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Entertaining Blog Spam

Entertaining Blog Spam

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!

About Karen Foreman-Brown

Karen Foreman-Brown is a digital strategist and online marketer with a particular interest in social media, content marketing and delivering spectacular outcomes for client organisations.
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3 Responses to Entertaining Blog Spam

  1. Mark Lincoln says:

    Haha yeah some of the comments can be quite amusing.

    It’s worth noting that not only do the links in these comments have the potential to not pass any weight at all to the destination website, they may even be damaging for that website as well.

    If Google sees hundreds of comments with links to the same website suddenly appear around the web, it may identify those links as spam and so effectively add a black mark to the destination website for using ‘black hat’ SEO techniques.

    Sadly I’ve recently seen these spam comments with New Zealand websites as the destination links. It’s possible that the website owner doesn’t even know that the comments are being placed – I’ve seen one example of a New Zealand company employing an overseas ‘SEO’ company to run a campaign for their website. Unknown to the client, the overseas SEO company placed hundreds of spam comments on blogs and forums with the client’s website included as a link, thereby putting the client’s website rankings at risk.

    Just goes to show that you should employ a trusted SEO company to take care of any link building work you’d like done for your website as the result of using a poor off-shore provider can not only mean wasted money, but can even mean your website is blacklisted by Google! Something that could take months to rectify.

    There are plenty of trusted SEO companies here in New Zealand – hairyLemon is a great example!

    Mark

  2. Karen says:

    Here’s a relevant blog post that debunks some of the myths around the reasons people leave comments on blogs … http://thinktraffic.net/blog-comment-myths

  3. siteadmin says:

    Thanks Mark! And yes absolutely, leaving masses of spam comments across the web can have completely the opposite effect from what you are paying for.

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