Akismet is working overtime on this blog to fight off comment spam in all forms. Combined with the community effort of all WordPress.com bloggers, comment spam is caught and rarely released on our blogs.
However, I’ve lately spotted some very annoying and frustrating comment spam. It appears to be caught by Akismet, but it shows up on my Dashboard > Blog Stats > Incoming Links list which shows sites which have links to my blog posts.
The URL of these trackbacks in the Incoming Links list are from Blogspot blogs, which are usually arranged similar to WordPress.com blog URLs:
The titles of the incoming trackback posts looked suspicious as they didn’t match the linking post content. So I checked out five of these incoming links, all linking to the same post from five different blogs on Blogspot.
The titles included:
- How People Use Search Engines
- People Search Engines Beginning with Z
- Look Dot Com Search Engine Directory Want Fast People Search
- Search the Web Find People
- Seo Optimization The Search Engine Placement People
All trackback links redirected themselves to something called people-search.com.
Every single one.
Whoever these creeps are, they are setting up Blogspot blogs with a redirect to their site. This is ugly.
Luckily, Akismet is catching their comment spam trackbacks, but they are still getting listed as incoming links with WordPress.com blogs. Which makes this more sinister than it first appears.
Incoming Links for WordPress blogs come from Google Blog Search, so Google is obviously tracking these incoming links. To me, that means that this creepy people-search site is getting page rank because of their comment spamming trackback link. Google has them listed!
WordPress.com is not at fault. The list of incoming links is generated in a feed directly from Google Blog Search. WordPress.com can’t control what comes in through that feed. They can’t filter or censor it, and they don’t know which are good incoming links and which are bad.
Google has already made that decision.
What WordPress.com has done, through the use of Akismet, is to not allow these trackback comment spams to appear on my blog, which prevents their visibility and return link credit from my blog, but their effort still pays off with a listing on Google. Google is probably giving them trackback linking credit to my block.
There must be some way Google can use their creative and powerful search engine database powers to help stop and punish comment spammers.
Until Google takes action, here is how you can help.
With over 500,000 bloggers, WordPress.com has a growing and loud voice that might help influence Google to stop and punish comment spammers.
If you are finding similar incoming links on your Blog Stats page, let your voice be heard. Write about it on your blog and let others know. Explain, without giving link credit to the spammers, what is going on and how to detect these Google Blog Search generated trackback comment spams. Encourage everyone to report such spam links via Google’s Report Spam form.
In my report to Google, I put in a note that the “Exact Query” is “incoming links to my blog from Google Blog Search”. I then put in the people-search.com site as the misbehaving site, and marked it as “Misleading or repeated words” and “Other”. In Additional Details”, I put in the real URLs with an explanation that people-search.com (or whoever is doing this from other spamming sites) is using Google Blog Search’s feed of incoming links to spam my WordPress.com blog. As the incoming links redirect themselves to people-search.com, the links are misleading and misrepresenting themselves. Hopefully, Google will take action on these.
You can word your spam report however you want, but make it clear that these incoming links are using false URLs with redirects to another site, and that all of these sites need to be stopped or dropped.
I hope Google hears us and will respond to these trackback comment spammers quickly. It’s bad enough we get so much trackback comment spam, but using blogs to redirect to their sites is really disgusting and should be punished.
- What is Comment Spam?
- Wrong Thinking: Accusing Blogroll Links Not Sploggers
- The Number One Flaw in WordPress: Comments
- Are Blog Comments Getting You Down?
- Stupid Spammers: To Remove Your Site From Our Comment Spamming Database Instructions
- Battling Comment Spam: Human Versus Human
- Would You Do Business With a Comment Spammer?
- I’m Winning the Battle Against Comment Spam
- One Year Anniversary Review: Comments on Comments
- Calling All Stupid Comment Spammers
- A Day in the Life of a Paranoid Website Administrator
- Website Hammered by Hotlinking, Spammers, and Free Loaders?
- Content Specific Comment Spam on the Loose
- Imprisonment for Annoying People Online
- New Comment Spammer on the Loose – Pay Attention
- Americans Spend 40% of Their Time Online Deleting Spam
- Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Replaced by Sex, Drugs, and Mortgage Rates
Site Search Tags: comments, blog comments, comment spam, trackbacks, trackback spam, trackback comment spam, incoming links, incoming links spam, google blog search, google, report spam to google
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network