Spam I Don’t Understand

I’ve written about spam around 125 times out of the almost 1,500 posts on the blog. I’ve talked about how much I hate it, ways to identify it, why it’s important to keep it off your blog and how to move more of it to go directly to your spam filter so that you don’t necessarily have to rush to your blog to remove it from going live as often as you might without putting certain things in place.

And yet, like the reason I have to wear this mask on my present consulting assignment right now (that’s another story) I don’t always understand the purpose of some of the spam. Back in the day most spam looked to be trying to sell something. Nowadays a lot of it is so nonsensical that the only thing you can believe they’re hoping to achieve is to get a link placed on your blog so that it goes back to their page. Obviously some of those folks got bad SEO advice of a different sort than the bad advice I mentioned in that post I just linked to.

What am I seeing? Let’s chronicle some of it:

1. The long, rambling post about nothing. I got a spam comment from someone calling himself “best gym supplements for muscle growth“, and other than occasionally trying to pop a link into it the spam comment was almost 100 lines of nothingness. Someone must have been told that writing a long spam comment gives it a better chance to be thought of as being legitimate; please!

2. The comment with lots of characters in it. What the heck is this type about? I got this mess: “ั•uฯp&X6c;eme&X6E;ts mะฐy also re&X6e;ะตw the respira&X74;ory”. The thing is I get lots of these and I’m betting you do as well. It’s not even close to readable so why even bother? I’m of the opinion someone’s technology has gone haywire; I wonder if spammers can get their money back.

3. The short, incomplete and nonsensical spam comment. I can’t believe anyone even took the time to actually write this, so it must be some kind of randomizer: “Just file manufacture clear subject matter. What did you say? precisely I needed! I have been before browsing search engines like google the complete day for some correct clause such as this” That was it; didn’t even finish the sentence. Intelligence obviously belongs to other family members.

4. Spam that attaches itself to an image. This one is totally incomprehensible. It shows up at the blog with nowhere to go except spam because it thinks the image is the blog post. I hope the spammers didn’t spend too much money on this program because it’s a total loser, like the spammer.

5. The “good post” spam. That one’s been around forever, as well as calling you “webmaster” and asking you if you’re using a free theme. I’m always amazed when I visit a blog and I see the owner actually responding to those comments; well, at least they’re trying to be a good host. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Spam that shows up without any links whatsoever. Why did the owner even bother sending that one out? By now most blogs probably won’t accept posts without a link because those are usually trolls and what benefit is a spammer hoping to get from something like that?

7. Copying a previous comment as one’s new comment. I have to admit this one’s creative, and it can be easily missed. I’ve missed it a couple of times, even though the Spidey senses went off thinking it looked familiar. This one was actually a legitimate comment… the first time around anyway.

The first link I put up on this post links you to many posts where I’ve talked about ways to protect your blog from some of the spam. I hope you’re using the GASP plugin and, if it’s really bad, go ahead and use Akismet, even though some people run from it like it’s a bull chasing them. We own these blog spaces, not them; don’t let them get you down or chase you away.

That’s all I have. LOL

43 thoughts on “Spam I Don’t Understand”

  1. I found this shared on and had to respond after reading.

    You are right about these types of spams that are hard to understand. I think some of these, especially those that don’t include any links or so are just to get them approved so that their future spam comments automatically get through.

    Kind of get you to lower your defenses enough for them to rampage through later, ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the last one which copies another comment, they have actually become smarter – they now “spin” the previous comments to make them look unique and hard to detect. I see loads of these in blogs nowadays.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this!

    1. Thanks for the response Kingsley. I haven’t seen the spun stuff yet but I’ll be keeping my eye out for it. You might be right on your postulation; keeping that email would allow the next bit in I’m sure. Bunch of weasels!

  2. It’s funny you should post this now since it’s been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve also posted about this topic and was thinking about doing another post about it.

    Recently I’ve reopened my Tossing It Out blog to accept anonymous comments and the number of spam comments keeps increasing. I will probably block “Anonymous” over the holidays while I’m on my blog less so I don’t get a ton that pile up for me to delete later. Blogger is pretty good about filtering spam but I still need to go to the spam filter to delete it and I do like to check them to make sure no good comments have ended up there as they sometimes do.

    I’ve been puzzling about where these things come from and why. I’m assuming some of the long ones with many links are hoping someone will hit a link either on purpose or accident. Once I clicked in the wrong place and hit the link and boy was I shocked at what came up on my screen.

    The ones with no link that don’t make sense are very puzzling. Why would someone be doing this. I guess it might be similar to why my phone often rings and the other side hangs up when I answer. I wish our government would find some way to address these annoyances–especially the really hardcore porn.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that the spam usually ends up in the comments of the same handful of old posts. I wonder if there is something in those posts that is particularly attracting the spam comments? One of the posts is several years old and is also my most viewed and the one that has gotten the most legitimate comments scattered over many years. Some kind of SEO strength that attracts readers as well as spam?

    Anyhow thanks for bringing up the topic again. Always a puzzling one for me.

    Have a great Christmas and an outstanding year in 2014.

    1. Great comments Arlee! I think Kingsley got it right in thinking they send stuff without links hoping you’ll skip it & leave the email address so they can sneak something else in at a later time. As for “anonymous”, I’ve always blocked that name so you won’t see it in the name portion of a comment, and actually I’d probably have to pull out a comment from the spam filter if it’s in the content… which might explain why this one went there in the first place! lol I hope someone’s making enough money to make spam worthwhile, though I think it’s only the people creating the software.

  3. Hi Mitch Here’s an brief insight into email spam. My son applied for and got what seemed to be an excellent IT job. Day two he came home very disillusioned. The company which offered a reasonable and legitimate IT service was also a place which disseminated massive amounts of spam. As far as I could work out the idea was that people would inadvertently click on links and perhaps sign up to receive some product – for a fee. Son lasted just long enough to get a new job and thankfully was savvy enough to appear incompetent and botch up some of the related tasks he was meant to complete.
    Re blogging. Life is so much more pleasant since I have disabled Anonymous comments.
    Enjoy the Christmas Season ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Wow, I’m glad your son had morals Sue; I hate that there are companies like that. Yeah, never accept anonymous anything; those weasels deserve to be dropped in tar. lol

  4. Yes, it is so hard to run a blog when there are so many totally worthless things being posted, it is hard to not delete the one or two legitimate posts buried by all of the spam.

    I have turned posting of comments off on some of my websites because the spam was wasting too much of my time.

    Thanks for blogging about this, maybe the only way to stop this is for every blog site to have some unique submission method, who knows.

    1. Larry, you can fight that by limiting the number of days a post stays open for commenting. I think I have mine set at 120 days, which then makes the majority of spam that shows up on my blog go directly into the spam filter. I can easily handle anything in there.

  5. Hi Mitch,
    You are spot-on with your analysis of the different forms of spams out there. Its so frustrating when a blogger or website owner has to deal with spam comments that never really make any sense.

    Luckily, for those using WordPress platform for their blog or website, a lot of anti-spam plugins can be applied to get rid of these spams.

    Spamming seems to become a part of Internet marketing but a blogger or Internet marketer can defeat the trend with the right approach and tool.
    A good share!

    1. Sunday, it’s what we deal with as content providers I suppose, and I’m ready to deal with it in my own way since it’s not as overwhelming as it could be if I didn’t take steps to keep it at a manageable level. But one would think as marketers the spammers would be smarter in trying to attract people to their offers.

  6. Yeah, I have to admit the Spam isn’t getting any better. I’m so thankful that I have akismet and GASP. Even with GASP kismet catches over 300 spam a day. Sure glad I don’t have to deal with that.

    Some of the comments that I manually delete aren’t always spam. They belong to people who can’;t put the effort into leaving a good comment.

    1. Sire, you might be better to reduce the number of days some of your posts stay live, like I did. I mean, most of your posts older than a year you’re probably not looking for comments on anyway. But the spammers certainly look pretty stupid overall don’t they?

      1. Gee, I don’t know Mitch. That sounds like hard work to me. There’s a hell of a lot of posts to go through. Besides, I’m more than happy with Akismet doing the work for me.

      2. Dude, you haven’t kept up with my posts recently I see. lol I wrote about it; all you have to do is go into Settings-Discussion and the sixth line down gives you the option of setting how many days you want your posts to be live. I have mine set at 123 days, but you can select whatever number you want, and it’s done.

      3. You’re not understanding me. If you set it for whatever number it kicks in for all posts, old and new. And I picked that number because it makes sure all posts are available for comments at least 4 months. October through the end of January is 123 days.

      4. Now you’re starting to sound like my wife ๐Ÿ˜€

        But you are right, as usual, I didn’t understand you at all. But then you never said it kicked in for all posts ๐Ÿ˜‰

      5. I made the assumption that you being a relatively smart bloke that you’d have figured it out on your own and knew I wouldn’t create monster work for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Some of these are brand new to me (seems like spammmers picked up a few new tricks since I had a blog).

    Well, thank you for posting. I would have never known to look for these, especially the duplicate comment spam.

    I am still what’s the purpose with #6. Why even bother to comment spam if you are not going to use any links? It’s better to take that time and learn the value of commenting, and start conversing, like we do offline.

    Thanks again for sharing this, Mitch! Hope you had a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. No problem Jeevan, and I suppose trying to figure out what’s in the mind of a spammer is pretty much a waste of time. Still, it needs to be illuminated from time to time so those who haven’t noticed it will start looking out for it.

  8. Mitchell – I’ve been getting of #1 of late. I just added back Askimet with CommentLuv Premium and it has helped a lot. I have yet to see #7 – that one is too funny and such a hint – how could you not spam it, right? I don’t understand how bots generate them. It’s behind my comprehension. Love your image with this post – made me laugh and I needed that! Thanks and have a great day Mitch.

    1. Always glad to make others feel good Lisa. lol I remember a couple of years ago GASP seemed like it might be able to handle it all on its own but I don’t get that feeling now, especially as these guys seem to at least be smart enough to figure out new ways to get in.

  9. Hi Mitch,
    It has of course being a while. Please how are you doing?
    I hope this my comment wouldn’t be labeled as spam simply because I asked about how you are doing? Hahaha!

    Now back to the issue on board, it is indeed mind boggling as many spammers appear in becoming smarter these beating those plugins meant in stopping spammy messages.

    I am battling my own share of spam messages as well! How on earth will anyone expect me to approve a comment like this sadgjghg….?

    1. Hi Emmanuel. That’s the strange thing; I don’t think they actually believe anyone who’s looking at their own blogs to allow this stuff so I can’t figure out why they’d even try. Has to be a waste of their time and resources one would think. Oh well, at least we can find ways to reduce its footprint in our space.

  10. Hi Mitch,

    I don’t understand spam at all. Well, I do understand the purpose of spam, but I don’t get it why some people want to be earning money or link juice by using methods like that.

    I used to reply to the “good spam” all the time, I actually thought that they wanted to know about my blog and the themes I was using – but I never heard anything back from them. But, it took me a long time to figure out that it was actually spam and not a serious question.

    – Jens

    1. LOL! At least you own up to it Jens. You know, there was a news story some years back that kind of asked the same question. It said that spammers are actually quite intelligent, and that the return on their efforts is very low. Yet, like drug dealers, there’s something about the excitement of doing it that keeps them more intrigued than the belief that if they applied their skills to more legitimate businesses that they’d be quite well off. I’d like to say it’s a lazy way of doing things but for a lot of them it does take a lot of work. Obviously, the mental giants sending the kind of stuff I shared just aren’t applying themselves properly. lol

  11. Hi there Mitch!

    It’s been a long time, well anyway, now I understand that there are a variety of spams, comments, from images, and etc. Nice! Now I know that they can be found in different styles. Well-written Mitch! Thanks for sharing this! Something worth remembering I must say!

  12. Mitch, I would have guessed that you had some insight into all the junk that arrives in my email Inbox and on my blog. Every day, I ask myself, “Is someone really making a living from this?” But I actually feel better knowing you’re as mystified as I am.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Charles, if it was all about money then I’d understand it. Some of it though… just makes no sense at all. One of these days I figure I’ll have the opportunity to actually talk to a spammer and get some insight… though I’m not yearning for it. lol

  13. Hello Mitch,

    Most of the spammers believe that the commenting system on blogs are auto approve and they proceed with non sense comments. I think it’s just waste of time because they can’t achieve anything with that.

    You’ve explained all the types to spam comments which we generally receive.

    BTW Merry Christmas!

    1. I hope your holiday season has been good as well Anil. Yes, spammers think everyone is bad at everything but their success rate can’t be all that good. It’s just irritating but we can handle it because we’re stronger and better than they are.

  14. #6 is the “test spam.” Rather than make the link look beyond stupid and get banned, they’re testing the software and the likelihood of the message being published, prior to posting a link.

  15. Hi you know what most of the people think that comments on blog are approved automatically, but the truth is it is approved by owner that is a human. so posting spam comments are just a waste of time and it’s not worth it.

    1. Most maybe, but there’s lots of blogs where the owners don’t care or don’t know about removing them, and I guess that’s what spammers are shooting for.

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