Yes! A Website Spam Prevention Tool Marketers Won’t Hate

September 4, 2013
Example of a Captcha

As a marketer, captchas are a necessary evil. Can’t live with ‘em: you want to avoid adding obstacles to conversion or a form submission. Can’t live without ‘em: too many spam submissions could knock your website offline or result in a deluge of unwanted email notifications and meaningless content on your site.

For every new Digett site I recommend a captcha tool called Mollom, a very useful and powerful alternative to the typical captcha monster.

Spam prevention based on text analysis

When a site is connected to the Mollom service, the text of a form submission is instantaneously analyzed to determine whether the content is legitimate, possibly suspicious or spam.

What I like best about Mollom is that it doesn’t get in a marketer’s way. It does most of its work in the background, only asking someone to confirm they’re human with a captcha if a submission is suspicious.

Imagine this:

A visitor arrives at a form on your website (a landing page, a contact form, a blog comment form, etc.). They enter their information into the form and click Submit. The contents of the submission is analyzed by Mollom. Then...

A. Mollom detects spam
While spammers are getting very creative with their submissions these days, there are some red flags that make it obvious a message is spam. If Mollom is sure a message is spam, the submission will be blocked. The spam won’t be submitted and won’t appear on your site or in your inbox.

B. Mollom sees something potentially suspicious
When it’s not clear whether a submission is legitimate or not, then Mollom will show a captcha question. If it’s a real human trying to reach you, they’ll be able to answer the captcha and complete their submission. If it’s an automated script running trying to submit spam, those submissions will be stopped.

C. Mollom says the content is safe
If Mollom doesn’t detect anything suspicious or spam-like in the submission, the visitor’s submission is immediately completed. That’s it. No captcha, no additional obstacle to submission.

What makes Mollom such a cool captcha tool is that a visitor doesn’t even need to know it’s there but you can have peace of mind knowing a spam prevention tool is in place.

What else to know

  • Check out Mollom pricing to make sure it’s right for you. (You might be able to leverage their free plan).
  • It is hard to block all spam 100 percent of the time and Mollom isn’t always perfect. Spam techniques are constantly evolving and so must spam prevention methods.
  • Mollom doesn’t work exactly the same on all platforms. Mollom is full-featured on Drupal, but we’ve been a little disappointed with its WordPress implementation.
  • If you’re embedding third-party forms on your website (from your CRM or marketing automation tool) then Mollom may not be an option.

If spam on your site is frustrating you, let us know so we can see if we can help.