Trackback Settings Allow Spambots

Trackback Settings Allow Spambots

Spam Comments Even When Comments Off

Trackback settings can allow spambots to bypass WordPress.com comment settings for individual posts and pages, and submit comments even when comments are off for the page. That’s what it looks like, on first impression anyway.

The spam looks like it’s a comment submission, the spammers name, and of course the outgoing link fields are filled in. The content is typical spam rubbish. These spam submissions certainly look like the spammer has bypassed the comment settings, and submitted a comment using wp-comments-post.php.

Looking closer, we see most of the time these spam comments are actually posted using WordPress trackbacks (pings).

Trackback Settings Allow Spambots.

Most spambots (not all) abuse the trackback system (URL/trackback/) to post spam to WordPress.com blogs. So turning off comments is not enough to stop spambots. We have to also turn off trackbacks.

image of WordPress trackback post settings panel

Trackbacks can be turned off when editing posts/pages, or turned off completely for all new posts/pages published.

Changing the site-wide setting for WordPress.com blogs won’t change existing post/page trackback settings – every one will need editing to make the change.

From our experience 99% of all trackbacks and pingbacks are SPAM. This is the easiest way for spammers to get a backlink from your site. (Link to article)

Most trackbacks are spam – I agree with the quoted author. 99% of trackbacks these days are posted by spambots.

Pity There’s No Way to Stop Trackback Spambots Only

Genuine pingbacks are useful: Genuine pingbacks let us know when a blogger has linked to an article. Turning off trackbacks stops not only spambots and manual spam trackbacks, it stops you getting notified of genuine links.

But all is not lost. WordPress.com bloggers will see incoming links in Stats when visitors click over from a posted link. Self hosted WordPress users can install a stats plugin, or simply use their Google Webmaster Tools account to find incoming links.

Mike Otgaar