Blackhole for Bad Bots

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Protect your site against bad bots by trapping them in a virtual blackhole.

Author:Jeff Starr (profile at
WordPress version required:4.1
WordPress version tested:5.5
Plugin version:2.9.1
Added to WordPress repository:18-02-2016
Last updated:24-03-2020
Rating, %:98
Rated by:97
Plugin URI:
Total downloads:218 448
Active installs:20 000+
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Add your own virtual black hole trap for bad bots.

Bye bye bad bots..

Bad bots are the worst. They do all sorts of nasty stuff and waste server resources. The Blackhole plugin helps to stop bad bots and save precious resources for legit visitors.

How does it work?

First the plugin adds a hidden trigger link to the footer of your pages. You then add a line to your robots.txt file that forbids all bots from following the hidden link. Bots that then ignore or disobey your robots rules will crawl the link and fall into the trap. Once trapped, bad bots are denied further access to your WordPress site.

I call it the “one-strike” rule: bots have one chance to obey your site’s robots.txt rule. Failure to comply results in immediate banishment. The best part is that the Blackhole only affects bad bots: human users never see the hidden link, and good bots obey the robots rules in the first place. Win-win!