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 Valid link code
Author: M.McGinnis   (28 Aug 06 5:12pm)
The suggested link code found at http://www.projecthoneypot.org/how_to_avoid_spambots_5.php is not valid or accessible XHTML. Here is a revision of the code:

<div class="slesto"><table summary="Member of Project Honey Pot Spam Harvester Protection Network" cellspacing="0"cellpadding="0"border="0"style="background:#999;width:230px;"><tr><td valign="top"style="padding: 1px 2px 5px 4px;border-right:solid 1px #CCC;"><span style="font:bold 30px arial,sans-serif;color:#666;top:0px;position:relative;">@</span></td><td valign="top" align="left" style="padding:3px 0 0 4px;"><a href="http://www.projecthoneypot.org/" class="slesto">MEMBER OF PROJECT HONEY POT</a><br/><a href="http://www.unspam.com"class="slesto">Spam Harvester Protection Network<br/>provided by Unspam</a></td></tr></table></div>

Put the CSS in the header or an external stylesheet:
a.slesto{color:#FFF;font:bold 10px arial,sans-serif;text-decoration:none;}

I like this link code because it has no images, unlike the other ones.
 
 Re: Valid link code
Author: M.Prince   (28 Aug 06 5:30pm)
Yeah... I know. Just hasn't been a priority to fix.

We actually removed the little button from installed honey pots a while ago. We had run tests and found that there was a statistically significant up-tick in the amount of addresses that were picked up when the button wasn't there. Initially, we thought we'd created the holy grail: a simple snippit of HTML that you could place on your website and harvesters would pass you by.

That turned out to both be true, and not so true. After playing with a bunch of the most common harvesting programs, some of them had an option to "avoid spam traps." When this option was activated, they in fact did avoid any page that contained the button.

To figure out what was going on for sure, we began to strip down the button. Turns out the "avoid spamtraps" function wasn't looking for the button itself, instead it was looking for any occurrances of the words: harvester, spamtrap, honey pot, etc....

What's interesting is that you can use this to your advantage. Including the button will work. What also works is just putting those words somewhere -- ANYWHERE -- on your page. In fact, we found that the "smart" harvesters would skip over your page if the text was contained in a tag (e.g., <harvester spamtrap honey pot />). Or even if you include them somewhere in the <head> element of the page.

So, at some point, we'll get around to fixing the button's HTML to correctly validate. (I appreciate the code you posted.) In the meantime, if you want to avoid harvesters, one great trick is just to include some text in the <head> of your page that suggests to them that maybe the page is a spamtrap.



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