This weekend, I found several comments I believed to be legitimate on a couple of my blogs. The wording was specifically targeted and related towards the content. I even responded to two, thinking they were legit. They were not.
You need to know that while WordPress, various WordPress Plugin authors, and many blog comment spam fighting tools are working overtime to fight off comment spam from your blogs, the comment spammers are working equally, if not more, to overcome comment spam filters and checkers and testers.
These new comment spammers look for related keywords and post a vague but specific comment related to the keywords. A careful check of the URL/address of the website shows that it links to a splog or commercial website. So the URL is the only clue that this comment is comment spam.
I had several comments that asked me specifically about how hard WordPress was to install, questions on PHP code on articles with PHP code, and about whether or not they thought they should give WordPress a try compared to other blogging platforms.
These sound legitimate, don’t they. After all, I’ve written extensively about these topics here and on other of my sites. I even responded to two of them before I noticed the URL and checked them out.
One led to a splog with possibly stolen articles (possibly from feeds) with extensive writing on the topic of blogging, which was definitely more technically advanced and aware than the simple question they asked in my comments. A closer look revealed added keywords for ring tones and other gimmick marketing within the content. Definitely a splog (spam blog). Another URL led to a site that was clearly commercial and again, selling blog sites and programs. If the simple question on my site was indeed true, about “teaching an old dog new tricks” and how they didn’t want to learn something new but hire someone to do it for them, then this person was lying or an idiot. I choose comment spammer and deleted the comment.
If, by chance, you are leaving comments and just putting in any old URL just because you don’t want to be traced back to your website, and you put in commercial or well-known URL (like cnn.com), then your comment is suspect. If you don’t want to be deleted, then leave the URL/Address blank.
The only other clue is that these “nice and specific comments” are comment spam is that they tend to hit the same post repeatedly with some time lag in between. Most spam fighting programs easily check for how often a comment hits a post and if X number arrive within so many seconds or minutes, they recognize all of them as comment spam and catch them. However, if the comment spammers have learned how to work around those time limits, it just makes it easier for them to slide through.
The only way these will be caught is by a service that checks web page addresses against a blacklist. Unfortunately, they can generate websites faster than we can delete comment spam, so this is a tough battle to fight.
Until the comment spam fighting tools can catch up with these comment spamming new monsters, be aware that even nice comments can be spam comments. Just pay closer attention and check those URLs. If suspicious, delete them. If not sure, then remove the URL and leave the comment. Then you can keep the comment but take away the comment spammer’s linking power and desires.
- What is Comment Spam?
- Comments on Comments
- How NOT to Comment on Comments
- Website Hammered by Hotlinking, Spammers, and Free Loaders?
- Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Replaced by Sex, Drugs, and Mortgage Rates
- A Day in the Life of a Paranoid Website Administrator
- Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging
- Imprisonment for Annoying People Online
- Looks Like Your Page Was Heavily Hit By Spam – Yeah, Right, Spammer
- You Must Be Logged In To Comment
- Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs
- Your Comment Has Been Moderated – Stay Tuned for Approval
- Calling All Stupid Comment Spammers
- Monitoring Blog Comments
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network