Sunday, December 04, 2005
What comment spam looks like
I hate comment spam and those scumbags who post it to blogs. These spammer fiends are excess baggage we can do without. Be sure to delete every spam comment that appears on your blog.
Spam comments take many forms, have varied content, and often link to dangerous or dubious sites.
Never click on a link in a spam comment. You may get infected with spyware, and you will be boosting the search engine ranking or link popularity of the site, in some cases.
Comment spam is cyber-vandalism. It's the defacing of a blog by selfishly using your blog as a bulletin board to post their crap.
To avoid even the appearance of comment spam, I almost never post a comment with any kind of link in it. I especially never include a link to my blogs or to any of my blog posts.
Blog promotion specialists may tell you it's okay to mention a relevant post you wrote, and to include a post URL to it. I disagree.
Here's what I advise: post an intelligent, revelvant, unique comment, in which you mention, by title, the brilliant article you posted on your own blog. Let people click on the link embedded in your name, where the comment form asks for your homepage URL, to visit your blog. Then, once they're at your blog, they can find your essay.
Even innocent, benevolent comments can look like spam, when a link is included.
Now, let's look at a spam comment I received today. Since I have Blogger Comment Moderation and Word Verification, the spam problem has been greatly reduced, and is now completely ineffectual.
Comment Moderation delays the posting of all comments by my readers. It also means that all comments will be evaluated for spam characteristics, prior to appearing on my blogs. This protects my readers from malevolent web sites, and makes my blogs cleaner, more professional looking.
This comment quoted below was rejected as spam. Can you see why? Remember, not all comment spam looks like this. Sometimes it is just a linked phrase. But this one is fairly typical. Check it out...
from internet marketing manager
Hi there ,
You have a great looking blog with a lot of helpful information. I am book marking this page.
I was out searching for more info on advertising strategy ["advertising strategy" was a link to some dubious web site] when I found your page. Although Get Back to Cluetrain wasn’t exactly what I was interested in. I had to stop……..GREAT POST
I’m tryin’ to find more information on advertising strategy.
Have you ever thought of adding Instant Audio to your Website and emails?..... It will double your sales in the First 30 days.
Click on the link to see how this will change the power of your business.
Analysis of the
(1) "from internet marketing manager"
* this "internet marketing manager" is a bogus name that's not really a name at all, it's a title, and it means nothing, just done to make you think it's legit.
(2) "Hi there, you have a great looking blog, etc."
* my name, Steven, or nickname, Vaspers, is not used.
* this is a generic intro, can be pasted into millions of blogs to spam them.
* bogus flattery, again generic, is quick to follow.
(3) "I was searching for more information on advertising strategy"
* the words "advertising strategy" are a link to a dubious site.
* when the link is to a legitimate site, it is always commercial, trying to sell something, and this is a horrible way to try to promote anything.
(4) "Although Get Back to Cluetrain wasn't exactly what I was interested in."
* the spam program automatically fills in the title of my post, in this case it was "Get Back to Cluetrain"-- this is done to make the comment appear to be a legit human comment, but it's not.
(5) "GREAT POST"
* more stupid flattery to make you think the comment is legit and friendly, but it's not.
(6) "I’m tryin’ to find more information on advertising strategy."
* this is another lie, with the words "advertising strategy" a link again.
(7) "Have you ever thought of adding Instant Audio to your Website and emails?..... It will double your sales in the First 30 days.
Click on the link to see how this will change the power of your business."
* once again, the real purpose of this spam comment is *not* to contribute to the conversation I started about the Cluetrain Manifesto, but to drive traffic to some ignorant web site.
I talk a lot about Comment Spam. It's because such selfish acts are a blotch on any blog, and a major problem for the blogosphere.
I have actually quit visiting certain business blogs because the negligent or stupid business blogger would not prevent or delete comment spam on his blog. I got tired of seeing the crap, and I got tired of alerting the blogger to the spam.
Let's clean up the blogosphere by policing our own blogs for abusive, hate-mongering, sleazy, pornographic, off topic, and traffic boosting spam comments.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Posted by steven edward streight at 12/04/2005 10:27:00 PM