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New User Spam Registrations

  • Question…I am using SI Captcha on my registration form (and other forms)with a difficulty level of “high” but I still receive lots of new user registrations that appear to be spam (unless of course our website is VERY POPULAR with the folks at averagepeniswidth.com). If they are not posting anything on our website, can someone explain what possible benefit registering for our website there would be for them? These folks don’t subscribe to our newsletter or communicate in any other way. Just trying to understand and figure out what to do.

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  • The benifit for them registering at your site is the same as you putting the link to your site on here – It’s a backlink to their site and they don’t have to do anything for it.

    Because WordPress has a page for each author, there’s a ready-built page for each person/bot that registers, so when they register, they get a page on your site with a link back to their site. It’s all part of one of the many automated SEO systems that are out there that try and push these sort of SPAM’y things onto us webmasters.



    Forum Moderator

    they get a page on your site with a link back to their site.

    Uh? The only page that a basic Subscriber gets is a Profile page in the WP back end. So nothing on the front end & no back links.

    OK, I stand corrected. 🙂 Sorry esmi, I always thought that there was an authors bio page given to users when they registered.

    If that’s not the case, then I’d still think that it’s the automated systems registering to try and gauge the blog and see what they can and can’t do for later full-blown SPAM’ing (comments, articles, etc).



    Forum Moderator

    I always thought that there was an authors bio page given to users when they registered.

    The authors page you mentioned only refers to Post/Page authors (ie those who have created content on the site) – not basic Subscribers. Also, unless you know the author’s username, you won’t be able to access it unless the current theme provides some sort of link to the page. No link – no SE indexing. 🙂

    That said, I do agree that spam bots are programmed sign up for anything on the basis that 1 in 1000 completed forms will lead to a back link of some sort. Fortunately, WP covers this pretty well by default.

    These are all just basic subscribers I’m referring to.
    So, can spam bots sign up as a registered user when the form includes CAPTCHA?

    Yes. I’ve seen a couple of “SEO” programs so far that have automated captcha processing that works very well. One had a success rate of around 95%, and when it couldn’t figure it out itself, it asked you to enter it. These programs even set up temporary free email accounts and check the inbox for registration requests, and do the confirmations to them as well, all without any sort of human inveraaction. These progams are used by a lot of low-cost SEO agencies to automate blog posting, commenting and more, all in a quest to get more backlinks for their customers sites.

    Captchas are like every other SMAP busting technology out there. it’s good in a lot of cases, but it’s pretty much impossible to stop all SPAM unless you block a whole lot of legitimate users as well. The best thing to do is look at each new registration manually. It’s a lot of effort, and a lot will still slip through, but that’s about the best way to do it.

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