Are You Playing Nice with Blog Spammers?

comment-spamA few months ago, I helped a friend set up his first blog – sending him to Bluehost to arrange for his domain name (for free) and hosting – after which I did the installation with very basic plugins and told him to start writing, which is what he did.

I had access to the WordPress adminstration panel under my own name and set things up so that I would be notified of updates and blog comments.

Then I went offline for awhile.

Upon getting back to work, I noticed that he had made several posts to his blog and had already approved and responded to numerous comments.

Examples of those comments include:

Ԝonɗerful work! Thіs іs the type of info that are supposed to be
ѕhared across the web. Disgrace on Goоgle for noԝ not positioning this post hiɡher!
Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

Howԁy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. Thhe text
in your article ѕeеm to Ьe running off tҺe
screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format
isѕue or something to do with աeb browser
ϲompatіbilitƴ but I thought I’d poѕt to let you know.
The layout look great though! Hope you get thee
problem solved soon. Tɦanκs

My friend responded to those blog comments with…

Thanks for your support.

and…

Thanks for the heads up.

UGH!

I totally understand how someone who is new to blogging doesn’t ‘see’ beyond a spammer’s charm.

But here is the reality.

Name, URL and IP address information (I’ve deleted the email address) included with the first comment was:

parka chilliwack canada goose
parka-chilliwack-canada-goose.wintp.com x
142.4.212.217

Name, URL and IP address information included with the 2nd comment was:

belstaff xl 500
belstaff-xl-500.jewdi.com x
142.4.212.217

OTHER spammers that posted to his blog to which he responded included comments from:

  1. top rated gps 2014
  2. nike air max 90
  3. moncler doudoune pas cher
  4. Woolrich Pris
  5. chanel sac
  6. chaussure mercurial
  7. sweat superdry femme
  8. vente chaussure en ligne

LESSON: You need to look at the names, URLs and email addresses of those who post comments to your blog to decide whether they are real people / commenters before you respond to them.

Look for names that appear real, i.e. Mark Smith as opposed to a product name such as ‘nike air max 90′.

If the domain URL coincides with the name, i.e. parka chilliwack canada goose / parka-chilliwack-canada-goose.wintp.com, trust that this is a spammer.

Do NOT approve or respond to their posts.

All they want is a link to their site from your blog, with the hope of increasing their blog’s ranking with Google.

However, allowing those links will eventually hurt your Google rankings because you are linking to ‘bad neighborhoods’, i.e. spammers.

Do NOT play nice with spammers.

Mark their comments as spam and teach Akismet how to filter comments on your blog.

Comments, questions or suggestions? Please leave a comment below!

Cheers,

sig-ros

Comments

  1. says

    On a related note, I have found that the single best anti-spam plugin for WordPress is also an incredibly simple one: Cookies for Comments. Using that plugin combined with Akismet and it’s a complete rarity that a spam comment even gets through.

    • says

      Hi Jonathan,

      Interesting… hadn’t heard of ‘Cookies for Comments’ until you mentioned the plugin. I did notice that one user recently complained that it slowed down their WordPress Admin though. Did you notice if it affected yours?

      Cheers,
      Ros

  2. says

    I prefer using Disqus for m’y personal blog although they Say it reduces the comment rate but one thing You know for sure Is That those who Will comment are not There Just for Link building. What are your thoughts on this?

    • says

      I *have* found it difficult to comment via Disqus, but enough of my favorite blogs use it that I slogged through the “proper set-up” (and/or they made more back-stage tweaks?) to make it just as easy to use as anything else.
      Your point is worth considering, nonetheless.

    • says

      Hi Sunganani,

      I prefer the native WordPress commenting system for 2 reasons – it is more user-friendly and it doesn’t add bloat. Just my 2 cents. :-)

      Cheers,
      Ros

  3. David says

    Or you can use them to your advantage….

    If it’s a half way decent, on topic comment, delete the link and clean up the ‘name’ before you approve the comment. It helps a new blog get a few comments going, makes it look engaged with an audience, adds text content etc…

    Just be discretionary about which spam comments get used ;)

    • says

      Hi David,

      I absolutely agree. If it’s a reasonably well-written comment, I’ll remove the link (and any links within the comment) and approve it.

      Good point! Thanks for sharing.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  4. says

    Hi Ros, Good advise. I get a lot of comments, but alas, they are all spam. One blog trainer told me, “That’s good, at least your blog is being seen”. Not sure what he meant; is that correct or is he off the mark? Thanks for the great info you share.

    • says

      Hi Joan,

      That the blog is actually being seen would be my take as well. Sadly, spammers are 100x more likely to stop by and leave a comment than nice regular folks… like you. :-)

      Cheers,
      Ros

  5. says

    I have several sites and all use Askimet. I still had trouble with spammers so got the plugin Spammer Blocker. It gives me a chance to fight back by entering the spammers address into the space that says Ban IP address. I have been busy blocking and think it helps but there are sure a lot of them out there. BTW it also sends them a message by email back telling them to knock it off. Those apparently bounce to my junk folder as junk faxes which lets me know even their emails are as fake as their spammy messages.

    • says

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for letting us know about Spammer Blocker.

      Not sure I’d want to send that auto-email out though… that just gives some of them access to a good email address.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  6. says

    What about subscribers? I have a small blog and don’t get too many comments. But I have been getting a huge amount of “subscribers” and I don’t know what they are doing.

    • says

      Hi Kathleen,

      If you don’t want subscribers to your blog, then go to Settings > General and un-check the ” Anyone can register” box beside ‘Membership.

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  7. says

    Thanks for the post, spam seems to be endless, clearly the uninitiated fall prey to this junk. Installing anti-spam plugins help to reduce this stuff but not completely.

  8. says

    You said about ranking hurt by spam linking, I never thought of that until this moment. Thank you. Need a whole day to delete all…

  9. says

    One very easy well to tell if it’s SPAM is if the comment has nothing to do with your posted content. That is, it is vague and non-specific. The other dead giveaway, as you have already mentioned, is that the URL the commentor included with the webform just looks SPAMMY, containing gibberish where most normal bloggers would use easy-to-read URLs.

    I personally installed a simple CAPTCHA plugin, along with the Akismet SPAM filter, and that has cut down on 99.9% of the SPAM.

  10. says

    Hi Ros,
    Good lesson here about how to deal with spammers. I’m sort of new and have 2 blogs and one of mine gets a TON of these “comments”. Since I did not know any better I approved a few, but then got literally hundreds of them. I paid for Akismet on the 2nd site and magically now I just get a few here and there which tells me it is working. Thank you for the info as I did not understand how the comments/spamming worked.

  11. says

    I never play nice with any kind of spammers, even if they get mas and say something ignorant about DNN on their rinky dink blog. They should learn some patience and blog naturally and take time to build sustainable relationships online, so this way, they don’t have to spam and play the other kinds of games either. The joke is on them at the end of the day.

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