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5 More Examples of Legitimate Looking Spam

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012

Last February I wrote a post titled Bad Coments/Spam The Same where I highlighted six different types of comments that show up and I felt were spam of some type. After that, Adrienne Smith and I had further conversations about what we felt was spam related, and at the time I thought her beliefs were a little tough. Upon reflection, I think she’s got it spot on.

Spam wall
Creative Commons License freezelight via Compfight

Here’s the deal. Sure, all of us want visitors and we want people to comment on our blogs. But we have to be ready to face the fact that not everyone who’s commenting on our blogs cares anything about what we’ve just written about. As a matter of fact, I’ve been a bit tougher on some comments lately, and I’ve noticed that only one person has complained about their post not showing up, and it was easy to address.

I figured it was time to address this topic once more because, well, spam just doesn’t go away, and yet there are so many blogs I’m visiting where I know it’s spam, but the blog owner doesn’t. This could be you or someone you know; let’s find out with these 5 looks:

1. Does the comment actually address the post in question? I wrote a recent post comparing Google+ to Facebook and got a few comments that told me what either G+ or Facebook were. Frankly, I already knew what they were, everyone else already knew what they were, thus this was spam. I know, it was someone paid to leave a comment on blogs obviously, but that’s just human spam; gone!

2. Is there any punctuation in the comment, or any real grammar. By this, I mean there’s no capitalization, no punctuation between obviously different sentences, and usually the comment is 2 or 3 sentences with no real start or end. Often this type of comment only addresses the first paragraph of a post so it looks legit, but it’s not because not all first paragraphs are what a post is about; you other writers know what I’m talking about.

3. Almost the exact same comment in the same style from different IP addresses, but the comments come in at the same time. Now, I’ve seen this type of thing often, and it’s problematic because every once in awhile the comments aren’t bad. But you have to call it out, as I did earlier this year when I wrote a guy who was doing that, linking to two different websites, but when I checked it out they were the same website with one being a redirect. He apologized for doing it and admitted he was paid to post comments on other blogs, but hadn’t paid much attention to where he was doing it obviously.

4. There is punctuation but no spacing. Come on, who really writes like that? What I did initially was visit the websites linking in to see if those websites were written in that style; they weren’t. That tells me that whomever is commenting could care less about what they’ve written on my blog because they didn’t give me the courtesy they probably expect in their own space. Once again, gone!

5. Too many people seem to keep missing this, which is right about the comment space:

“This blog doesn’t accept keyword names, and the comment will be deleted if a real first name isn’t put on first. Also, if your name has 3 words or more in it, the comment automatically goes to the spam filter; just so you know.”

Sometimes, if the comment isn’t all that strong, I just leave it in the spam filter and delete it. Now, some of you who keep ignoring it know who you are, and if you’ve seen your comments on the blog posts you know you’ve left something pretty good. Otherwise, the way I see it if the comment isn’t great, and the comment policy was ignored, then that was someone not even trying to add to the conversation so, sorry, it didn’t exist.

Okay, those are the 5 points I wanted to make. However, I mentioned something where I said one person complained. Actually, he wrote me because his comment didn’t show and he wondered what he might have been doing wrong. In a post I wrote in September talking about spam settings, I mentioned how if I got more than 3 spam comments from a particular IP address that I went into Settings/Discussion and reduced the filter to just the first 2 numbers rather than all 4. Well, my friend got caught up in that one, which told me his hosting company has a lot of spammers coming from there, but there’s nothing I can do about that. So I went in and altered that IP so that his comments would not be sent to spam any longer. First and only time that’s happened, but at least it worked.

There you go. How many of you will own up to seeing this on your blog and not thinking about it being spam? Will you remove it, or at least remove any further incidences of it, or do you see a comment as a comment?

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I think you pretty much nailed it.

99% of the spam is coming from contractors working for lazy bloggers.

I think people who are spam commenting just for links are missing a big opportunity.

What good is a link that no one will ever click on? This is how websites end up attacked by the Google animals.

I learned that only comments that add value to the discussion will get clicks by readers and result in new referral traffic. Do it right and it REALLY WORKS, trust me.

Hiring contractors to post comments for back links is a waste of marketing money.

The blogger would have come out better just buying banner ads.

Remember newbies it’s trash in trash out. Merry Christmas.
Jacko recently posted…Social Media Trends for Small Businesses in 2013My Profile

December 21st, 2012 | 11:19 AM

Great contribution Jacko. Actually, if they cared these folks could write better stuff than they do. You’ve seen Carl here; he writes comments for other blogs and websites but his comments are pretty good most of the time. So it can be done if they cared about what they were reading.

December 22nd, 2012 | 2:14 AM

Jacko is dead on. Hiring people to do the human spam thing works for a little bit in the short term before bloggers catch on and pull the plug on it.

The larger sites they really want the links from know better and won’t allow it anyway.

Although it must work on *some* level or they wouldn’t keep at it. A zillion links from non-targeted sites for a short time must yield enough bump to make it worthwhile? I don’t know…

I block so much stuff. I even block it if it’s a comment that has like 3 words in it. I know I tend to leave longer comments and I don’t expect that from everyone but you can do better than 3 words!

I’ll tell you the most insidious method that gets me an embarrassing amount of the time is when the spammer quotes/paraphrases an earlier comment, or even my own words from the post!

It’s like “Yeah, I agree with this.” then “waitaminnit, of course I agree with it, I WROTE it!”

Although, I have been getting a few link removal requests from folks who are finally realizing that having a ton of links from my site that has nothing to do with their site is not helping them.

I know many of them just made a mistake and are now trying to do the right thing, so depending on how nicely they ask I will go through and remove the links.

It’s a tough game out here, and unfortunately spamming is the path of least resistance for a lot of these guys.
John Garrett recently posted…John Garrett interviewed by Smooth Drama Radio!My Profile

December 21st, 2012 | 7:19 PM

Good stuff John. I’ve been thrown by seeing words I thought had already been said at all; you get that deja vu thing and then you want to smack someone. lol I only got a few requests to remove links and I started telling people that they had to tell me specifically which one to remove because I wasn’t going to go through a lot of time trying to figure it out. One thing I’ve noticed on a couple of blogs I monitor is that some of them get tons of spam and I have no idea why because I don’t get close to those numbers. This must be what Mitch was talking about before he closed comments; I must be lucky.

December 22nd, 2012 | 2:17 AM

You know, that about 2 months ago, I put all comments on my main project on moderation and manual approval. The crazy thing is that even this way, some of the comments are bypassing this and got published automatically, not many but still and I don’t know how this happen. Rarely spam filters can stop “smart” spam or bad comments. On most of my WordPress blogs, I am dealing with bad and low quality comments. Using different than usual filters and list of nearly 500 stopwords, setting on comment length, but still there is always spam, but less.
Carl recently posted…SEO Services CompanyMy Profile

December 22nd, 2012 | 3:22 AM

Carl, these people are always finding new ways around the stuff we set up; it’s amazing how smart these people seem to be and yet they can’t figure out that they’d make lots more money doing legitimate business.

December 23rd, 2012 | 5:08 PM

I am not sure how much money they can make with legitimate business, but for sure many businesses are losing money because spam. Not many of them are doing this manually, but in most cases software, which technically means that black hat software developers have a bit more knowledge about development and constantly improving ways to bypass spam filters, I can’t say that I am impressed by any algorithm that it is fighting against spam, even Google screwed up several times with their Pandas, Penguins and all other animals that are coming.
Carl recently posted…Find A Criminal Attorney Houston Provides In A HurryMy Profile

December 24th, 2012 | 6:17 AM

Carl, they would probably be very good in whatever industries they went into besides spam. They’d certainly be a lot cleaner, if you know what I mean.

December 24th, 2012 | 2:09 PM

People ignore our commenting policy Mitch but it they break two of the things I mentioned I don’t allow then they go directly to spam. I don’t care how good the comment was. You’re just telling me that you aren’t paying attention.

I don’t have as many spammers as I use to but I still get those lazy ass people who want links from my blog so they “think” they are appeasing me by giving me some sort of decent comment although if they really knew what decent was they would be so embarrassed. It’s obvious to me that they are being taught to get out there and comment on those blogs. Sad thing is that people don’t know how to just be themselves. Or maybe they really don’t care to take the time to read several blogs a day. Oh heck, I have no idea what’s in their pee brains.

Great points and it’s so sad that we even have to write about this topic you know! Shame on them but good for you.

Hey Mitch, thanks for the mention… That was a good conversation don’t you think!

Adrienne recently posted…30 Very Important Tools I Use For BloggingMy Profile

December 22nd, 2012 | 4:50 PM

It definitely was Adrienne, and the fact that it’s stayed in my mind for this long shows that I was paying attention. Lazy is the proper word for it because those folks are being paid to do a job and that’s the best they can do with comments? I’ve heard that some of those folks are on Fiverr; figures. Truthfully, I don’t care who someone’s commenting for; I want the comment to be pertinent if I don’t know you. I figure people earn their right in a way to become part of the community, and some folks aren’t really interested in that.

December 23rd, 2012 | 5:12 PM

I agree that spam is bad. But not all spam is created equal. If someone takes the time to read the first 100 words of any of my articles, and doesn’t finish…but still feels compelled to leave me a comment. …Ill take it. Even if it is a paid blog networker. I don’t even mind if they dont reference the article at all, as long as its a thank you or a adda boy.

So I definitely am more opened minded than you. But I think we can agree robot keyword differs of anchor text the whole web could do without.

Thanks for your post.
Jeremy Cissell recently posted…SEO Louisville and Website MarketingMy Profile

December 22nd, 2012 | 11:50 PM

Hi Jeremy; welcome. I’m not sure how long you’ve had your blog but this one’s just passed 5 years, and one of my other blogs has passed 7 or 8 years; I can never remember. There was a time when any ol’ comment would do but I’m past those days by now. Even though I write pretty fast, I don’t put posts out just because I’m trying to show off my writing skills. I want to know what people think about what I’ve written, and if all they’ve seen is the first 100 words, or even just the title, they’re not going to really have an idea of what I’ve written about; happens at least 75% of the time.

If it doesn’t pertain to what the article is about then it’s a lousy comment because it takes away from the content and shows that person has or had a hidden agenda rather than cared what I had to say. If I wanted that I’d ask my wife to read my stuff, since she doesn’t pay attention. lol

December 23rd, 2012 | 5:15 PM

Mitch, I’m glad you wrote about item #3 because that’s what I just started to experience on my blog in large numbers. I noticed the same IP address, many comments, different avatars. At first I approved all the comments but then I realized that I would just get more of them. The comments were not bad. All addressed the points in the content. Some grammar was off. It just didn’t “feel” right. So I went back and deleted them. I wonder now if I should mark them as spam. Thanks for writing about this! It’s been on my mind.
Suzanne recently posted…Stretch Yourself in the New Year – Goal Setting for the Motivated Financial AdvisorMy Profile

December 23rd, 2012 | 6:39 PM

Suzanne, I marked them as spam because I felt I was being played and didn’t like it. I’ve always felt scammed with redirects in that fashion. You do know about adding the IP addresses under Settings/Discussion so they’ll go directly to spam, right?

December 24th, 2012 | 12:54 AM

Mitch, No I did not know that. Will investigate right away. Thank you! Suzanne
Suzanne recently posted…Stretch Yourself in the New Year – Goal Setting for the Motivated Financial AdvisorMy Profile

December 30th, 2012 | 7:51 PM

I’ve had the same experience as Suzanne above. I spam them if they don’t look legitimate. I also check out the web address provided if I’m not sure and if it looks legit I will give them the benefit of the double. I’ve had less since installed the Comment Luv premium too.
Lisa recently posted…Social Websites to Ditch in 2013 to Save TimeMy Profile

December 24th, 2012 | 7:33 AM

Lisa, I’ve started looking at these things more lately because I want to make sure my blogs aren’t wastelands of bad comments. For instance, female names & pictures with male email addresses and the like.

December 24th, 2012 | 2:10 PM

Spam comments are becoming a big issue. I know some bloggers want “shortcuts” but as someone already said in the comments: they are missing a big opportunity.

December 28th, 2012 | 4:55 AM

I’m reading the comments and all of you have good points. Spam comments won’t add real value to discussion, so what’s the point in them anyway? People don’t see the big picture.

December 28th, 2012 | 7:21 AM
Before you leave a reply; please see the comment policy if this is your first visit. This blog doesn't accept keyword names. I need a real first name or a legitimate nickname that you're known for. If your name has more than 3 words or the email address begins with "info" or "admin", the comment automatically goes to the spam filter; same if there are any links in the comment or if you don't have a gravatar. If your comment goes to spam for any of these reasons, or any other reason listed in this post, it may never show up on the blog (I do forgive the link issue if you've commented on the blog previously and I'll forgive the gravatar thing for first time visitors). If it goes there for any other reason (and I know some do), I'll pull it out as I don't intentionally moderate any comments on this blog.

One last thing; if your link is an affiliate link or goes back to a strange website or webpage I don't like, if I keep your comment I'll remove your link. That's why I have CommentLuv for blogs; if you have a legitimate business just leave that link & no sub-links. Trust me, it's best to read the comment policy if you don't get it, or never see your comments showing up here.

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