Spam and Wikipedia

Ozh posted an idea to the forums with what I think is a neat idea to help in the scrap with comment spammers.
Spammers do what they do to generate links which they hope will be clicked on and then generate trade. Bloggers spend what can be an inordinate amount of time making sure that spam is not displayed on our sites, and if you are running WP 1.5, all comments now have the “rel=nofollow” tag attached to render the comment useless for pagerank purposes. So basically what we are trying to do is stop their pagerank going up (it’s part of the battle anyway).
What Ozh is proposing is that we also tackle it by taking a more active approach by deliberately linking certain spam terms to good sources – one being Wikipedia – so when Googlebot happens along and trawls our pages, it will see this link everywhere and slowly raise it in the pageranking.
Do I think this is a solve-all approach ? No, but a single solution doesn’t exist does it ? I do think that it is a useful addition to the armoury though, and one that can be used usefully – though apparently Googlebot may disagree with me on this next point.

If you scroll to the bottom of the menu here, just below the “Stalk Me ?” link is a hidden link. It’s for Online Poker, and it links to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_poker. A perfectly legitimate link. I’m not sure though that I want a list of spam terms visible to the casual visitor though, so the link – and any others should I add them – are hidden with CSS. This has been pointed out as being a bad idea but having read the link to the Google page my take on it is that although my link is hidden, it doesn’t fall foul of Google’s policies – I can’t imagine that they had CSS snippets in mind when they wrote that page, can you ? And they do say that Google examines pages in a similar way to how Lynx views pages – and Lynx has no problems with this page or that link.

Having said that though, having links hidden – like Ozh says – doesn’t encourage others to do this and any sort of approach is better with more participants. Maybe I’ll have the title only …. with a link to this post …

Edit:: Howto

Create new link category, add wikipedia links in this cat. Note cat ID
In sidebar.php, put this

<li id=”spamcrap”>Spamcrap
<ul><?php wp_get_links(18); ?></ul>
</li>

(the number in the brackets is the cat ID)

and in your css:

#nav ul li#spamcrap, #nav li#spamcrap a, #nav li#spamcrap a:hover, #nav#spamcrap a:visited {
color: #fff;
}

Adjust to suit

Posted in WWW

8 thoughts on “Spam and Wikipedia

  1. When I joined in the GoogleBombing for the word “Jew”, I set up a separate page just for the links. The link to the GoogleBomb page is simply called “my googlebombs >> influence your world” and is in my side menu. I even explained in plain text what the purpose of that page was for.

    Looking through my logs, I noted that the Big 3 search engines (G/Y/M) routinely checked that page.

    And now that you have inspired me, I’m going to change the title and page around and let the bots at it again!:grin:

  2. Spiffy! The crappy thing is I don’t have a sidebar on my site, though I guess I could hide the stuff in my footer or something. Or do the whole page o’ links thing. I’ll probably play around with this later. When I’m more motivated to be not lazy.

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