I recently became aware of something that really did not make me very happy. Evidently, once a blog reaches some level of success (and it must be a pretty modest level of success, because I am no Seth Godin or Chris Brogan), it becomes a vehicle for spam.
The spam comes in the form of comments supposedly left by blog readers. WordPress tries to flag every comment that looks like spam, but my experience has been that WordPress is guilty of a lot of “false positives.” I approve most of the comments that WordPress sticks in my spam folder.
However, about a month ago, I started getting comments in my spam folder that were clearly spam. I will include a few examples and share with you what tipped me off….but I would love to hear back from you on this topic.
For starters, when something just does not make any sense, suspect it of being spam. For example, I started getting multiple comments on a blog entry I posted about 6 months ago. I started wondering why this particular post (Ignite! Dallas June 2, 2010) was suddenly attracting so many comments. Something didn’t make any sense. This was warning sign number one.
So I read the comments.
That is the fitting weblog for anybody who desires to search out out about this topic. You realize a lot its almost arduous to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just nice!
OK…nice comments. Lots of praise…but the language is a little off. Not a native English speaker, I suppose. But the comments could be about almost any blog. I found the tone of the comments a little insincere. But the final point was the comment, “You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years.” In this post, I was pointing people to my Ignite! Dallas presentation….that is a new, trendy thing….it has not been written about for years.
OK, now my defenses were up. On to the next comment on my Ignite! Dallas presentation.
I have to say that Im really unimpressed with this. I mean, sure, youve got some very interesting points. But this blog is just really lacking in something. Maybe its content, maybe its just the design. I dont know. But its almost like you wrote this because everybodys doing it. No passion at all.
OK, a different approach. This “comment” was critical of my blog post. I guess they were trying to convince me that this was a real comment and not saccharine praise that I would automatically approve. They thought they would change it up a bit to keep me off balance. I take my hat off to their ingenuity…but I did not bite. Once again, the writing was clumsy. Additionally, their comments did not match the blog post. This was one of my more passionate posts. There was no way that a real blog reader would say, “No passion at all.”
Here is the third and final example.
You have some honest ideas here. I done a research on the issue and discovered most peoples will agree with your blog. After that early period, the Beatles evolved considerably over the years.
What!?!?! The Beatles? OK, this must be the worst spam comment of all. I have never mentioned the Beatles in my blog. What were they thinking?
So now the question is, how are these comments being used for spam? I looked at the web pages associated with the comments. This was clue number three…and the final bit of evidence I needed.
The fake comments included web pages entitled: “buy Bactrim online” with the web address “antibiotics.blahblah.com/bactrim.php” (I’ve changed part of the web address to prevent an SEO benefit to these malefactors) and “cheap Bactrim canada” from the same URL and “poker TV” from “blahblahtvnetwork.com”.
OK, either there is some SEO benefit to spreading a web page address all over the internet or these spammers were hoping that people would just click on the web links. In any event, I just deleted these “comments”. I got around 20 of them on my blog before they started to cease. My guess is that WordPress stopped them. I doubt the spammers lost interest and just quit trying to spam my blog.
Things went along OK until these rats changed their approach. I will tell you how they fooled me in my next post. They appealed to my ego….and that frequently gets me in trouble.
By the way, I realize that the picture at the top of this post is of frankfurters and not spam. I don’t have any pictures of spam.