There are a million and one different kinds of blog spam. Some of it is easily prevented by installing spam prevention tools like Akismet (which I use on all my blogs). Some is prevented by simple tricks like spelling out your e-mail address rather than hotlinking it. (As in “jwallace at turntabling dot net”).
But some kinds of spam prevention have more to do with a keen eye for BS and a bit of knowledge of how spammers operate.
I spent way too much time over the weekend cleaning out comment spam on my most recent blog creation to promote a music project I do on the site. In spite of having Akismet installed, I was getting spammed like nobody’s business.
I also have a second layer of protection which failed me for reasons I couldn’t understand—at first. That second layer is the requirement that all commenters must register and login before posting comments that get posted without my approval. Once they’ve had one approved comment, they get free run on the comment section.
And that was where my system–which usually works–broke down.
Spammers have one tool in their bag of tricks that helps them get past that system. I got a pingback on one of my older posts at PaisleyBabylon.net which I approved without thinking. It’s a pingback, after all, how bad could it be? Bad enough to earn me a BUNCH of comment spam. Turns out this is another spammer trick designed specifically to catch people like me asleep at the switch.
Now, I check those pingbacks to make sure they aren’t leading to spam sites, robo-posters or other Internet trash. I learned a new one this weekend…and I’ve got my eye on those pingbacks now, too.