Proofpoint: Security, Compliance and the Cloud

June 14, 2011

Blog Comment Spam: How It's Used for Internet Marketing... with Funny Examples

[Editor's note: Please welcome guest commentator Joseph Lei, currently a student at San Jose State University, who is interning with Proofpoint for the summer. Joseph will be regularly contributing to the blog over the course of his time here. Take it away, Joseph... -K-]

At Proofpoint, one of our focus areas is fighting email spam, but spam can come in many forms on the internet.  Just about any type of online service—social networking sites, short message services, you name it—is likely to be affected by some type of spam analog.

If you've been roaming around the internet lately, you're likely to have encountered a blog just like this one filled interested articles and comments.  Blog commenting systems give readers a quick and easy way to interact with the authors, but have also become a target for internet marketers, spammers and scammers looking for a way to create back links to their own websites.

Back links can be seen by hovering over a spammer’s user name in the comments. These links are valuable for search engines such as Google and Yahoo to determine rankings for keywords.

Spammers use sophisticated bots that automatically search or “scrape” for blogs with comments enabled and can post millions of comments in a matter of hours.   

This type of "black hat" search engine optimization technique is generally frowned upon by the leading search engines, which have taken aggressive action against such tactics. As just one high-profile example, JC Penney was recently caught using this method and was able to rank number one in Google for keywords such as “skinny jeans”, “casual dresses”, and “casual dresses”.

To help you identify spam comments, here are a few common categories that I have collected:

The Inspired:

Inspired

 

The Dreamer:

Dreamer

 

 

 

The Confused:

Confused

 

The English Teacher:

English

 

 

 

  

The Poet:

Poet

 

 

 

The Supporter:

Keith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a variety of free and commercial solutions for blog comment spam. Among them, TypePad anti-spam (which is built into TypePad's hosted solutions, but also available as a plug-in), as well as a free tool called Akismet that uses techniques similar to Proofpoint’s award-winning anti-spam technology. Askimet maintains an enormous database of known spammer I.P. addresses, usernames, email addresses, and comment styles.

So the next time you see spam comments on your favorite blog, you might want to notify the owner about the availability of these solutions!

Comments

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Blog comment spam is hard to avoid - especially if you don't have a captcha or some other mechanism to check and make sure visitors are actually human. With cheap labour even captchas are becoming pointless - some webmasters are happy to pay a couple of dollars an hour for workers in the near third-world to manually create comments on blogs for them

Some blog comments have become an everyday entertainment for me because of how creative these spammers have become. Imagine composing a blog comment that would be so generic it could be posted in any subject and in any blog. I couldn't help but commend them sometimes.

People need to understand that to get links back to their sites from any blog;they need to leave comments that’s of value to the readers and not just spam such as the ones you noted above. “nice post” “great post” etc. I get a lot of those type comments on my blog and delete them all.

I read some where that search engines don’t like to see a lot of spam comments on blogs. If our readers would actually take the time to read the various post; it would be easier to make a comment that’s of quality.

blog comment spam is increased daily.we put a captha or to check a blog comment activity is done actually human or not.

Blog commenting has been SPAM making nowadays. The same reason why some or many or the legit comments end up unconfirmed or moderated.

Why do people make such comments? They must have been using a software like blog comment demon.

For me, why will I spam my comment instead of making a good one? They are not thinking that they are just making a bad impression on the site they are linking to.

Too bad many people do not think this way.

I agree. People need to add value to their comments. It will help them in the long run otherwise search bots might label them as SPAM. Great post Joseph. I like how you added examples. You hit the nail on the head with each example.

This is hilarious. Nice thinking on posting this blog, totally true, however sad it is. You got me on Nike air's comment. It reminded me of the movie Dumb and Dumber :)

What I have found is that very few people want to do the work necessary to wind up with good results. How difficult is it to spend a few minutes a day posting something relevant and of value to a BLOG like this.

I'm sure you see the junk SPAM posts on your BLOGS too...I bet one in one hundred is worth approving and posting. As a matter of fact I have found that it is a waste of time to even go through them any more. I just delete them all.

EXAMPLE ONE...read some of the posts on this page. Many of them have nothing to do with anything; let alone this BLOG. Is that what the Twitter option adds to this BLOG? (I'm just asking?) Thanks for allowing me to vent!

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