Manual SEO Spam Blocking Procedures

SEO spam is generated automatically and simple prevention measures will not work

You can sign up to a SEO system to get rapid access into 'easy to crack' forums for about $40 per month or $79 if you want the upgrade to break your Captcha. The system does not itself inject spam, a spammer will simply do this because they are likely to visit 100 sites per hour while they insert low value messages and their back links.  This will mostly occur with cheap labour from off shore countries.  The sponsoring client, of a badly written website, may pay thousands of pounds for SEO services but their SEO is often outsourced off-shore using cheap SEO tricks such as SEO spam.  What else can they do when 90% of SEO client funds are not passed down to them?

To try to control the resulting inundation of such low quality comments and messages you should implement a spam detection system such as an automated Bayesian Filter .  These are self learning systems which self adapt according to previous classifications of spam.  Self learning systems are best simply because they do not represent a common barrier to spam and the Bayesian Filter defence is more difficult to overcome.

You should retain all your spam messages to enable your system to learn.  Even if you do not currently have any automated spam detection in place then the human history of spam detection will allow any future automated system to learn about and identify such span.  All that you have to do is mark your comments or messages as spam and prevent them from being published.

Not all users are built the same...

Just as Joomla and Drupal have different levels of back-office user authority then you also need to implement different levels of trust in users who can blog, write comments or leave links.

Each user should be associated to their messages and comments.  If any user tries to fool the system then the whole history of messages, comments and blog threads is identifiable and at risk of deletion.

Facilities and features should be rationed according to their level of trust.  You may have the home page, RSS feed or indeed levels of administration but these should only be given to those people who you know can be trusted.

Public and private forum rationing

The main aim of any serial SEO spammer is to get their links attached to your forum and have such links indexed by Google.  Rationing the public face of comments and some threads limits the value of any quick and simple back link.  As previously mentioned, private forum messages can also have their dangers if they are published externally, after all it is the ongoing popularity of content which makes up the value of any website.

You own your site blog so you decide what to do with it!

Spamming is hard sales trying to sell when the product or service is not wanted or is not appropriate.  When these situations occur then you can have a hardened attitude to deal with.  Hardened attitudes do not fit the normal profile of an average blog user.  If you offer feedback, or inform the user of their account being disabled, then you are offering your email acount details and exposing yourself to problems further down the line.

You can show the spammer that they have succeeded but 404 'page not available' to everyone else.  This breaks with Google's guidelines which basically say that you must show the same content to Google bots as you would to a spammer or anyone else.  Frankly, just break the rules here because Google won't care that you add additional content for individual spammers. Googel's bot/standard read validation will be based upon a bot using a standard header looking like a normal user not like the spammer.  If you have the user IP information and the sophistication to implement the PHP coding then do make the spam user appear successful and let them continue to feed and train your Bayesian Spam Filter.  You can give the appearance of SPAM blogging success to an upper range of their IP addresses.  The spam pages may only be seen by one group of clients on an individual ISP.  The rest of the world simply gets a 404 or a 301 divert on the URL.

Do not trust your spam filter methods, you should monitor them

You should set up a Google alert monitor to detect the common types of spam content you experience.  If your overall spam filter methods have failed then you will receive an alert after the Google indexing of your website spam content.  You can then refine blog spam filter and perhaps also remove the URL from Google and mark the content as spam in the system.  Bear in mind that once content is in Google then it can end up anywhere and it will stick on the internet somewhere.  Often there is a trace or evidence trail of content changes against any important or blog site.

Do you perform 'Decoy Duck SPAM Baiting' to trap SEO spammers?

If you have a self learning low overhead administration system for spam then you can give it some fodder to chew upon.  You can insert dummy pages with 'add comment' and also have dummy spam content on the page.  You see hold old this trick is, it is just like a decoy duck waiting for spammers to find your site using the keywords 'add comment viagra' or 'callis' or 'SEO ranking' and once you have your prey you can get them to train your spam filters even more.

Hold an audit trace against every user - know what they have written, edited or published

If a user goes spam bad then you can wipe out all their past efforts and any undetected efforts of spam.  Some users will 'cultivate their profile' so as to achieve a spam link posting.  All that this means is that they risk their entire efforts building up to the spam posting.  You must record the user IP address so that you can identify their work.  The user may have cultivated multiple user accounts in an effort to look authentic.

SEO spammers subscribe to SPAM tools so you need to subscribe to automated defences

We are talking money here, money from having page rank and money from pouching your website visitors.  You do not just have an administration problem to remove the poor quality content you have loss of income and loss of reputation.  If you do not face up to these problems then you will not be able to mange the consequences in the time you have.  You need automated tools to cut down on the forum moderation work.

Human review is invaluable but you do not have time to review all things so you need exception reporting.  The methods to administrate and flag spam should be moderator easy clicks.  This administration is easier if you classify your users into levels of trust.  You have to adopt a level of defence complexity or administration simplicity which deters spammers just like you would deter a burglar enteringing your home.  Nothing is really secure but let them try elsewhere.

Have a good look at the SEO comment spam handlers for the content management system you use be it Joomla, Drupal or home grown PHP.