Recognizing disguised comment spam on your pet business blog.


noun, verb, spammed, spam·ming.
Trademark . a canned food product consisting especially of pork formed into a solid block.
( lowercase ) disruptive messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail. –noun
( lowercase ) to send spam. –verb (used with object)

There is nothing worse than spam, (notice the word is lowercase :), whether it's a noun or a verb.

It's been going on for years, but more and more lately I have been receiving a lot of, what I call, 'disguised spam' on my blogs. That is spam disguised as links in the url, or in the comment itself, that are left on my blog with comments related or unrelated to my blog post. This type of spam is highly annoying, but most importantly it leaves me with a complete distaste for the company that has left the spam comment; as it will for other bloggers and those that read your blog.

There are many companies, including (formerly) respected pet companies, that have hired 'link farms' to search out 'like minded' and high page ranked blogs and leave comments with url links or links in the spam comment in order to receive link backs. They think that this will increase their Google search rankings. But what this actually does is diminish the trust and respect I have for that company and quickly make me press delete.

Here are some examples of 'disguised spam':
  • Comments that say just a few words, like “good post” with an additional enticement and link to visit their site.
  • Comments that include URLs in either the comment itself, or the URL box of the comment submission form, which may or may not be related to a blog post or the comment. For example, a comment seems to be related to the post, but includes a link to a site to gain further information or make a purchase, but in reality is just a ploy to get a link back from your site.
Here's one of my favs from Johann's Blog:

He is so cute... Puppy Dogs are the best! Like the Beach Boys too!
By Promotional Pens on Putting my toys away! on 2/11/11

On the surface it seems like this could be a legitimate comment, but the 'By Promotional Pens' (where there was a link that I deleted for this post) gives it away that this is just a link back farm comment.

There are other examples that are a bit more obvious, including:
  • Comments that are made up of completely unrecognizable characters and/or a mish-mash of words and letters.
  • Comments that include only a list of links.
There are several ways to combat 'disguised spam' including:
  • Setting your blog to moderate all comments before publishing.
  • Utilizing your blogs word verification system for leaving comments. (Although, I don't recommend this option as it discourages comments from those who aren't registered, and I want commenting to be available to everyone).
  • Mark spam comments as 'spam' left in your comments to deter further spam.
  • Deleting the offending comments.
What do I do? I set comments to be moderated, make commenting available to everyone, and take the time to mark them as spam and delete them, because I want to encourage anyone and everyone to comment, whether they have an account with my blogging system or not.

The most important thing you want is to keep your blog true, honest, clean and engaging. So watch out for 'disguised spam,' help clean it up and don't fall for the trick of leaving 'disguised spam' on other blogs, because Google is watching and actually disapproves of these methods, defeating the purpose, but most importantly decreasing the credibility of your company.

There are much more effective and ideal ways to get link backs for your website or blog, and help you increase your Google rank and pagerank. More on that later.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Leslie - check out my blog at.... just kidding! Thanks for the tips. I waiver between using word verification and comment moderation. I like the instant gratification of seeing my comment posted right away. I'm also afraid if I leave it wide open I'll be attacked by the spam-bots. But there's definitely something to be said for allowing everyone to comment.



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