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the Big Blog Company | Smitting the spammers with blacklists
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
April 20 2005
Smitting the spammers with blacklists
Perry de Havilland • Blogs & Blogging • Administrative 
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This blog ‘only’ gets a few trackback spams per week but we are well aware that some folks have been getting hammered pretty hard by those parasitic vermin.  The site, of which I am chief editor, is a high volume site and thus attracts the spammers rather more regularly (as in about 2,600 trackback spams in the last 48 hours alone).  Let me pass on a trick that makes using the various forms of Blacklist designed to keep the spammers at bay work more effectively.

If you get a couple trackbacks with ‘payload’ URLs of (say) ‘’ and ‘’, you can of course enter those URLs into your blacklist and all future incidences of trackbacks with those URLs in them will be blocked.  Alas, the vile spammers are rather too smart to make that effective, because next time their spambots are sent out to dump their garbage on your blog, the URL may look like: ‘’ and ‘’ and next time ‘’ and ‘’.  So…

When adding to your blacklist, rather than adding the entire offending URL, add the data thusly (using the examples above):


That way just partial matches will trip over the blacklist and minor alterations to the payload URL will not let it avoid detection.

Spam is intolerable, so do not just delete it, fight back and defend your private property (i.e. your blog)!  If you do not have anti-spam defences in place, you really must install them… the tools are available but you need to spend the time to learn how to use them effectively.

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