Wiki Spam gaining Momentum and Coverage

2 comments
Thread Title:
WikiSpam
Thread Description:

As bloggers finally get a little more savvy in ways to thwart agressive search marketers automatically commenting on thousands of blogs at a time, wiki spam gains ground as the next wave of auto link generation strategy.

A wiki, for those still in the dark, is defined by Wiki.org as:

Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.

Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.

The threadlink above defines wiki spam:

Google measures its PageRank? based on links from one site to another, plus the PageRank? of the site linking to the other. Wikis are PageRank? machines, being both massively linked and with hundreds or thousands of pages. These two factors--openness and PageRank?--make wikis the ideal target for spam attacks. While this was well known for years, it took TheSeptemberThatNeverEnded before WikiSpam become economical enough to justify a spammer's attention.

and continues to explain why a wiki is an attractive spam vehicle:

Spammers are not asking you click on the link, although if you do they are happier. What they are looking for is higher Google results. The most useful wikis to spam are not even the most popular wikis, but rather the least traffic and the least PeerReviewed wikis. While previous spam techniques saught to hit sites with incredibly high PageRank?, it's possible now to use Google (ironically) and a robot to write links on millions of smaller WikiAsPIMs whose owners will not revert the vandalism since they won't notice. Millions of links from smaller sites is better than a few links from larger sites.

Interestingly enough, the page goes on to present some ways to thwart spammers but, like the blog efforts to his effect are just as useless as any good spammer will tell you.

I keep hearing stuff about wiki spam whispered here and there and as wikis become more and more common by the day im sure it'll become a common topic alongside blog based counterpart.

I can only see 2 effective solutions to either blog or wiki based spamming:

  • Use non-spiderable jump links
  • The engines (google) find a way to recognize it from legit stuff and act to remove it's potency

The first kills the whole idea of web. The second, at least in the short-medium term is unlikey - have a think about it, it'd be damn hard to do...

Comments

I would have thought that Goo

I would have thought that Google had been automatically filtering out Wiki links - they were very publicly used in the Ultramarine Nigritude contest, and seemed too hot to touch after.

The problem with blogs is simply jump links on commenting - some bloggers blame Google, but really it's the blog software developers that are pitifully to blame - how hard can it be to include a jump script just for comment links in the default install?

Wiki links is different - the point of Wiki's is to maintain info and links, so it's staying within the bounds of use.

However, ultimately, people need to take responsibility for their online publishing - if you own a blog, a forum, a wiki - any kind of site that allows third parties to comment on content - then it is absolutely up to the publisher to take responsibility for their sites.

The fact that so many are too lazy to police their own sites simply invites "spamming" techniques, because they are given fertile ground to work from.

2c.

Wiki Lockdown

I've noticed more wiki's are requiring registration and imposing other barriers to editing because of spam. Most even have announcements up to this effect. Sort of defeats the original intent of a Wiki.

However allowing everyone near editall powers might have been a tad idealistic.

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