Pingback spam

Since moving my blog off of hosted WordPress, I’ve noticed that I seem to be getting more pingbacks from spam blogs. I’m wondering if this is related to the move, or if it’s just that the volume of spam coming in is less, which means I can actually look at it all.

Today’s pingback spam really annoyed me. Two blogs from the same domain (different subdomains) both linked to my Greyhound post (which, incidentally, inspired quite a lot of commentary). Supposedly these blogs are aggregating content about 8stops7 (a band from California) and All Wound Up (the Godsmack album, I guess?). What’s interesting is that they both sport about pages with practically identical wording explaining that they are aggregating this content (though not really doing anything to promote either the band or the album) and if you would like anything removed, please email their admin address. They also encourage you to consider the benefit of having an increased readership to your blog from the exposure. The attempt at legitimacy is laughable at best, given the fact that the content they’re capturing has nothing at all to do with the stated purpose.

I have half a mind to contact the band through their MySpace page and tell them someone’s making them look bad. But I don’t know what they could really do about it. Threaten a lawsuit? The spammer can just pack up and shift domains. I sent an email to the admin address listed and told them to remove the posts, but I’m not going to hold my breath. At least they’re only taking an excerpt.

I also got some pingback spam from blogbookmarker, which purports to be a more social social bookmarking service. However, the site is covered in ads and the markup includes nofollow attributes in all of the link tags. That means that if anybody does click on a link to my site from this service, it won’t influence how high I rank on search engine results, which rank results based on the most popular overall. That is just bad, bad etiquette. Given the way they present themselves, there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about this. But again, at least they’re only linking to the post, they’re not reproducing it wholesale.

One other unrelated, but really annoying, thing about the two spam blogs I mentioned above is that they are both running on WordPress. I know that spammers have every right to use open source software to do their evil deeds, but there’s just something squirmy about it. What are they giving back? Nothing. It’s against the whole spirt of the movement. Gah. (Tenth, you must have a good rant on the matter.)

2 thoughts on “Pingback spam

  1. Huh – I was under the impression that one had more control over pingback spam when you host your own, rather than less. I hate that there’s no recourse when this happens!

  2. Akismet catches it, so I can prevent it from being published. What I can’t prevent is people scraping content and reposting it (unless I want to lock the blog down entirely and force everyone to register to even view posts, which I don’t want to do).

    Hilariously enough, one of today’s pingback spams was from the sites I talked about above (the ones purporting to be aggregating posts about the band & album), linking back to this post. So one of those blogs now features an excerpt of my post about pingback spam. These folks in particular are tiptoeing right around the edges of fair use. So even if I wanted to report their IP to their host, I’m not sure how far I’d get. (Especially since a search for the host turned up a forum thread on a webhosting forum that seems to indicate they’re a shady host to begin with. Sigh.)

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