Need someone to lead product or development at your software company? I lead product and engineering teams and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

My trackback spam problem

Freshness Warning
This article is over 14 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

More than half the traffic to my site is Trackback spam — but not of the variety you’d expect. I’m not talking about people trying to ping me, I’m talking about Simpletracks, my standalone trackback tool. Simpletracks lets you ping anyone even if your blogging tool doesn’t support trackback.

The problem is that for the last 6 weeks, spammers are hammering it, and hard. Now they aren’t smart spammers. All but a handful of the spam traffic comes from a small group of IP addresses. So those are blocked. Other evidence that these guys aren’t very bright is that it’s probably harder to submit to my form than it is just to send the trackbacks directly and skip the middle man.

I’ve added some countermeasures to Simpletracks. I aggressively ban people that hit the tool too often. I have a form key that changes every few minutes, requiring that you actually load the form before submitting it. There’s a few other tricks as well. But the bots are as dumb as the spammers, they’re already been set to run, and the fact that they aren’t getting through does nothing to deter them. They keep hammering my server.

Stephanie_B
October 27, 2005 9:58 AM

If the spamware is using trackback the same way most blogging software does, it is scanning the html page for the hidden "rdf:RDF" block("trackback:ping="), and using that info to send the trackback. As long as your plugin alters the RDF block to reflect the new trackback URL, the spammer will have no trouble sending the trackback.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

A framework for onboarding new employees (May 15)
There’s no single good way to onboard an employee that works for every role. Here's a framework for creating a process that you can adapt to each situation.
TV hosts as a guide for software managers (May 10)
Software managers can learn a lot from journalists or late night TV hosts and how they interview people.
The Improvement Flywheel (Apr 29)
An incredible flywheel for the improvement of a development team. Fix a few things, and everything starts getting better.
Managers and technical ability (Dec 26)
In technical fields, the closer you are to the actual work being done, the closer your skills need to resemble those of the people doing the work.
Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams (Sep 17)
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you're measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development (Aug 30)
Customers never even talk to the companies that don't fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you're considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you're only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder (Aug 19)
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product (Aug 15)
Strong products aren't composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.

Older...

What I'm Reading

Contact

Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497

Resume

Public Key

© 1999-2020 Adam Kalsey.