Potential Blogspam Silver Bullet

Ok, maybe that’s too bold of a claim. But I’ve been thinking over blog spam quite a bit and I think have a solution that will scale and would like some comment on it.

Basically it’s this: Use robots.txt to hide anything a spammer could post to your weblog from search engine crawlers.

So before I go any further, I should point out two assumptions I’m making. First, I assume spammers are hitting weblogs, not to do direct marketing, but to fool search engine crawlers. Second, I’m assuming that any search engine crawler of any importance will follow the specifications of The Robots Exclusion Standard as documented in tutorial form here.

Assuming the best about my assumptions, there is significant impact on end users. First of all, comments and trackbacks can no longer appear on your content pages, at least not the ones that search engines will find.

I don’t think that one or two bloggers practicing this would make a big difference. But, if a lot of people start using this technique, it will be harder for spammers to find searchable comments pages where they can post their links.

The beauty of this idea is that it yanks the payoff out from under the spammer.

Perhaps in the future I will try to cook up a real life example of how to apply this technique.

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