Can’t stop spammers from sending junk? Have a little fun with them instead.

If you have a website or blog you most likely also have a contact form so that visitors can send you emails without revealing your email address on the website. You might also have the CAPTCHA function added to your form in order to discourage spambots from auto-filling your contact form thus using your bandwidth to constantly send their crap to you. Unfortunately, this does nothing to stop human spammers from using your own form to send their garbage your way. You can always block their email addresses, of course, but they’ll just create another Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo account anyway. So, what should you do? Well, a few bloggers have found interesting ways to have a little fun, and revenge, at some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spammers’ expense. And since most of them undoubtedly employ unethical spamdexing techniques (assuming they actually perform any SEO services at all), there’s certainly no harm in screwing around with their heads.

Blogger Matt Henderson has found an ingenious (and, no doubt, cathartic) way of dealing with SEO spammers who abuse his contact form. He collects their email addresses, then responds to their spam with fake proposal requests, using other SEO spammers as points of contact. The ensuing confusion between the spammers is hilarious. Sure it takes a bit of effort to do this, but just imagine how satisfied you’d feel after having got their respective goats. The blog 301 Eater takes this tactic a step further by engaging in an email exchange that leads nowhere for a hapless SEO spammer named “Neha.”

I receive these bandwidth-stealing spam emails via all of my domains every day. The latest SEO spammer, [email protected], used this generic entreaty: “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.” Well, I didn’t email her back, but I visited a few SEO websites based in India and sent messages via their contact forms on her behalf. I hope “Donna” enjoys my returning her favor.