June 3, 2009

Don’t be fooled by next-gen comment spam

Chris AbrahamA month ago, my friend Effie from SI started asking me about some comments she has been getting on her blogs. She wondered if they were, in fact, spam comments or just ESL comments by folks who wanted to say howdy and thanks but didn’t have much to say.

They look almost human but here are a couple ways to discern: They don’t specifically address the content of your post or write anything that adds value to your post or any preceeding comments.  Also, check out the link they drop. Here’s an example of what to look out for:

Newest generation of blog comment spam

Most of the time, folks who comment on your site are a lot like you — if they drop an affilliate site link or a commerce site link into the Author info, then it is not a real human, probably either a new generation of auto content generation robotic script, written to sneak past Akismet (on WordPress blogs), or it is a very poorly-paid “meat bot” who is being paid close to nothing to churn through piles of blogs, filling out Captcha forms and dropping in these “hand-written” comments.

Let me know if you have any questions and please keep your eyes out.  I will drop more in as I find them.  Don’t be fooled! I will make a point of adding as many as I come upon.Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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  • I've been getting these regularly on my blog for the past year or so. There are some "social media" companies out there that actually specialize in hiring people to do this sort of spamming. My eyes have become pretty keen to the syntax of a commenter from India, as opposed to a commenter from one of the former Soviet block countries. I even filled out an info form from one of the companies that specializes in this sort of thing and a rep sent me an email–all bright and willing to help me get my social media blog marketing going! Interesting on the one hand (for the sheer chutzpah of it), horrid on the other.

  • 1. I've been getting these a lot, too, and routinely mark them as spam when I'm pretty sure they are. Otherwise, I just delete them because, as you say Chris, they add nothing of value to the conversation.

  • It is very true, that comments must be moderated carefully. I have had this trouble as well…I get all kinds of spamming comments talking about a bunch of nonsense. If it is not relevant to my site, I always just delete them! there really is no sense in them being there anyway…I use the techniques as Chris to determine spam…Great post and info!