While bloggers may have won the war against spam bots via plugins like Akismet, WP-SpamFree and Sabre (not to mention a whole list of Movabletype plugins), it looks like these evil “promotional” companies have switched tactics by hiring desperate humans to promote their silly products (via Read Write Web).
(Official Akismet Blog) Human-posted spam has been on the rise for some time. Low-paid workers are hired by “SEO” firms to post comments on blogs and forums, advertising their clients’ web sites (typically small local businesses). The workers generally operate out of internet cafes and universities, particularly in India, South-East Asia, and Turkey. The quality of comments varies, with the best written spam usually coming from SE Asia. There are now sophisticated marketplaces set up specifically for hiring manual workers to do this kind of spam.
When it comes thwarting spammers, human spam is the most difficult to block, due to the fact that half the time their comments will be on topic.
Worse, blocking these individuals via IP address is now useless, as Akismet is reporting that many spammers are spoofing legitimate IP addresses from schools, businesses and governments (making IP blocking irrelevant).
It’s only after visiting the URL of your newest fan that you discover the real intent of commenting was to improve their respective SEO and not engage in a meaningful conversation.
Although human comment spam is a big enough issue by itself, it looks like trackbacks and pingbacks may become extinct in the near future thanks to gullible people attempting to become blogging pro’s overnight
(Official Akismet Blog) Autoblog pingback spam is now so bad that many blogs are refusing to accept any pingbacks at all. There’s no single source or group behind this – rather, gullible people are following “make money on the internet” instructions that recommend creating fake blogs on discount shared hosts and running ads. They use packages of WordPress plugins that copy content from other blogs or article publishing sites, and send pingbacks to many blogs try to get backlinks and traffic. There are large numbers of people doing this, and most of them have many such blogss. [sic]
Akismet goes on to explain that trackbacks (which are similar to pingbacks) are also facing extinction (as even spammers are abandoning them), which means bloggers in the future may have to search Technorati or Google Blog Search to see who is linking to their respective post.
So how can we, as bloggers fight these annoying people without breaking some heads the law? If you have a suggestion, feel free to enlighten us in the comment section below.