Do you spend too much time fighting spam on your blog, and not enough time writing meaningful content? Here are 5 techniques which will help you in your effort to keep spammers at bay.
1. How to help literacy and fight spam at the same time
About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that’s not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into "reading" books.
reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read correctly by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. If you sign up for free with reCAPTCHA, every time someone leaves a comment and deciphers a CAPTCHA, you’re helping to make a positive contribution towards literacy.
2. How to protect your comments from spam
If you’re running WordPress, Akismet is the spam filter which is installed by default, and I’m a pretty big fan of the service. How it works is that when a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your site it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment to determine if it should automatically be flagged as spam.
While a certain measure of spam still does manage to get through, it is constantly evolving and improving. Also, you can argue that a bit of spam falling through the cracks is always better than false positives with legit comments being flagged as spam. To date, more than 700,000 spam comments have been caught on my site alone.
3. How to avoid email spam from your site’s contact form
Aptly named the ˜Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form’, this contact form has been widely touted as one of the most secure blog contact forms around. Easy to style, simple to implement, and easy for readers to use, it offers 16 different countermeasures to help provide a secure experience for your readers.
4. How to detect if your content is being used for a splog
Splogs or spam blogs, and automated sites which scrape content from others and re-post the material as their own in order to earn money. To fight this, run the ˜Digital Fingerprint’ WordPress plugin, which will place a small digital fingerprint into blog posts. The fingerprint is only visible in the RSS feed, not on the website itself so it’s hardly noticeable. From here, you’ll be able to track down where your stolen posts are popping up, and try to shut them down.
5. How to display your email address on your blog without exposing it to spammers
Openly display your email address and email harvesters will collect it, and place it on spam lists. One easy way to avoid this, is to display your email ID as an image. My preferred service is Nexodyne Email Icon Generator which generates a nice little image like this.