It appears we have made progress in the battle against spammers. Recently we noticed an increase in “feedback” spam, i.e. spam submitted on our contact form.
Besides comments on our articles, we do allow people to contact us privately through our contact form. This feedback is different from comments, in that the former are not publicized on the site.
Nevertheless, spammers do not seem to understand the difference between comment forms and feedback forms, as they submit the same type of spam to our feedback form as to our comment forms.
Unlike email spam, the purpose of comment spam is two-fold. First, comment spammers want to get visitors to visit their sites. Second, they want the get a higher indexing on search engines by multiplying the number of links to their sites. Comment spammers do not care about the site owner at all.
For that reason, feedback spam does not make any sense. Whatever is submitted to our contact form, remains private – unless there is explicit permission for this. Hence submitting spam this way, is completely meaningless for spammers.
However, feedback spam is annoying to us. So we have thought about a way to reduce the number of feedback spam we receive daily. We have come up with a simple and elegant measure.
We have included an additional required field which has to be filled before a feedback message can be submitted. This is a simple check box (“This is not spam”). The idea is that spambots do not expect this additional required field, and hence will fail to check it and consequently are unable to submit their spam.
Over the last 24 hours, since we implemented this measure, we have received zero feedback spam. This is a significant reduction.