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How to take control of trackback spam?

Posted on May 15th, 2008
Written by Lee Odden
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    Stop Trackback SpamBlogging is fun and rewarding. There are so many good things about it, but comment and trackback spam can tarnish the process. I know that going in and removing 15 different ‘prescription’ comments is not a good use of a bloggers time as they could use it towards creating new posts. But how does one control it?

    You can protect comments with a captcha plugin, Spam Karma or Askimet, but what about trackbacks?

    Lately I’ve been testing out the Simple Trackback Validation plugin. It checks two items to ensure that the trackback is legit.

    1. It checks the page that claims to be linking to your post to ensure it does.
    2. Checks the IP address of the blog the tracback is coming from and the IP of the trackback. They should be the same. In order for these to be different, a spam bot must be auto generating the trackbacks.

    It also has a feature to toss any questionable trackbacks into moderation.

    So far in my testing I can’t already say if it’s working or not. No trackbacks have gone into moderation, yet trackback spam seems to be more under control, but not gone.

    Askimet also claims to filter out trackback spam, but in my experiences, it’s not as good at it as filtering out comment spam. Then again, maybe it’s blocking a lot of items that I don’t even know of.

    What I’d love to see is a plugin that made all trackbacks go though the same rules as comments or even just throw all of them into moderation. Content scraping sites give trackbacks a bad rep and I’ve yet to find a solution to really get trackback spam under control.

    What have you tried? Have you found a solution that works and works well? If so, please do share.