The New Yorker has an excellent article this week on the wars between email spammers and those who try to filter them out. It’s interesting to see how the journalist compares spammers to viruses that learn to adapt. Once a spam filter successfully figures out a way to foil a spammer, the spammer must merely come up with a new method to continue his job. It’s a constant uphill battle.
I’ve always had the idea that the best way to stop spam is to punish spammers. I’m not talking about legally– but rather through search engines. Companies like Google and Yahoo should create spam traps that attract spam– and then remove the websites from their indexes.
For instance, let’s say a website called buyviagra.com is showing up continuously in blog comment spam. The site, because of its successful spam attacks, has managed to get a page rank of 5. But once that Google has managed to catch the spam in its trap, it removes it from the Google index, thereby sucking away any traffic from search engines. Now buyviagra.com’s competitors who receive google page rank through legitimate means get pushed to the top of searches while it disappears into oblivion.
What do you think? Would it work? Or would spammers just try to sabotage each other by submitting URLs from each other’s companies?