form spam

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Form spam is erroneous postings to forms on websites. Usually forms are used by people to request more information or submit a comment to a blog post. However, spam bots on the net also fill out these same forms and submit them to the annoyance of website owners. These "non-human" generated postings are considered form spam and are what was created to combat.


What does a form spam typically look like?

Typical form spam peddles drugs, gambling sites or financial scams designed at luring amateur web surfers into parting with their money. Generally, you'll know it when you see it, but it is very similar to email spam.

Why do they spam forms?

Likely one of the most significant reasons spam bots target web forms is that content typed into web forms frequently ends up in web pages. (such as in the case of a guest book or a blog comment) The form spam bots include links to the websites they are trying to promote in their form spam posting. This makes it look to Google like your website is "giving a vote of confidence" to the website that the bots are trying to promote. Google sees this and raises that the bot's website in its results. Essentially the spam bot is trying to trick your website into using your good Google karma to get good Google ranking of its own.

Other reasons include tricking amateur web surfers into clicking on the spam bot's website or just simply overrunning a valuable web resource (such as a forum) to make it unusable.

How do they find me?

Generally, the longer a form is on the web, the more likely it is to become the target of form spam. Spam bots troll the web following links and looking for forms and probing for common weaknesses. Eventually they will end up at your website and report back to their spam bot network that you have a form. Once this is known, you can count on regular visits from form spam bots.

What can be done about it? was created as a solution to the form spam problem.

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