Apparently when one has a site that has a custom contact form one don’t attract the same level of spam messages as if one has standard blog software contact forms and comments. I suspect this is due to the automated software that looks for contact forms and comments is more likely to recognize those submission forms. In addition to that, I’d bet there is a greater chance others using the common software will use the default settings, which generally make it easy for spam comments to get published on an unsuspecting blogger’s site.
Since I’ve switched to this more common way of operating a site (I decided I was spending too much time fiddling around with mechanics of the site / publishing rather than the actual content), I have had to moderate more spam in a month than I had in several years before. Fortunately I chose to go the moderated route, or my sites would be full of ‘rotten eggs and spam’ (with apologies to Dr. Suess).
It seems I have a little catching up to do on the things that can go wrong with a site where both legitimate users can post and spam bots can easily post (even if only to a moderation queue). I’m loathe to go for a solution that involves sending posts and comments to a third party, but it’s beginning to look it might be necessary to avoid my time being stolen by SEO thieves.
Fortunately I’m not in this alone and I have found a potentially useful blog about blogging that has some obvious, but still useful advice about contact form and comment spam and more importantly a selection of recent common spam and scam sources and types. Hopefully there is more of the latter addressing of specific concerns, as I read through that blog, than the former fairly generic advice.
It’s kind of weird to be feeling like the new kid on the block doing something that I’ve done on and off for decades. Hopefully I can develop a reasonable strategy for avoiding the spam (and the ‘rotten eggs’ that might get thrown at the site).