Marikina, Philippines (PressExposure) July 22, 2009 -- Spamming is one of the many strategies used by Black Hat SEO today to attain the highest ranking in any search engines, may it be Yahoo!, Google, or MSN. Although spamming is a major offense punishable by every search engine guidelines, many webmasters still employ such method to achieve first page ranking. Some methods for spamming, however, have now been ineffective due to the new algorithms that addresses such problems, such as link farms. But like search engines, methods of spamming have also evolved to get around the algorithms set by search engines. One of which is spamming in blogs.
Blog spam, or usually known as blog spamming, spam in blogs, or comment spam, is a method currently used today as a form of spamdexing or link spam. Although some employ manual spamming, some webmasters have come to use different softwares that automatically post random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any kind of websites that accepts hyperlinks submitted by any visitors are prone to such method. The theory behind the method is that adding links that point to the spammer's web site artificially increases the site's search engine ranking. An increased ranking often results in the spammer's commercial site being listed ahead of other sites for certain searches, increasing the number of potential visitors and paying customers.
Solutions used by webmasters
Spams doesn't only make a clutter or flooding in blogs, wikis, or any other websites, but also degrades a website of its integrity due to these comments which are not even related to the post. Because of this, search engines and different webmasters have released several solutions to avoid comment spams in their websites or blogs. According to SEO Philippines consultants, these includes several methods.
Blocking multiple posts Although its not normal for a visitor to reply on their own comments, spammers will typically do. Checking that the user's IP address is not replying to a user of the same IP address will significantly reduce flooding. The only drawback with this method is that in rare instance when multiple users, behind the same proxy, would wish to comment on the same entry.
Keyword blocking This method has been known to offer a successful way to block comment spams by blocking the keyword that the spammer would likely use. Blocking specific words from posts is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce spam.
The nofollow tag Google announced in early 2005 that hyperlinks with rel="nofollow" attribute would not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. The Yahoo and MSN search engines also respect this tag. Although this method have served to be useful, several blog authors have still found the the nofollow insufficient to block spammers or as a way to loose more integrity. This is because:
* Link spammers will continue to spam everyone to reach the sites that do not use rel="nofollow" * Link spammers will continue to place links for clicking (by surfers) even if those links are ignored by search engines. * Google is advocating the use of rel="nofollow" in order to reduce the effect of heavy inter-blog linking on page ranking. * Google is advocating the use of rel="nofollow" only to minimize its own filtering efforts and to deflect that this actually had better been called rel="nopagerank". * Nofollow may reduce the value of legitimate comments
Validations A method to block automated spam comments is requiring a validation prior to publishing the contents of the reply form. According to SEO Philippines consultants, the goal is to verify that the form is being submitted by a real human being and not by a spam tool and has therefore been described as a reverse Turing test. The test should be of such a nature that a human being can easily pass and an automated tool would most likely fail. CAPTCHA is one of the many tools currently used today by blog authors and webmasters.
Blocking links As it says, those that have this wouldn't allow comments to contain any links. While this is highly effective, spammers do frequently send gibberish posts (such as "ajliabisadf ljibia aeriqoj") to test the spam filter. These gibberish posts will not be labeled as spam. They do the spammer no good, but they still clog up comments sections.
Redirection Instead of displaying a direct hyperlink submitted by a visitor, a web application could display a link to a script on its own website that redirects to the correct URL. This will not prevent all spam since spammers do not always check for link redirection, but effectively prevents against increasing their PageRank, just as rel=nofollow. An added benefit is that the redirection script can count how many people visit external URLs, although it will increase the load on the site.
Distributed approach This approach is very new to addressing link spam. One of the shortcomings of link spam filters is that most sites receive only one link from each domain which is running a spam campaign. According to SEO Philippines consultants, if the spammer varies IP addresses, there is little to no distinguishable pattern left on the vandalized site. The pattern, however, is left across the thousands of sites that were hit quickly with the same links.
A distributed approach, like the free LinkSleeve uses XML-RPC to communicate between the various server applications (such as blogs, guestbooks, forums, and wikis) and the filter server, in this case LinkSleeve. The posted data is stripped of urls and each url is checked against recently submitted urls across the web. If a threshold is exceeded, a "reject" response is returned, thus deleting the comment, message, or posting. Otherwise, an "accept" message is sent.