Spam is unwanted user content submitted as comments, posts, contact forms, pop-ups, data, emails, user registrations, etc. The spam message or comment may contain links to unethical or illegal websites or too many links to other websites. Some links may lead to websites that may contain malware which harm the users computers and webpages. Most of the comment systems are very vulnerable to attacks by spammers.
The intent of the spammers may be collecting or stealing money or personal information, installing malware or viruses on computers or boosting website search engine rankings.
Use of effective tools and plugins can help in moderating and controlling spam into your computer, server or website.
Most spam can be one of the four categories:
The spammer changes the ranking of your website in search results. The spammer uses tactics to get his own website over competitors by invading your website with spam messages.
A single keyword is used and filled up all over their website and most important places like title, page description, content and links. The spammers also insert keywords into pages that viewers may not see but search engines can. This enables them to invade your website and get it directed to their own website easily.
Keyword cloaking is inserting keywords and phrases into a page’s code. Keywords may be in same colour as the background of the website, hidden with the CSS code or placed near the bottom of the pages in small fonts.
Stuffing or cloaking of keywords can add to spam within your website content and this will play a role in search engine rankings. Your website content is very crucial for search engines. This content may be scraped by spammers and included in their own website to increase their ranking.
Also known as link spam, referral spam are bad links inserted into your web content. The spammer may place a link to his website in addition to your links or may even replace your links with his. Google maintains an algorithm to identify genuine links and quality sites, but there are some loopholes. If your website is found to have any unwanted links, it would get penalised for a long time and you might lose a lot of business and customers.
Link building means to get a link from a different website to your website. Your response to that links, like providing a quote or a review, might then link back to that website and the spammer gets an authority over your website.
Traffic spam is usually a related to link spam. When your website receives a link from a bad site and subsequently receives traffic from there, it causes high level of bouncers from the visitors. Constantly checking referral traffic on your website using traffic monitoring applications can help track referral traffic and the user platforms of the bad sites.
Odd links that you would not have received or showing sites in which your link is not visible and wrong URL etc are included under the category of traffic spam. Traffic spam is unwanted as it skews up your monthly data.
Search engines like Google have their own web spam team to identify and rectify spam. Spammers further use comment sections, widgets and registration links to gain access into your website. It is important to have a moderator for allowing content to be published in sections like these.
Only by continuous monitoring your website can be kept free from spam attacks.