Nov 082010

When version 1.2 of the G.A.S.P. (Growman Anti Spambot Plugin) WordPress plugin was released I noticed a ton of Trackback spam start pouring into my blogs, this version of the plugin no longer blocked Trackbacks and lacks any sort of filter for preventing spam Trackbacks.  In working with Andy Bailey the developer he quickly put together GASP 1.3 which has a check box which allows you to prevent any Trackbacks to your blog.


However, many WordPress bloggers do want valid Trackbacks on their blog posts that link to other sites which may feature or talk about their articles, this helps show a posts publicity levels as well as lets a user link out to another site for cross traffic.  I am one of those people who don’t mind having valid trackbacks, in this case I would recommend you combine the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin with the Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker WordPress Plugin.

The Simple Trackback Validation plugin does two main validations to help prevent trackback spam.

  • Checks if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the webserver the trackback URL is referring to. This will reveal almost all spam trackbacks.
  • Retrieves the web page located at the URL included in the trackback to check if it contains a link to your blog

This plugin does a really good job and caught 100% of the Trackback spam on my blogs over the 3 days I tested it, however by default the plugin will have your spam Trackbacks placed into the moderation queue.  This will force you to have to mark all those spam Trackbacks as SPAM or Trash them.  This is too time consuming, so I decided to have it set to Discard trackback altogether after I tested and showed it didn’t catch any false positives.


So now I still highly recommend the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin for WordPress to manage your comment spam instead of Akismet, but if you are going to use this plugin and keep Trackbacks enabled then you need to companion it with the Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker plugin for WordPress.

-Dragon Blogger

Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino


Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
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  • Justin still is something I been looking for bro…anything you suggest is something I must blog is getting bigger and things are getting a little more crazy..thanks

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • Thanks and these 2 plugins are worth it, I don’t use Akismet anymore now that I am using GASP and the TB Validation plugin.

  • Installed it, love it – thanks for the great tip, Justin.

    Ana Hoffman

    • Yep, I had to use it myself as I was inundated with trackback spam yet I wanted to keep good and valid trackbacks.

  • Thanks for sharing the solution. My blog is not that popular yet to have number of spam trackbacks and I really love how GASP is working to avoid spam comments. But still, I believe I need to install Topsy Blocker.

    How nice would it be if GASP incorporated the Topsy Blocker in itself so that we did not need two plugins for comments. Hope Andy will think about it in near future.

  • Was wondering if the Topsy functions from Digg Digg plugin worked with this one as well.

    Any idea?

    • This plugin only blocks the Topsy trackbacks and shouldn’t interfere with other Topsy plugins.

  • Hi Justin – I’ve been using G.A.S.P. (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin) for a few weeks now and am very pleased with it. Many of the trackbacks I get are from webmasters using reprints from So like you, I do want valid trackbacks from the legitimate sites.

    I only recently noticed the recommendation for the Simple Trackback Validation plugin inside the GASP admin settings. I’m glad to see your article because when I saw there were two versions of the plugin (with and without Topsy features) I didn’t realize the importance of selecting the one that blocked Topsy trackbacks.

    Now I’ll go change to the *correct* one!

    • Yeah, with the original all the Topsy retweets show up which causes a lot of spam trackbacks, no need to see the Topsy retweets especially since my own RT’s are some of them.

  • Hey Justin,

    Thanks for the screenshots, i love GASP!

    It is really cool plugin to combat spams and trackbacks.

  • Hey Justin,

    I’ve added this plugin to solve my trackback woes yesterday. I think it’s working great!

  • I practically panicked when I upgraded and the spam started streaming in. It took me a few days to actually realize that they were trackback spams ’cause they looked like normal spammy comments. Thank God for STVP.

    • Yep, SPAM is much more under control now. There is another update with heuristics that can filter comments based on URL’s left in comments now.

  • I thought I was going crazy with all the trackback spam. I too stopped using Akismet and only use GASP. I’m going to install this other plug-in ASAP. Thanks, Justin!!

    • Glad you found this post then, yep it is a crucial plugin.

  • Great plugin!

  • Hi Justin,

    Thank you SO much for this post. I was getting tired of manually deleting that trackback spam but since everything it has flagged as spam IS spam and you tested it too I feel comfortable having that junk automatically deleted.

    I sent some details and a copy of this post to Andy at CommentLuv in case he wants to incorporate that ability into future versions of G.A.S.P.

    • Yeah, so far it works pretty well but there is some trackback spam that still makes it through into my Pending Approval folder. I probably still have about 25+ bogus comments or trackbacks I still need to manually trash on this blog each day. Significantly less than what I had to sift through with Akismet just to find 2-3 valid comments out of 90+ spam ones.

  • BEAUTIFUL! The perfect compliment to Andy’s plugin. If either of you guys were in Delaware I would most definitely buy you both a beer of your choice.

    Thanks again for ‘sticking’ it to the spammers.

    Now I just need the time to finish my blog re-design and use implement these goodies.

    BTW, have you been following Andy’s news about CL 2.9 coming very soon?

    • I already installed CommentLuv 2.9, you are using it now! It actually is branded 2.8.9 temporarily.

  • This sounds like just what I need. I haven’t had a problem with all my blogs just this one with trackback spam. So it’s good to know there is an easy solution – it would be nice if a future version of GASP had this feature too.