It started quite innocently with a short and sweet comment on one of our blog posts. But after a few weeks, it turned into a curious battle of sorts between post author (Jenny) and a particularly clueless spammer. Normally, there’s no contest between spambots and spam defender plugins that stop them at the door. But human and sometimes clever spammers are another story. Their innocent comments can sneak right past the best spam bouncer. This post examines the frustration and surprising resolve on both sides of the battle. In this post, we will see about How to Spot Clueless Idiotic Human Spammer and their Comments
The First Encounter with the Clueless Spammer
Jenny: Welcome. Your comment was put in spam because you’re using keywords instead of a personal name. The URL you left was not a blog — are you setting up a business blog? You might also consider using a gravatar.
Clueless spammer: I am working as an SEO I had just started it. I am new in this business. Promoting the site is my work I am working for my client. I know it’s a business site it’s not my mistake. My client wants this keyword up for the site so, I am using. I would be very pls if you give me a link with this keyword. Pls, reply me here. Thanks.
Jenny: I’m usually a sympathetic person, but not in this case. Your job is to promote your site, mine is to provide an interactive reader community around blogging (human and technical sides). Readers want to visit commentator blogs as part of social networking; they use Google to search for products and services. We welcome your comments on your own time, using a blank URL or better yet, why not start your own free Blogger or WordPress blog.
Clueless Spammers Can be Sneaky
I guess I told her! But was that the end of her visits? A few days later, she left another compliment which shows she did not read how much ham is in your comments? :
Clueless spammer: I am very much concern, my friend. These are really unique one and absolutely helpful thanks for these tips.
Of course, she still had no gravatar image and used the same spammy keyword name (Landscapers Brisbane)! So I removed the link to her client’s commercial site. Subsequent comments went to spam. I copied a few from email notices to illustrate her persistence. Also, how the mood can change from sweet to sneaky “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Another gem on the same post: “hello ….it has been the great comment.” Who knows how many other attempts there were? I can only hope her boss or client finds the company’s name in a Google search pointing to this post. Okay, I sort of feel sorry that someone has to earn a living this way. She has been “going above the call of duty.” Maybe it’s a cry for help: “Somebody stop me, please!” But in the end, she is consciously abusing countless blogs out there.
Clueless started to get clever and imitate real comments – by copying them. Naturally, we let those stay in spam. She copied part of a reply I made a month earlier to another reader’s comment. The excerpt made absolutely no sense, except as a way of bypassing spam detection. However, the smarter spammers will use phrases that seem to be part of the dialog.
Why Do Otherwise Intelligent Beings Spam Our Conversations?
“Comment Spam … is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs [and other websites that accept and display] hyperlinks submitted by visitors. [It}…artificially increases the site’s search engine ranking…, increasing the number of potential visitors and paying customers.” – Wikipedia
In the case of human spammers, I’d change “automatically” to “mindlessly.”
You might wonder what’s in it for the human spammer. Don’t they know many comments are “no follow”? That means major search engines don’t give the links any importance in ranking the spammer’s site.
No blogger wants to cut off discussion from folks who have blogs or write on business websites. I can see how some of the comments with following links sound “normal.” But others just don’t fool owners who read their comments and look at the link’s URL. Several blogs about blogging contributed many links to a landscaping site. One was in a post called “100 outgoing links could hurt your blog.” Clueless wrote, “It very good info regarding the matter. It’s really helpful I will mind it.” How ironic is that?
What’s a Blogger to Do?
Make no mistake; this is a real battle, if only of wits! I for one will not let human parasites feed on my blog posts. Here are a few ways to detect and defend against such nonsense that can pass the best spam filters.
Read your comments
Most of us do that to reply to intelligent and genuinely complimentary comments. We know that many bloggers are promoting their blogs with links, but that’s the name of the game. We are not competitors, so we can share readers. By reading comments you know when they have not read the post and give you canned text.
Be quick to unlink spammy keyword names and give the person the benefit of the doubt the first time. Salvage halfway decent comments while protecting your readers.
Don’t be too nice
Would you be nice to a mosquito after shooing him away a few times? Remember, your first responsibility is the integrity of your blog. Comments and links are part of that. Bad links can hurt.
Publish Comment Policy Guidelines
Here’s an excerpt of guidelines:
Commercial links, post links, signature links, etc. : …all links are subject to review and may be removed prior to posting. …if I believe that they are just linked dropping in an attempt to divert readers to their own blog post(s) or to game search engine results, then I… delete the links. Example: Anchor text – If a keyword is entered into the name field rather than a name I will either break the link and post the comment or I will delete the comment.
In this post, we have seen how to spot clueless spammer. Remember, every comment becomes part of your blog, is indexed and read by future visitors. It’s your responsibility to make sure they don’t click on a junk link or read gibberish. They might conclude you’re “asleep on the job” or don’t pay attention to the community aspect of blogging. But we know you care, and now you know what to do! On Guard!