Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog or Bot?

Hello Friends!

Please let me know whenever you run across blogs that you've found are being kept not by humans, but bots.

August 19, 2012 UPDATE ::: Read it and weep!

When this post first ran back in February, I had run across several bots. They're "professional" razzly-dazzly slick-looking ... a lot of them mimic the layout of Ana's Traffic Generation Cafe blog or Nick's Tricks: large print, clean layout, lots of ads. Because they are ad-driven, they likely will NOT have popup welcome screens UNLESS the blog is specifically set up to harvest email addresses (if that's the case you won't see any dates on the posts).

Those of you who know my email address can send the URLs of such blogs to me directly. Others may leave them in comments below.

WARNING! Do not link back to these blogs from your own, as they can then covertly inject scripts into your template (especially in WordPress: almost impossible to do in blogger/blog*spot) - once active inside your blog as script, they are difficult to weed out as I've seen some intertwine their code with codes belonging to other widgets.

For awhile during Fall 2011, bot blogs were running rampant on the Entrecard network.

Another way of identifying them: they never respond to any comments, and there is no screening of comments or cap'cha or anything like that. If you are suspicious about a blog that is really a bot, leave something totally off-topic insane in the comments and see how long it stays up (sometimes the bot owner will visit, usually on a monthly basis, to check on the bot or maybe update it a little so it will look as if a real blogger actually posts there.

How many bot blogs are out there? Plenty!

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  1. Thanks for the warning and the list, Dave.

    Glad you mentioned NOT linking to them; so many bloggers don't understands that those trackbacks are not real!

    As always, thanks for the mention!

  2. Hi. In your blog post, you write about loopholes in wordpress, so that spammers can inject a script on your blog. This is very well possible, but it is not a result of you linking to them. When you link to them, the only bad thing you're doing, is increasing their google juice, also known as PageRank, which influences how high they rank in search results. However, linking to them does not give them the ability to inject code into your HTML source. In order to do that, they'd have to either use SQL injection, or enter the script tag in a comment, but CMS systems are usually quite good at filtering those out.

    However, loopholes still exist in these platforms, so my advice to bloggers would be to always update your blogging engine or CMS, wether it's drupal, wordpress, ExpressionEngine, Joomla or whatever you're using. The latest releases always contain patches to cover up loopholes and vulnerabilities.

  3. @bigblind

    spammerhackers are much smarter than you think - they are masters of exploitation and I've seen what havoc they can wreak on a blog...


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