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.