has a lot of followers or comments, but it still ended up a target to the bots or spiders or whatever else that is roaming around the web.
Example of spam sent to blog comment.
The first solution is to turn off automatic commenting to prevent comments from being posted immediately on-line. I switched to moderated comments whereby each comment needs to be manually approved by the administrator before being posted live. However after being continually asked to approve a lot of pending spam comments, it got tiresome. The next solution was implementing the CAPTCHA (see image below).
Example Captcha form
WordPress has various plug-ins designed to limit spam. One of the simpler solutions is to add a “captcha”, which is the little box where you need to type in a word or number. This is designed to hinder the automated spam-bots. CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”, a great acronym.
After five days of using the captcha, I have received no new spam and weeks later still none. However this won’t stop any manual spamming, so that will be the next thing to wait for. It’s interesting to see how much unproductive technical energy is being expended out there in cyberspace.
What’s the reason for this specific spam that I am getting? I understand it’s not to install a virus or malware but part of search engine optimization (SEO). Google search will rank websites higher on the search result if that site has many other websites linking (pointing) to it. So creating web links for a certain site on various blogs will improve that site’s rank. I also heard that if Google detects a lot of such phoney links on my site, they will downgrade me as punishment. There is always someone out there looking for a new angle.