Hindering Spambots

software development


A section of my website is interactive, where users can post, and along with that is often their e-mail address. If a spambot were to come across this, it would have a field day.

Does anyone have any experience in keeping spambots away, or tricking them?

One thing I read was having a Disallow line to a certain location in your .htaccess, and having a perl script that would check your access log for visitors to that location, or having a php script that adds the IP to a list, and then having that list used in .htaccess. That way, only robots that don’t listen to your robots.txt, or really nosy people would get blocked. Can .htaccess read IPs to block from another an external file?

What are your thoughts on this?


To be honest, the best thing you can do is to point them to:

and / or encourage them not to put their email address (or at least their main email address) on your site.

It’s more than likely that your site will be harvested by spambots; I wouldn’t personally trust any such technique to block all spambots while allowing all legitimate users.


Another idea is to have them “mask” it in some way. Like have it be ‘user ( at ) domain.com’ or ‘user@REMOVEdomain.com’ Basically modify in some way so that people know that they have to remove something, but the bots don’t (for example, what if there is a domain called REMOVEme.com?) I’ve even seen some scripts set up so that it would look like ‘user at domain dot com’ if you say it, you can figure it out, but most of the bots don’t see an @ sign so they just continue on.

Todd Eddy