One of the more entertaining parts of moderating a blog is occasionally reviewing the spam posts that get collected by the spam protection plugin, Akismet.
Never one to keep this kind of entertainment to myself, I thought this was worth sharing a few examples of, so here’s a screenshot of the spam that is currently sitting in the back-end of this blog.
So how does Akismet identify that these fabulously misspelled, usually irrelevant, often link laden comments are spam?
I don’t have access to their filter algorithm, and occasionally they get it wrong, but generally exactly those things – the commenter has a link laden user name and email address, often includes irrelevant links in the comment itself, the spelling, grammar and syntax are usually all over the place and generally these comments just don’t make any kind of sense in the context of the blog post.
So why do people do it?
Comment linking is a largely ineffective technique employed by some companies who market themselves as SEO professionals. Often (usually) based offshore, it is not completely clear whether the actual generators of this kind of spam are human or machine, but at a guess, they seem to be humans who don’t speak English as their first language and are using some form of translation tool to create their comments.
Because the vast majority of this kind of commenting never actually gets published, apart from on blogs that are created purely to make money from Pay Per Click advertising (ie they don’t have any original or valuable content) it has very little, if any effect at all on search engine rankings. But still the comments come.
So if you have just set up your blog and you are getting excited about the number of comments coming through on your posts – take a minute to install Akismet, and be careful not to approve spam comments which will just make your blog look unprofessional.
The one good thing about receiving loads of these into your spam filter though, is that it means your blog has been crawled by Google and can be found in search results.
And if you are talking to a company about optimising your website and they list
“comment linking” as one of the techniques they regularly use, ask to see some examples of their work and evidence that it has been effective in improving search rankings.
To find out how to make your site more visible online using more effective methods, just drop us an email.
If you have great comment spam to share, feel free to add it in quotes to our comments below. It will be interesting to see if Akismet identifies it as spam, or picks it as something different – I’ll be watching!