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Trackback Cleanup

June 18th, 2006

Wow! Turning off the trackbacks really made a difference in clearing out the spammers. I’m still getting about one hundred comment spam a day (MT-Blacklist gets about 75% of them, SpamLookup the other 25%), but the trackbacks seem to have been the real monster here, as I noted before. And it showed up like crazy in the AwStats: immediately after I deactivated the trackback script, the number of “visitors” dropped by a bit more than half. This may represent the clearest picture of visitors I’ve gotten from AwStats in quite some time.

But it also shows how lopsided spam has become. Half of my site’s “visitor” traffic was trackback spam. Maybe 25% of all traffic volume, in megabytes, was spam–the spam, at least, did not download movies or anything. Just made smaller hits–but there were so damned many of them. For a long time, I’d known that about a quarter of my site’s traffic was spam. Recently, I could see that my “visitor” traffic had inexplicably risen by about 30% to 40%. This explains why.

When I look at the “recent visitors” in my domain’s CPanel, I can still see them constantly hitting the site–but now all they’re getting are “500”-type server errors. Maybe in time they’ll even stop trying, once they see there’s no trackback there anymore.

Turning the damned things off was the smartest maintenance move I’ve made so far. If you still use trackbacks, consider shutting them down. They’re not worth it.

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