It's funny what kinds of unintended uses can be discovered for new tools like Woopra. My latest discovery was the fact that you can actually use Woopra to help combat spammers on your site. Here is how I discovered it can work.

First of all, I'm using WordPress over on my personal blog. In the Woopra plugin for WordPress I've enabled all of the notification options including "Auto Tagging", "Show Comments" and "Show Searches". For a little more detail on what the options do, you might see this previous blog post on the addition of the search tracking feature.

After that, I simply set up a new Event Notification to give me an alert when a Tagged visitor comes to the site. Since I have "Auto Tagging" enabled in the WordPress plugin, any time someone leaves a comment they get tagged, and the next time they visit a page I receive a notification.

The other day I saw a notification pop up that said I had a known visitor on the site by the name of "Spyware Doctor", which looked very suspicious to me. So, I clicked on the notification to take me directly to the detail listing associated with that visitor. What I saw shocked me!

As you can clearly see, this person was using Google to search my site for the words "spyware", "malware" and "adware" and then visiting every page that contained that keyword so they could leave a comment.

The reason for this is that they clearly just wanted their spammy keyword name and URL to be on those pages to try and generate traffic back to their Web site. This is one of the most basic tricks in the Blog spam book, but I was surprised at just how clearly Woopra was able to show me what was happening. It leaves no doubt whatsoever about what is going on.

Because I saw the instant notification and took a look at what was going on I was able to immediately delete all of the spammy comments and also blacklisted the user from further commenting on my blog.

If you've discovered other interesting Spam fighting techniques or have suggestions as to how we can improve Woopra for use as a Spam fighting tool I hope you'll share your thoughts with the rest of us.

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