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Comment Idiocy; Have You Seen This?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2011

I’d like to share something with you, if I may. Read what’s below:

“Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst individuals consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the entire thing with out having side effect , folks could take a signal. Will probably be back to get a lot more. Thanks”


by Isabel Cruz

That was a comment that was left on one of my posts last week. I saw it and immediately knew it was spam. Yet I was curious because, for once, it seemed like it was creative spam. Normally I wouldn’t do this, but this time I’m doing it; I’m going to tell you the name of the person that left the comment and the link to the website, although it won’t do them much good since I’m not actually creating the link. The website link is crunchyblogger.com, and the writer was Romy@link building tips. And no, none of this gets bolded, including the comment spam.

Anyway, I was curious about the comment for some reason, and I decided I wanted to see if it showed up on any other blogs. I took a small snippet of the comment, from “justification” to “thing” and popped it into Google. And yes, it came up… 1,240,000 times since 2009! Are you kidding me? That exact phrase that many times for that many years. The rest of the paragraph is almost the exact same always also, except maybe one or two words here and there are changed.

It’s amazing that this type of comment, which is noncommittal and means absolutely nothing, has been missed by so many people. And what’s also amazing is just how many different names and domain names have used it. I found it on a blog posted from http://www.online-options-trading.org/; I found it on a blog posted by http://www.abcpromocji.pl/. I found it on a blog by http://matcombat.com/. I found it on a blog posted by http://www.increaseserp.com/. I even found it on Business Week, of all things, although they don’t allow people’s links to show so that’s in their favor.

Why do people send out spam? Because many blogs don’t check for it, and because many blogs can’t figure out it’s spam. Take a look at that bit of nonsense above. As you look at it, can you notice that it could apply to anything that anyone would ever write? It looks like it might be legitimate, which gets people to leave it there, but it’s not. There’s nothing specific in it at all; it doesn’t address anything. And it’s prevalent; so easy a caveman could have written it (someone had to say it). And it was obviously pre-written and posted by someone who must be getting paid to do it to bypass the GASP plugin; sneaks.

Folks, stay alert with your comments. If it looks weird, suspicious, or doesn’t seem to address your post, delete it. This is why a comment policy works in your favor, just in case one day it turns out to be a real person. And, of course, call out the frauds that use this stuff every once in awhile, like I did.

By the way, I did one last thing. I went to the first blog link I posted, and I posted the same exact comment there, using a fake name and a throwaway email address I have without an image. And it was accepted after moderation. Poor sap doesn’t even realize it’s the same thing someone had to have been paid to post here; how sad…

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34 Comments »

Yea, I have seen this one and others like it. Pure dribble if you read them. For the most part, the WP.com spam blocker catches them. Once in awhile one gets through which is cleverly written. Wish people would find a better and more constructive way with their time than posting such junk.

March 24th, 2011 | 9:59 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Same here, Scott, but I have to say I was kind of stunned to see this thing perpetuating itself so many times.

March 24th, 2011 | 5:22 PM
Paul Salmon:

I have seen several comments like this, and since the comment is somewhat generic, someone could think it is a valid comment.

If I read comments such as that, and it seems generic and hard to understand, I usually mark it as spam.

March 24th, 2011 | 10:38 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

It’s the best thing to do, Paul, but it’s surprising just how pervasive it is.

March 24th, 2011 | 5:22 PM
Gabriele Maidecchi:

I get some of those as well, not that exact one but yeah, I sure know what you mean. I believe that in most cases people simply have no time nor will nor “care” to check twice, or they just think any comment is a comment and just let it go.
It doesn’t really hurt me for now, but it’s something to be aware of in case it becomes a trend.

March 24th, 2011 | 12:48 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Gabriele, I think it’s kind of amazing that I hadn’t gotten it before now since it’s been around for so long. Strange stuff indeed.

March 24th, 2011 | 5:24 PM
Gianni Greco:

What kind of blogs was it appearing on? With software like scrapebox, they most likely just tried to hit anything which mentions blog and comment. I always get the one “Why did you delete my last comment”.

March 24th, 2011 | 7:54 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

It’s pretty much everywhere, Gianni, at over 1.2 million, and I included one big name blog as you saw. I was getting those “why” messages as well, but then they’d follow up with some money making scheme.

March 24th, 2011 | 8:52 PM

I haven’t gotten that one yet, but I’ve gotten some pretty bizarrely worded things that make it past the spam blocker.
Have you gotten the one about “why I hate American women” or something like that? That guy is bizarre and his blog site is really bizarre–he’s got some real issues I’d say.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

March 24th, 2011 | 8:14 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Lee, I can honestly say I haven’t received anything like that! lol

March 24th, 2011 | 8:53 PM
Sam:

It’s not always easy to distinguish what is and isn’t spam. I had a client that had a blog installed about a year ago, and I recently checked her website. To my cringeworthy horror, I noticed that she’d been approving dozens of spam comments on each post, and indeed, replying to them.

Almost all of the comments were generic stuff like “Cool blog, I’ll be sure to follow!”. When I told her the situation, she asked me “Well how do I tell which comments are spam and which aren’t?”

To be honest, I didn’t have an easy answer to the question.

March 25th, 2011 | 5:50 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sam, there’s an easy answer if one has a comment policy like I do. If the comment doesn’t specifically address the post, it’s gone unless you know who they are. And it’s all in the policy in case someone complains, which has never happened to me because they’ve all been fake.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:44 AM

SPAM is getting harder and harder to recognize…some of them I’ve gotten lately are pretty good!

At least they ALMOST make sense now!

March 25th, 2011 | 7:08 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

They’re getting better Carolee, because some even mention your name. But they can’t seem to stop themselves; I get the spam that has my name in it, but then the same message is going on multiple blog posts of mine and thus they’ve made it too easy for Akismet to find it. If we care and have the time to look at the stuff, we can usually tell pretty easily after awhile.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:46 AM
Carl:

Words are not enough to describe spammers and I better not say anything and keep your blog clean without saying what I think about this people. I hope Google will slap spammers soon. Unfortunately I think big companies are also using the same methods, I have seen same in my blogs (all my blogs are do-follow), links in comments for really big multi-billion dollar corporations.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:11 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, I don’t think Google can catch these people since it’s not their bailiwick to even look at. It’s up to us, the owners of the blog or website, to keep an eye on our visitors when possible.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:47 AM
Carl:

Actually Google and even Yahoo can catch them as those people are doing some massive campaigns. I am talking about more than 1000 blog comments spam a day, which immediately raise the flag. As well spam tracking problems are keeping an eye on IP addresses, even spammers are using proxies, free proxy lists are also black listed.

March 26th, 2011 | 9:25 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

The thing is that they’re not the ones to do anything about it, Carl. I have wondered if they eventually penalize blogs that have lots of spam comments on them though.

March 26th, 2011 | 9:45 PM

I get a lot of those, but Akismet isolates them. I like what you did to the spammer. I think that I too shall do the same to a few persistent you know whats.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:25 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

There you go, Rummuser. I can’t believe the guy didn’t notice the comment was his own spam; how funny.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:47 AM
Alex:

Well, it’s funny when spammers start to copy one each other and what I find interesting is that they are developing more and more way to make their content seem specific when in fact they are made to be general.

@Scott Thomas, they actually make this because they don’t want or have to lose time, they can just let a bot run and it makes the job for them…

March 25th, 2011 | 3:38 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

It’s a strange business Alex, this black hat SEO stuff these guys are trying to accomplish. I just can’t believe it actually works for them.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:25 PM
Dean Saliba:

I am baffled as to how anybody could even think for a second that that was a legitimate comment. It absolutely screams spam.

Well done for posting about this Mitch, hopefully a few more people will be on their guard now. :0

March 25th, 2011 | 4:26 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I hope so, Dean, but it was disheartening to see that even large sites are missing stuff like this.

March 25th, 2011 | 9:26 PM

Hey Mitch,

The first time I saw something like this, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I actually thought it was a person whose first language wasn’t English, so they’d run their comment through a translator, and got back a stilted-sounding alternative!

It took a little while to get hip. Live and learn! Glad you posted about this, Mitch.

March 26th, 2011 | 12:54 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Vernessa; you’d think everyone would be hip by now but it’s still very prevalent so I’ll just have to keep talking about it.

March 26th, 2011 | 1:05 AM

Mitch,

As soon as I read it I KNEW it was spam. I have gotten several of those on my blog posts and I always delete them. I do think I may have let a couple slide through though. The spammers have definitely stepped up their game to fool us.

March 27th, 2011 | 12:03 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s for sure, Beverly, but those of us who care should always be able to tell the fake stuff.

March 27th, 2011 | 12:24 PM
Rose:

That’s amazing. What probably happened is that the first time they posted it and it got approved, they thought, Aha! This gets through. And they’ve now probably got it in a notepad file somewhere to make it easy to cut and paste.

Regarding whether people get paid to do this stuff – go and take a look at Fiverr and root around some of the gigs on offer. There’s a whole universe of people desperate enough in this economy to do this type of work for just $5.

March 27th, 2011 | 12:29 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Rose, I knew about Fiverr, as Sire wrote about it when he addressed the topic of what people are willing to do for even a little bit of money. It’s still a stupid strategy to employ, especially if people like us write about it and expose it whenever we can.

March 27th, 2011 | 12:49 PM
Ari Herzog:

Makes you wonder if there should be a test a blogger should pass before creating that first post.

April 3rd, 2011 | 12:01 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

LOL; that’s funny Ari. Unfortunately, like being allowed to be a parent, doesn’t seem to be any rules covering it, but it’s an interesting thought.

April 3rd, 2011 | 12:23 PM

Great post. Delete anything that doesn’t mention anything specific about the article it’s commenting on.

What makes me laugh about the comment this article is based on is there is a man in a Linkedin group that writes exactly like this. Obviously his English is not great but if someone asks questions he gets defensive and starts insulting people. Maybe he’s a “live spammer”:))

April 4th, 2011 | 1:36 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Catarina, he sounds like a punk, and I’d probably drop him as a connection as soon as I could. And if he’s participating in a group, then I’d probably debate back and forth with him until someone else stepped in. I hate bullies and people who can’t own up to whatever it is they’ve had to say.

April 4th, 2011 | 5:02 PM