The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Guestbook and Spam

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I've had quite a few web site regulars ask me about the e-mails they keep getting which say someone with an odd name has signed the guest book, but when they come to see the site, there is no new entry to see, what's going on.

Well guest books can, and are being spammed. People realised that one of the best ways to push their web site higher in the google rankings is to have links to it from other sites, the easiest way to do this is to sign guest books, most of which allow you to put in a web site as part of the procedure. This process is automated by something called a “bot” which scans web sites for guest books and tries to sign them automatically.

Our guest book has been updated by myself a few times now to try to filter out spam signings like this, but it's a never ending battle and of course some spams do get through at which point you receive the alert you signed up for. We also get the alert and usually within an hour or two of the guest book being spammed Jane or myself (usually Jane, she's very dedicated to ridding our site of this stuff) will have gone in and deleted the spam entry.

There are further steps than can be taken, but the more restrictive they are the more awkward it becomes for genuine visitors to sign our book.

I am keeping an eye on the problem and hope we can stay on top of it.

In the meantime, if you do find an unsavoury entry in the guest book, please e-mail me using the form at the top of this article, and we will remove it ASAP.


your friendly neighbourhood web master

Published Sat 28th Jan 2006 13:32:56

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