When this article showed up in my Thunderbird RSS reader I just had to follow though and read the whole article. The story is about an un-named blog link spammer and goes into why they do it, how they do it, and what stops them.
The interesting thing is that the biggest hurdles to blog spamming, are email response systems and captcha’s, like the one we just employed to stop the problem. Captcha’s are human intervention tools, they are hard or impossible to automate, because a program has a great deal of trouble reading the text on the images, and so can’t post to the blog. (A captcha is a piece of random generated text saved to an image and put into the comment form, a human has to type the text in the image into a provided text box in order to post a comment.)
Other things to note, is that he isn’t particularly concerned about the new link attribute added by the search engines, because there are millions of old abandoned blogs on the net that will not be updated. And that the link spammers use open proxy servers to post the comments, which is why blocking IP address’s is mostly a useless effort. (because they will be different each time.) If you have ever suffered from blog spamming, you should read this to get a feeling for the enemy. “He” actually blames the search engines for creating the opportunity to blog spam. I expect that some effort needs to be spent convincing ISP’s and users to shut down or update abandoned blogs, or the problem will never go away. Without old blogs to target, the problem would become a non issue in a matter of months. One thing is certain, if the problem is not stopped, we will end up with a separate blog search index to general Internet search, and that will hurt all manner of blogs and news sites based on blog software.