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Blackhole for Bad Bots

Protect your site against bad bots by trapping them in a virtual blackhole.

Add your own virtual Blackhole trap for bad bots. The Blackhole plugin includes a hidden link to your pages. You then add a line to your robots.txt file that forbids bots from following the hidden link. Bots that ignore or disobey your robots rules will crawl the link and fall into the honeypot trap. Once trapped, bad bots are denied further access to your WordPress-powered website.

I call it the "one-strike" rule: bots have one chance to obey your site's robots.txt rule. Failure to comply results in immediate banishment. The best part is that the Blackhole only affects bad bots: human users never see the hidden link, and good bots obey the robots rules in the first place. Win-win! :)

Using a caching plugin? Check out the Installation notes for important info.

Features

  • Easy to set up
  • Squeaky clean code
  • Focused and modular
  • Born of simplicity, no frills
  • Lightweight, fast and flexible
  • Built with the WordPress API
  • Works with other security plugins
  • Easy to reset the list of bad bots
  • Easy to delete any bot from the list
  • Blackhole link includes "nofollow" attribute
  • Plugin options configurable via settings screen
  • Works silently behind the scenes to protect your site
  • Optionally receive an email alert with WHOIS lookup for blocked bots
  • All major search engine bots are whitelisted so they will never get blocked
  • Focused on flexibility, performance, and security
  • Provides setting to whitelist any IP addresses
  • Customize the message displayed to bad bots ;)
  • One-click restore plugin default options

Not using WordPress? Check out the standalone PHP version of Blackhole!

Pro version coming soon!

Whitelist

By default, this plugin does NOT block any of the major search engines:

  • AOL.com
  • Baidu
  • Bingbot/MSN
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Googlebot
  • Teoma
  • Yahoo!
  • Yandex

These search engines (and all of their myriad variations) are whitelisted. They always are allowed full access to your site, even if they disobey your robots.txt rules. This list can be customized in the plugin settings.

Header Image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Requires: 4.1 or higher
Compatible up to: 4.6
Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Active Installs: 1,000+

Ratings

5 out of 5 stars

Support

0 of 2 support threads in the last two months have been marked resolved.

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1 person says it works.
0 people say it's broken.

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