Defensio, Get Rid of My TrackBack Spammers!

By Ian Fernando

As you know there or have read there is a competitor to Akismet the original WordPress spam, they have even posted this on their blog. Enter Defensio. I have just recently signed up with Defensio. I was a little hesitant on signing on up because I already have 2 good plugins working in the background.

Akismet catches a lot of the spam comments and Bad Behavior which is a set of PHP scripts which prevents spambots from accessing your site by analyzing their actual HTTP requests and comparing them to profiles from known spambots. I thought I had the best of both worlds, both does a great job at catching spam.

Lately there has been another form of spam I have been receiving, trackback spam. I have noticed a lot of trackbacks but they all come from the same IP and they only react to specific keywords on my blog. These poor quality made blogs are scrapers or 'sploggers.'

What is Blog Scraping or Sploggers?

Blog scraping, is the process where automated software scans hundreds of thousands of blogs per day, searching for and copying content. The process is sometimes referenced by the name given the software or individuals responsible for the action, “blog scrapers.”

"Scraping" essentially stands for copying, or in the case of copyrighted material, stealing content off a blog that is not owned by the individual initiating the scraping process. The scraped content is often used on Spam blogs or splogs.

Source: Wikipedia

This image to the left will show you several different blog posts which should count as trackbacks but they are all coming from the same IP! Also these splogs are only taking quotes of specific keywords. I doubt my blog is all about online dating or even about weight loss.

Also you will notice the all the splogs have scraped the same section for each of their splogs.

Another noticeable feature of splogs is all of these sites are ending in .info. They are also not SEO friendly, just giving each page a number. These characteristics are definitely non friendly trackbacks.

Tony Hung from Blog Hearld says:

In my ongoing fascination with sploggers, I’ve found out that there’s a new kind of “autoblogging” software that has been sending out trackbacks. But I presume you know the usual kind of thing I’m talking about: the offenders are blogs that end in .info, scrape your posts and then reproduce the first few paragraphs that end with an ellipsis and “you should read more over here”, or “ has the details”, or some such dreck.

Ian Lee from Ads-Links has disabled his Do Follow:

I recently disabled the DoFollow plugin and will continue to monitor both comments and trackback spams. Depending on how the next few weeks or months go, I will make a final decision then on whether to run DoFollow once again. In the meantime, I am almost ready to turn off trackbacks entirely.

Enter Defension

Well Defension will be working with my spam team plugin, Bad Behavior and Akismet. I have just installed it yesterday to see its performance and so far it has caught spam which Akismet would catch normally. The interesting part of Defension you can log into your account and view the growth of spam to your specific blog.

But first what is Defensio?

While no filter is perfect, we believe in making spam management as easy as possible for the end user. Defensio sorts your quarantined comments by their "spaminess" value. This means that finding the occasional legitimate comment buried in your spambox (aka false positive) becomes dead easy: with Defensio you simply need to monitor the top portion of your quarantine to be confident that there's no ham amongst your spam.

Source: Defensio

This is similar to Akismet system but there are other features Defension has which Akismet does not have. One feature I kinda of like are the RSS feeds Defension provides. This makes it really easy to check RSS spam on my blog instead of everyday logging into my blog.

Also Defensio has a good user interface which you can see your growth of spam, which I do not know why I would want to see my stats for spam growth? But it does show how accurate Defensio is working for your blog, currently on Defensio's accuracy is at 86%.

I will allow Defensio work with my current spam team plugin to assure this blog is not attacked so often with useless comments and trackbacks!

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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