WordPress.com tip – nuking the splogs (Beth)

You know how you’re always seeing pingbacks from content scrapers at splogs (spammer blogs) where your posts are copied in full or in part, surrounded by Google ads? They suck.

DON’T ALLOW THOSE PINGS TO POST to your comments, because it helps their Google rank, and they’re making money for your work.

Because your blog is at wordpress.com, you can’t ban them through your .htaccess file, and (as far as I know) you can’t add plugins to catch them or ban them. (I do this at my blog because it’s self-hosted.) You can, however, nuke the pings another way so they don’t clutter your Akismet queue (or worse, get posted).

First, it’s a good idea to check the IP and make sure it resolves to the domain in question. Then go to Settings > Discussion. Put the splog’s IP in the blacklist, and everything from them will automatically be marked as spam. You can stick the domain (i.e. dishtvnews.com – a big stupid splog source) in there, if you prefer.  It’s that easy. This isn’t the same as banning IPs from regular spammers (who usually use random IPs), because the IP is attached to the domain and will always come from the that splog.

If you’re at a self-hosted WordPress blog, let me know and I’ll give you some tips on plugins you can and should use to cut down on this scourge.

For everyone: Do what you have to do to keep that crap off your blog. At the very least, delete the pingbacks.

A good way to find who’s doing the content scraping is to route your feeds through Feedburner (which I highly recommend anyway) and insert a line in each feed post (something nonsensical, like “nvihe894ufiefsudiguklufweir7ww” that won’t be duplicated elsewhere). You can then Google for the nonsense string and find who’s stealing your shit, and report the splogs to Google Adsense, and/or if you use the Firefox McAfee SiteAdvisor add-on, report them there. Yeah, doing all that reporting and stuff is extra work, but if you’re pissed about content scrapers, it helps.

By the way, especially for those of you who use wordpress.com (but a lot of her material applies to all bloggers), I recommend checking out Lorelle on WordPress for tips on how to make the most of wordpress.com. She’s got some very thorough information about splogs and content thieves there, too.

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5 Responses to “WordPress.com tip – nuking the splogs (Beth)”

  1. ChenZhen Says:

    Good stuff. These days I’d say most of the stuff is caught by akismet, though.

    This reminds me of a post awhile back on B4B, in which my pal Psycheout boldly stated:

    I know this post about Internet pollution is rather technical in nature, but to make it simple: those who run fake blogs and blog spambots deserve to be shot dead. Any questions?

    classic

    Like

  2. Carol Says:

    VERY good stuff. I didn’t know what a “splog” was until I read this – and I’ve been inundated with comment spam from them lately. For someone who doesn’t know what’s going on (me!), it is confusing since they have a quote from the post. Thank you!

    Like

  3. Beth Says:

    You’re welcome! :D
    I’m more than happy to pass on tips to nuke spammers and sploggers.

    ChenZhen, yeah, Akismet does catch most of it, but not all. I’ve seen a whole lot of blogs that have that stuff on them though because (as Carol said) the bloggers didn’t know what that stuff is about, and I’m sure some of it is getting approved out of the Akismet queue.

    The way WordPress has always worked is that when stuff is put into the comments blacklist, the comment is just deleted straight away. I’ve noticed that with WP 2.5, though, in the options it now says it’s “marked as spam.” I don’t know if it nukes the comment any more, or if it just puts it in the Akismet queue. I’d imagine it should nuke the comment, because not everyone uses Akismet (although I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t). If wordpress.com weren’t on 2.5, I’d have said “it deletes the comment,” but since I’m not sure if the blacklist action has changed (I’m not on 2.5 myself–I’m waiting for a couple other plugins to upgrade first), I just put “marked as spam.” I’ll be VERY disappointed myself if it only puts things in the Akismet queue, because I’ve got a LONG blacklist right now, with stuff in it to nuke racists, spammers, etc. ;)

    Like

  4. Matt Says:

    I wouldn’t recommend IP blacklisting because sometimes thousands of blogs are hosted on one IP, so you’ll get more false positives.

    The best thing to do is report them to Akismet as spam.

    If they’re hosted on WordPress.com, send in a note here:

    http://wordpress.com/report-spam/

    Like

  5. Dmitrij Says:

    All the Google Adsense news and information you’ll ever need!

    Like


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