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Stop those Trackback spam!

I recently changed my anti-spam plug-in on my WordPress blog, WP-AntiSpamFree, and replaced it with a CAPTCHA-style WordPress anti spam plug-in. Even though there has been no spam comments received, I do get a lot of trackbacks spam!

Even with Akismet installed, I still have to sort them out as I had an experience in the past where a genuine comment/trackback was tagged as a spam by Akismet!

I then found a plug-in called “Simple Trackback Validation“, that is simple, yet more effective than Akismet in combating trackback spam.
From the author’s site:

When a trackback is received, this plug-in:

  1. Checks if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the web server the trackback URL is referring to.
    This reveals almost every spam trackback (more than 99%) since spammers do usually use bots which are not running on the machine of their customers.
  2. Retrieves the web page located at the URL included in the trackback.
    If the page doesn’t a link to your blog, the trackback is considered to be spam. Since most trackback spammers do not set up custom web pages linking to the blogs they attack, this simple test will quickly reveal illegitimate trackbacks.
    Also, bloggers can be stopped abusing trackback by sending trackbacks with their blog software or web services without having a link to the post.

Of course these 2 options are optional and can be selected/not-selected on the Simple Trackback Validation settings.

You can also decide what to do when Simple Trackback Validation plug-in tags a trackback as a spam:

Simple Trackback Validation Plug-in

Not just that, you can even add an extra “[BLOCKED BY STBV]” to the trackback’s title so that you are aware that this trackback was caught as a spam by the Simple Trackback Validation plug-in.

I turned this on to evaluate how effective this plug-in is and whether it’s accurate. After a few days of trialing, I found 51 trackback comments spam waiting on my Akismet queue:

Simple Trackback Validation Plug-in
Gotta love seeing the "Blocked by STBV" tag


After observing the results, I did find a valid trackback (caught as a SPAM) because the IP address didn’t match (see what the plug-in did above). So I turned off that option but making sure that the trackback does point to my site:

Simple Trackback Validation Plug-in
No linky to my blog? Go away!


I can now safely assume that if a trackback doesn’t link back to my blog, then it’s a spam. What I need to do, is to change the “How to deal with spam trackbacks?” setting to “Discard trackback”. This will save me so much time as I don’t need to check my Akismet spam queue anymore for these online casino and viagra trackbacks!

Simple Trackback Validation plug-in also logs the last 50 trackbacks if you are still skeptical about it and can be accessed from the WordPress’ Administration:

Trackbacks log
The plug-in says: "Don't believe me? Look at these reasons why I blocked it"

I still think, however, that my old plug-in, WP-SpamFree is the best WordPress plug-in ever in combating comment and trackback spam. However, many of my readers were having problems in commenting as this plug-in requires Cookies and JavaScript to be turned on.

A good blogger listens to his/her readers! (Although not always, lol)

If you are still checking your spam queue daily for these trackback spams, quit wasting your precious time and download the Simple Trackback Validation plug-in!

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