Spam-apalooza: A Survey of Modern Blog Comment Spam

Ever since Google’s PageRank came to dominate online search, scammers have tried to promote their own sites (usually related to porn, prescription drugs, mortgage rip-offs, etc.) by creating as many links from other sites as they can.

After starting with web guestbooks (which were all the rage in the GeoCities era), they moved to blog comments.

The problem was so bad a few years ago, Jeremy Zawodny declared PageRank dead.

Fortunately, both Google and various blogging platforms made improvements in terms of how they identified comment spam, and now most of it gets trapped easily.

In fact, it’s amusing to read through the spam logs and see what kinds of messages the commentators (which are usually posted by robots, but not in all cases) leave for me to approve.

Here’s a compendium of the different types of comment spam messages I’ve gotten recently. I’ve preserved the spelling and grammar as-is.

1. Straight-up Spammers

These comments make no bones about the spam they’re promoting. The text of the comment has nothing at all to do with the post or the blog, and there’s a direct link in the comment text to the url they want people and search engine spiders to visit.

The amusing thing about this type of comment is that most of them use “Google.com” as their homepage url.

Hey guys i would like to tell you about this [spam site link goes here]

Heya, I have found a great way to [a brief description of “amazing” results with a spam link]

Hi guys im so excited, i recently [you know what goes here]

2. Flatterers

These comments are more subtle.

At first glance, they seem legitimate, because they’re laudatory and brief (which gets them off the hook in terms of matching the context of the original post).

Instead, the spam is in their homepage urls.

I suppose the idea is that I would get taken in by the nice sentiment and that I won’t notice where it links back to.

ya — nice blog. i love it

Usually I do not write-up on blogs, but I wish to say that this article quite forced me to perform so! Thanks, extremely nice article.

I find you entry interesting do I’ve added the track to it on our blog

Great blog! I definitely love how it is easy on my eyes and also the data are well written.

I find you entry interesting do I’ve added the track to it on our blog

amazing thanks already bookmark

Keep up the amazing work!! I love how you wrote this and I also like the colors here on this site. Very good opinions expressed here :)

¡Gracias!

3. Flatterers with Comprehension Problems

Are these hoping for an approval AND a reply, perhaps as a signal to the spambots to post another spam comment under the same post?

I would need to be significantly dumber than I am now to fall for that.

A mutual associate sent me the url to your blog. I like how you really focus and get to the point but can you run through that last part again?

Fantastic blog post, thanks. Can you expand on the second para-graph in a little more detail please?

4. The Indignants

These are straight-up spammers who are angry at me for deleting their original comment (which never existed, of course).

I’m not sure of the psychology behind this concept; even if I believed they came from real people, I’m not sure why I’m supposed to unblock them now.

Why have you deleted my comment? It’s in fact useful unlike almost all the comments posted here… I’m going to post it again please don’t remove it as lots of people will discover it very valuable. Hey guys [spam pitch and link follows]

Why did you remove my post… My post was actually useful unlike most of these comments. Ill post it again. Hello, I have been using [spam]

5. Non-Sequiturs

These make no sense at all, perhaps deliberately as a means of avoiding bayesian filters. Like the flatterers, the spam is in the homepage url.

These have been on the decline recently.

Compassion, empathy and recognition of others’ humanity is on the decline in this country. Along with these declines will be the decline of our democracy. I believe that medialoid [it goes on like this for a while]

well… good luck finding a free of charge minute. I hope you’ve better luck doing that than I do.

6. Internet Meme Echoes

A newer trend is to take a meme or tweet that has been recently popular and echo it as a comment. The comment itself is innocuous or funny, etc, but the spam is in the homepage url.

I’m not sure what the idea behind these are, either. Other than relying on me to ignore where the commentator’s homepage links back to, why am I supposed to allow this comment?

To show that I’m hip, I’m with it?

Welcome to the new decade: Java is a restricted platform, Google is evil, Apple is a monopoly and Microsoft are the underdogs

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2 Responses to “Spam-apalooza: A Survey of Modern Blog Comment Spam”

  1. Michael Geary Says:

    Very insightful essay, thanks. {{free-online-essays}} I will add it to my bookmarks. {{cialis}} I have been getting those “compliments” myself. {{earn-a-fortunte-online}} You are a real scholar. {{we-write-your-essays}} Well done!

  2. Denis Says:

    Ha! Very funny.

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