Block 'wrote an interesting post today' spam

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 11, 2007
Updated • Dec 8, 2014

I'm sick and tired of a new kind of blog spam that is appearing on the Internet in general and on my site in particular. So called auto-blogs, that is blogs that are running an automated script adding content to their website without user interaction, are pinging the blogs that they rip off like crazy for a reason.

Most of those auto-blogs copy the first paragraph of a story and send a ping to the blog that they copied the paragraph from. This is done automatically because a link to the blog in question is placed on the auto-blog as well. Those pingbacks appear in the comments of many blogs in the last weeks and I decided it is time to stop this once and for all.

They usually begin with 'xxx wrote an interesting post today' where xxx is a random first name. As soon as I see this I know it is spam. I used to verify this in the beginning by visiting the site of the pingback only to see that it had thousands of similar posts from a lot of websites.

Another indicator is that those sites usually have thousands or more posts already. Many of those auto-blogs show their post count in the title of the story. If it is starting with ?p=xxxxx you can be fairly sure that it is a auto-blog if p is larger than a few thousand entries.

the WordPress Comment Blacklist listing

Stopping that spam is actually rather uncomplicated. I do use Spam Karma which has a nice blacklist feature. I can add a domain name to be blacklisted from my website with no problem.

All I need to do is select Domain Blacklist and enter the domain name without http://www.

The effect is of course that a Pingback from such a domain is getting a bad score in Spam Karma which means that this entry is going right into the spam folder.

Update: You can blacklist domains directly in WordPress as well if you prefer that. To do so open Settings > Discussion and add any domain name you want to block to the comment blacklist setting there.

Block 'wrote an interesting post today' spam
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Block 'wrote an interesting post today' spam
How to block trackback and pingback spam on a WordPress blog using built-in options.

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  1. Jesse said on October 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    I have such a small time blog, and yet I get them as well…

  2. Dante said on October 11, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    If a particular site bugs me too much, I just access one of the bot farm command newsgroups and have the bots ping the arsehole to death. I love these bot hackers. They leave their bots open for all to use :)

  3. Ryan Wagner said on October 11, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Why not just have it send all posts that include “an interesting post today” to the moderation filter. I don’t think many people will be saying that in their comments. That’s what I do, and it’s extremely effective.

  4. Martin said on October 11, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Captchas do not work when another site sends a pingback. That’s automatic.

  5. gnome said on October 11, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    I also tend to monitor every comment posted… Only 100% safe way really…

  6. Anonymous said on October 11, 2007 at 12:04 pm



  7. Anonymous said on October 11, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    you could always use those nifty ‘captcha’ codes. most bots can figure them out.

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