Female martial artist preparing her swordAnyone who has a blog knows that comments are magnets for spam. Many bloggers have struggled with ways to deal with spam and I can imagine it becomes harder as your blog becomes more popular, not easier. But lets take a closer look at these comments.

Comment Spam Types

There are several different types of comment spam.  Some of it is easy to identify, but spammers are becoming more creative.

1. Blatant Spam — This is obvious spam.  It usually has nothing to do with the topic of the post (unless there is a lucky coincidence).  It will usually have a couple of links to the websites that the spammer wants to promote.  There are even times where the comment is not even in the same language as your post (or even the same character set).

2. Link-o-Rama Spam — This is probably a sub-type of the Blatant spam.  But you’ll find that these comments are very long and consist mostly of keyword/link combinations.  What is often amazing about these comments is the variety of links.

3. Sneaky Spam — Here we get to the type of spam that is more troublesome.  These comments will often be vague (things like ‘Nice post.’ or ‘You write good blogs.’) and flattering (although I’ve seen some that tell me I’m wrong about what I wrote).  These are the kind of comments that when we first see them, we think “They love me.  They really love me!”.  However, over time we begin to realize that these comments are just backlink attempts.

The spammer can get even more sneaky.  Rather than just sending generic comments to thousands of blog posts, they scan for keywords and submit comments that fit.  It becomes obvious when you have comments about Volkswagen Golf on your golf blog, but these can often be hard to detect.

Some spammers are actually using quotes from the post or other comments to sneak their way in.  You do have to give the spammers credit for creativity.

Comment Spam Techniques

Most spam in your blog comes from three different routes.

Good Comments

There are certain types of comments that a blogger is looking to encourage on their blog. Peter Davies at Interactive Blogger has a great article describing good blog commenting techniques. Check it out to learn more about how to create good comments.

1. Other Bloggers —  These comments are usually the Sneaky Spam types.  They come from a blogger who is trying to build backlinks to their site by commenting on as many blogs as possible.  However, these comments don’t add anything to the conversation and they often make you wonder whether the poster has even read the article.

2. Outsourced Backlinkers:  You can hire people in third world countries who, for a fee, will spend hours commenting on blogs in your name, or at least with your url.  These comments are often Sneaky Spam comments but can be Blatant Spam as well.

3. Spambots:  The most insidious spam comments come from bots.  These bots simply call the appropriate url to submit a comment without even going to your blog page.  I know that this happens because my blogs get less traffic than comments on a regular basis.  And the comments are often found on posts or pages that Google Analytics shows have received 0 visits.

These are where the Link-o-Rama Spam come from (no one is going to type in that many keywords and links), but a lot of the Blatant and Sneaky types are submitted this way too.  On Cookie Crumbles I have some cartoon posts that have received comments like “You write really well …”.   There is no way a live person would put that comment there (I hope 8=)

Spambots are getting more clever and will often use keyword searches to determine what comment to put on your blog.  You may even find that the comments contain quotes from your article or other comments.

Combating Spam

How do we fight back?  Comments are a valuable part of blogging and the social web.  They are vital for building community.  But it takes time to moderate comments.  What ways can help us handle the load?

Well, that’s what the next two articles are all about.

Battling Comment Spam — Dealing With It

In the mean time, tell us all what bothers you most about spam.


Female Warrior 1 image by EdwinP at stock.xchng

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6 Comments on Battling Comment Spam

  1. Battling Comment Spam -- Dealing With It says:

    […] the previous post we looked at what blog comment spam is.  We defined three different types and looked at three […]

  2. Battling Comment Spam — Moderating Comments says:

    […] our past two posts we’ve looked at what comment spam is and how we can minimize it. Now comes the hard part — individually looking at the comments […]

  3. peter says:

    Great post and thanks for pointing out my last Blog post on this topic within your post – its most appreciated.

    As you say whatever you do the technology such as used by SPAMBOT is getting more clever.

    However clever they may get I believe that any dilligent blogger will be able to spot these a mile off.

    Also as I said in my last blog post, if you are not such a dilligent blogger then most will not know about the DO FOLLOW enabled its a waste of time firing these comments out anyway as they offer NO SEO benefit.

    Regards

    Pete
    peter recently posted…Finding And Commenting On Other BlogsMy Profile

  4. LoneWolf says:

    You’re welcome for the link Peter. We have to support our brothers and sisters who are out there working hard to put quality info into the internet.

    I think that no follow links will still have some benefit (it probably depends on the search engine in question) but definitely less than a do follow link.

    Getting links in the body of an article is much more effective than those in a comment or sidebar as well. I’ve started looking for more opportunities to link to related articles to help my readers with more information and fellow bloggers with high quality links. This even helps my blog as the outgoing links to quality information reflect well on me, so it is a win-win-win.

    I wrote Why You Deserve Spam to encourage people to work harder at supporting those of us who don’t use the spammy techniques so that less of us will be tempted to go to the dark side. There are days when I’m really tempted to get some quick fix mega traffic system.

  5. Battling Comment Spam -- A Real Life Example says:

    […] is a funny thing.  Just having finished a series of posts on comment spam, checking the comments on the posts revealed an excellent example of the sneaky spam comment.  The […]

  6. Battling Comment Spam — The Big Guns says:

    […] was thinking about this comment spam series that I’ve written and I realized that it isn’t complete yet. There is at least one more […]

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