Blog Comment Spam – People Pay for This?

by Christina Gleason on April 20, 2009

There is an update to this story posted on June 16, 2009.

I was scanning my referrer logs over the weekend for my mommy blog, Cutest Kid Ever. I came across an interesting URL “myseogal.com” in the report. So I clicked on it.

That was when I discovered that one of my blog posts was an example of someone’s “Blog Commenting Services.” Yep, I was comment spammed. The worst  part? Because of the post it was on, I’d gone through and  manually approved the offending comments from the Akismet spam queue because I thought they might be genuine. It was a post for the Ultimate Blog Party 2009, in which people just randomly drop by and comment on other people’s blogs in hopes of winning prizes. And maybe finding a new blog to subscribe to along the way.

I immediately deleted the comments that were now confirmed as spam. I updated my blog post with a message for people considering purchasing the “services” this spammer was providing. There are a few things I take issue with about the claims this spammer is making on her Web site:

  • “So you don’t have to worry about any black hat listings tactics.” (Oh really? Comment spam is white hat? I think Google would disagree.)
  • “We do not post on any blogs that have a no follow tag.” (Wrong! My comments section is no-followed. And it was being used as an example!)

Let’s remember… the only reason these comments showed up is because I manually approved them to begin with. Akismet identifies this crap as the spam that it is. It was my own stupidity that allowed a spammer to post links about personalized diaper cakes… If you look at the remaining comments on the post, there are a lot of “Just dropping by” messages, which were all in the spirit of the UBP. The difference in the spam was the optimized anchor text… even though no link juice was getting passed.

Blog spam is icky. I suppose at $14.99 for 10 backlinks, you can’t really expect quality anyways. But seriously? This woman chose the wrong blog to use as an example for her spamming tactics.I did consider emailing her to insist she remove the link to my site, but then I thought that educating the people who clicked on it served my purpose better. I wonder how long it will take  her to catch on. (Maybe looking at her referrer log and finding this post?)

Just say no to blog spam. And if you’re in the market for link building services, don’t be naive and think you’re going to get quality links for $15. The Google algorithms likely can identify comment spam. If the algorithms don’t, human reviewers can. Don’t get smacked by the Google hammer for buying bargain basement link building services. Seriously. Contribute to the quality of the Web. Be smarter with your money and your reputation. Spam sucks for everyone.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Weekly Links 22nd April
April 22, 2009 at 5:23 am
The Three (yes 3) ways to build links.
April 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm
5 Ways to Get a Blog Post Out in 10 Minutes or Less | Search Engine People | Toronto
June 16, 2009 at 8:13 am
Update on Blog Comment Spam — Christina Gleason - Founder of Phenomenal Content LLC
June 16, 2009 at 8:29 am

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Teifion April 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

Some people will pay for anything, especially if they have no idea about the full implications of it. How many bloggers know that much about Google and it’s methods of dealing with spam?

Christina April 20, 2009 at 9:45 am

Not many. I try to spread the word, but many think it’s no big deal.

netmeg April 20, 2009 at 9:45 am

I saw this comment on twitter recently, and I wish I could remember who posted it so I could give him/her credit, but unfortunately I can’t. Nevertheless, it’s a good one to keep in mind:

If you hesitate because of the price of hiring a professional to do {whatever service}, wait till you see how much it costs if you hire an amateur!

MikeTek April 20, 2009 at 10:08 am

This is just sad. People like this not only turn SEO services into a cheap commodity – they turn it into a worthless commodity.

This so-called “SEO Gal” should be ashamed of herself.

TheAngelForever April 20, 2009 at 10:15 am

I am so sick of Spammer comments as well. Thank goodness Akismet really does the job and catches them.

Christina April 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm

netmeg,

That’s an excellent quote!

MikeTek,

Agreed. They do harm to the industry at large by perpetuating the perception of SEO as snake oil.

TheAngelForever,

Akismet makes my life so much easier. It’s caught over 20,000 spam comments on Cutest Kid Ever alone!

Jeremy Martin April 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Great post. I have had the same thing happen in the passed. It is discouraging that people have resorted to that and would rather take the easy way out instead of researching and doing things the right way.

KJ Rodgers April 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Well everyone is looking for a way to increase traffic to their site, not knowing could be one answer, but she was an seo gal, so one would think she would know the difference between quality and trash links.

Dr. Pete April 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

It’s amazing how many people would rather chase incredibly low-value activities than do real work. What really bugs me is that their tiny pittance of a return rate is ultimately paid for by our hard work – our time and energy to write content, and then more of our time and energy to filter out their useless crap. I wish some of these idiots would just give up and get a real job – 99% of them would make more money flipping burgers, and at least I’d get fed.

g1smd April 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm

*** The Google algorithms likely can identify comment spam. ***

If Akismet can, then Google likely can too.

QED.

Gerald Weber April 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Fortunately Akismet does an excellent job of filtering out comment spam on my blog so it isn’t much of a problem for me. Man this guy sure was an idiot for linking to you like that. It just goes to show his intelligence level.

Syed Balkhi April 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I saw this post on twitter because Gerald tweeted it. I know how this feels. I had spammers using my active users name and they were in akismet spam box, so I wondered how did that happen. Turned out these people were making spammy comments in the name of my active users thinking I would be disguised.

I have a huge spam problem in my blog. Daily about 500 – 1000 spam comments. Which is really insane good thing Akismet catches them, but the problem is sometimes akismet catches the good comments also…. So some of my users email me saying their comment never appeared.

Todd Heim April 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Crap hat SEO strikes again!

Christina April 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Thank you all for weighing in. People sure do get fired up about spam!

Dawis April 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I would call him a scammer, selling NOFOLLOW comments on PR 2 blog

boo April 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

I don’t think paid comment posting a big deal if it is quality work and makes the post look good. I think that most spam posts or spam looking posts are either people testing the comment system to see if they can spam, people who do not speak English very well and are getting paid pennies to do it, or people just posting to get their own affiliate marketing pages up.

It’s just like all the people here who post their URL with their comment–some consider this comment spam even if the comment is related and useful simply because it has a url attached to it.

Nick April 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

You must be new to the blogging game. Most of us have had to deal with this for years, except, you know, we know how spot it and not approve it.

Martin Hegelund April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Hey. Found your site on Google. You have a very nice blog!
No, seriously: I do find it annoying as well and on my own blog I have a very clear policy about it. In general I accept all types of comments, but if the anchor text is keyword optimized I expect the comments to be extra good, otherwise I’ll reject them because I won’t allow my blog to become a pure advertising space.

Christina April 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Nick, no I’m not new to the blogging game. As I explained, this particular post of mine was an unusual case. Legitimate comments from people I’d spoken with on Twitter had gotten caught in the spam trap because they seemed to fit the pattern, and I gave this spammer the benefit of the doubt. No more!

Martin, I’m thinking about creating a comment policy concerning optimized anchor text.

Everyone, I think it’s hilarious that so many people automatically assume that the spammer is male. This one is not. She’s quite female. Maybe that’s why it bothers me more. She’s making women look bad.

Sanjay June 2, 2009 at 6:45 am

Whether that women or men is spam or not, but this post has helped myseogal.com to get few direct traffic to his/her website. Isn’t it Christina?

gerald | link company December 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm

There are still other people who did pay for a particular service and get nothing in return. it’s more than terrible.

Michael May 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

First. Christina, you’re hot. Do you have any more pics? Second. I would totally pay someone to go onto blogs that are in the niche that I’m looking for and write up funny interesting knowledgeable comments with a link back to my site. As a website owner who runs and hosts my own sites, I have a million things a day to do and I don’t have the time to go out and comment on peoples blogs. Lets face it. Commenting on others blogs is a great way to get your own blogs name out there and drum up some traffic. So yeah, i would definitely pay someone as long as they weren’t going to write crap that adds nothing to a post. Now back to the issue of whether or not you have any more pics.

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