Linkfarming annoyance

Hum. For the past few weeks has been constantly (well, every night essentially) been a target for systematic linkfarming. In case you do not know, that is a technique where you place innocent-looking links that really refer to other sites, in order to artificially increase their search engine rating. One other technique is to change single characters like full stops to outside links. These are not visible to people, but are visible to robots. (At least I think it's called linkfarming).

Anyhow, the open nature of Wikis makes them especially vulnerable to this. This is known to happen in weblogs and bulletin boards as well, where you can also write text openly. Some have even been attacked by bots.

This is not good. It is the problem of having an "user writable" internet... This is not the crap I was talking about previously, either; this is pure shit.

I've been thinking of some solutions:

  • Forbid search engines from indexing (probably does not help, since the linkfarmers wouldn't notice it)
  • Forcibly delete all other linkfarm attempts, except in the JSPWiki:SandBox, then forbid bots from indexing the SandBox This is what we've been doing lately, but deleting everything is very annoying, as there are far more Chinese people than there are us (yes, most of linkfarming comes from China).
  • Add an "external link redirect thingy", i.e. redirect all external link requests through a servlet (this screws up referrers, but it also stops googlejuice from flowing to those people - but it also stops it from good and valid sites)
  • Make writable only to known people (i.e. enforce a login/password policy, but this may be too damaging to the wiki culture).
  • At least the Main page will be closed down only to known people. There have been too many people who think they are wonderful hackers by writing their own document on the Main page. It takes a certain type of clueless indetermination and stupidity to not realize that hacking a Wiki by replacing the front page is not particularly impressive...

Any more ideas?


How about asking what word is in picture with mixed colors
and rectangles when saving page? That would stop bots,

And you could improve it with some simple
wiki-context-aware puzzle, like: "what is
the name of this wiki's pissed off admin?"
or "who has stinky bare feet?"

--Anonymous Enderite, 24-Jun-2004

We all have stinky bare feet now.

--J-Ko, 24-Jun-2004

J-Ko: Whee, my mission in life has been accomplished! As my next goal in life, I shall attempt to make everyone wear their socks around their necks!

And I think a billion chinese with internet access is worse than any bots in this case :-). Besides, even that is trivially circumvented using porn sites as manual labor ;-).

--JanneJalkanen, 24-Jun-2004

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"Main_blogentry_240604_1" last changed on 24-Jun-2004 09:39:26 EEST by JanneJalkanen.