The Detriments of Guestbook Spam

As numerous industry rivals battle over who will get the most page hits and best search engine ranking for the day, aspiring online business owners are doing whatever it takes to get ahead.  They are leading huge email campaigns, creating profiles on blogs and various social networking sites, and spreading the word to anyone who is willing to listen.  Unfortunately, spam just happens to be the driving force behind marketing activity, as many believe that it will help them prevail in the competitive world of online business.  This is bad news for many spam victims who are just looking to run a legitimate website.

Guestbooks are a prime spam target

Several businesses and personal website owners integrate popular guestbook scripts into a site to obtain feedback or communicate with friends and family.  Those harmless guestbooks have now become a prime target for ambitious spammers and robot networks to hangout.  More often than not, these spam postings will have nothing to do about the victimized site or its owner.  Guestbook spamming is simply another way for desperate individuals and companies to lure traffic to the website they are promoting.

The origins of guestbook spam

Guestbook spamming grew to popularity around the time Adsense programs became available.  Though the search engine is not directly responsible for the spam outbreak, many spammers have built their campaigns around the Google structure.  They are proud to make a mockery out of the internet's super power - creeping their way high up the search engine ladder with little to no financial investment.   This makes those guestbook hosting sites sitting ducks, just waiting to be attacked by spammers.  More than likely, this activity will take place when a site does not have the proper security policies put in place. 

Managing guestbook spam

Identifying the techniques of a guestbook spammer is not as difficult as one may think.  While erasing anyone who leaves behind a link to their website may not be the right protocol, it should serve for concern.  A direct indicator would be a visitor that leaves links unrelated to your website accompanied by a corresponding product or service.  Some of your visitors may notice the comment and ignore it, while others may take interest and unknowingly expose themselves to a costly scam.  This is very probable as human nature gives many of us a need to satisfy our curiosity. 

Guestbook spam can also be easily identified by a posting that is rich with keywords and focuses on one topic.  In this case, it is obvious that the individual is looking to have their site indexed by the roaming search engine spiders.  

On a positive note, there are many ways to combat guestbook spam.  Some of the best prevention must take place in the administrative area, making modifications before any comments are allowed to be posted.  Due to the rise of this unsolicited advertising, guestbook owners are following the practice of blogs and community forums that work diligently to develop restraints to keep their sites free of spam.  Newer versions of available guestbook scripts have also been designed to battle many of today's common spamming techniques. 

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In 2003, more than 10 million Americans fell victim to identity theft.

Identity theft costs business and individuals $53 billion dollars annually

In 2003, Americans spent 300 million hours resolving issues related to identity theft.

70% of all identity theft cases are perpetrated by a co-worker or employee of an affiliated business.