How to Recognize Spam among Comments on Your Blog

Any unwanted message that's posted into the comment area of your blog is spam. Spam comments might look like anything from a sincere compliment to a request for more information.

Spammers attempt to weasel into your site by looking like they have personal or generally harmless content. Sometimes you won't be able to tell a legitimate comment with poor grammar and spelling from a spam comment with similar attributes. Spammers are counting on this confusion.

Sorting the good from the bad can be tricky, but with a few tips, you can get through the spam onslaught with as little frustration as possible:

  • Personalized and customized messages: This type of spam is created by a real human being as opposed to an automated bit of programming. Usually a human being, paid by a spam company, visits your blog, reads a few posts and a few comments, and then customizes messages that fit in with the tenor and style of the site. Often these messages are even directed to you by name. You can easily miss these messages when you're watching for spam comments.

    If the link included with a comment isn't related to the subject of the comment or the topics on your blog, the comment is probably a fake, no matter how on topic it might seem to be.

  • Generic commentary or questions: Another time-waster is the generic message spam. These messages either request you to do something or make a very nonspecific remark. Comments that show up may be something along the lines of

    • "You've got the same name as I do."

    • "Have you seen the new video?"

    • "Check out my blog?"

    • "Need you to do something for me."

    • "Your blog is broken you need to see this."

  • Flattery: Finally, there's flattery. Comments like "Your blog is awesome" or "I like your blog, click to read mine" are very common. As a general rule, regard these kinds of brief praise with suspicion (well, unless your blog really is awesome, of course!). Real fans usually elaborate more about what they like about your writing.

In general, a spam comment invariably includes a link, usually to an advertising Web site or site designed to look like a blog. The spammers are hoping that you or your blog visitors will click the link, giving them a traffic boost and potentially allowing them to collect a fee based on the number of times the site is visited or a link is clicked. Look closely at comments that include links.

Many comment spammers are annoyingly ingenious about finding ways to disguise their messages. Keep your wits about you so that you can identify new trends and formats in comment spam techniques as they appear.

Don't just leave comment spam on your blog and let your readers sort through the mess. Spam attracts spam: If you don't remove these kinds of comments, you actually end up with more spam on your site. And, as your readers click the spam links, spammers realize that your blog is untended and flock to it. So delete your spam. Your readers will thank you.

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