The problem with spammers

The problem with spammers

I have a problem with spammers, and that is that they just won’t give up. This blog has been up a fair few months now and I’m clearing out spam comments just about daily. Fortunately it doesn’t take much effort as I trust the spam filter, which would also empty out the trash every now and again, but I like to look now and again, just to see what’s there. Mostly it’s about 30 words of content and 5 or more links. Some look a bit more ‘plausible’ in that the comment itself makes sense, even if the links in it go to some dubious sites. The spam filter is set to reject comments with any links within the comment itself, so that the only link allowed is part of the signature block. I don’t think this is unreasonable and seems to be the way with many other blog sites.

I have found a good one today though. This is nearly 3000 words of a spintax prepared article which makes good sense with most of the spin selections, and only one link right at the end. The trouble is, is that the article arrived with the spintax intact. Not an easy read in its current format. Anyone prepared to put that much effort into preparing a large article and then converting it to spintax would be far better off writing real comments that stand a chance of making it through my manual checks for first time commenters.

Spammers, Las fomas de vida mas BAJAS

Spintax, by the way, is short for spin syntax. Spinning is the process of turning one article into many by changing selected words or phrases with ones that have a similar or identical meaning. This grouping of similar words or phrases takes place within curly brackets (known as braces) and separated by the vertical pipe symbol ‘|’. Spinner software looks at the spin ready article and selects a random phrase from between each set of braces on each pass. A single article could easily be spun into many, perhaps several hundred’ articles, all saying the same thing in very similar ways. Here’s an example of spin ready text, followed by some outputs from spinning software (This is the opening paragraph from a spam comment):

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting
article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.

{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.| I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.

Spin 1: I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.

Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before. I couldn’t resist commenting.

Spin 2: I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.

Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before. I couldn’t refrain from commenting.

Spin 3: I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.

In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before. I couldn’t refrain from commenting.

So if you see a load of comments that all have a similar ‘feel’ to them, even if the words are mostly different, chances are you have a spin spam attack. Interesting, annoying but not fatal.

How do you react to spam comments? Do you have a problem with spammers at all? Do you monitor them closely and ban the IP addresses that send them, clear them out now and again, but not think too much otherwise, or just trust to luck and Akismet? Let me know below.

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2 Comments

  • Josh on

    I own a number of websites one niche site I have recently had over 4000 comments mostly span and GODADDY had to suspend the site. Was a shame but had to delete all comments from database. They can be a real pain I don’t see any of there sites rank well through blog comments anyway 🙂

    • Hi Josh,
      Good to hear from you. I feel your pain on spam comments.

      It’s true that backlinks from comments do not help ranking as much as they used to but the best use of comments is for traffic. If your name pops up regularly in blog comments and your comments are of value – they enhance the discussion or raise good points, then people will start to see you as an authority figure and want to know more about you. The link back to your blog is then the easy way for them to find you and a visitor to your site certainly does help SEO.

      Spammers use the comments just as a marketing trap, which is stupid as no one will ever follow these links to purchase anything and so they are wasted as a money making source. Unfortunately there are commenting tools which just make this activity too easy and so people will use them. Akismet is a good spam trapper though and nothing has got through it so far and WordPress makes it easy to delete the lot in one fell swoop, which I do on an almost daily basis.

      As my mentor Alex Jeffreys likes to say… KOTOBOT. Keep On Top Of Being On Top.

      Regards,

      Steven Lucas

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