The joys (or otherwise) of spam comments

October 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 11 Comments
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I’ve now been privileged to receive my first two Spanish spam comments, after posting about Barcelona so much recently! Multilingual spam – cool.

On a serious note though, I’d personally recommend that everyone moderates all their comments on blogs because spamming via comments is a popular pastime. Why? Because the spammer gets a link to their site at the same time, and the more links from outside sites to a website, the higher it’s ranked on Googe and other search engines. It’s known as black hat SEO and it’s not funny and it’s not clever.

Some spam is more targetted – for instance a certain mattress is being subtly and perhaps unethically advertised on various R.A. blogs at the moment. Odd that I had an identical comment saying how great the mattress was to one on one of the blogs I follow, and yet purporting to be a different person posting. These guys are taking it to a new level though. Instead of posting a general comment like ‘great blog man. Cool info! So glad I found it’ which can apply to any blog in the known universe, the mattress folk are responding to actual blog posts – must be time consuming but probably pays better dividends as they look like ‘real posts from real people’.

Interestingly I recent saw some information that suggested this was now illegal in America – you have to actually state a material link to the thing being advertised, if one exists. It may simply be that you were sent a free one to review – you still have to make it clear that you received it for free.

So … watch out mattress folk – gut subtler, get out or get your fingers burned.

On the bright side – I kinda get a kick out of spotting them and going ha ha, didn’t fool me … this time!

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11 Comments »

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  1. Spanish spam? I had one in Japanese.

    That matress comment made it through my spam filter, too. I thought, “maybe I’m being too cynical,” but the next day I saw the same comment on someone else’s blog (by a “different” commenter) and was glad that I’d flagged it as spam. I’ve seen it a few more times since then. Glad to see you posting about it – get those comments deleted.

  2. Automated comments is the only way to go! There is so much spam from spambots or otherwise, and I prefer to not subject my readers to the latest “testimonial” of Viagra! I was absolutely overwhelmed with spambots until I installed NoSpamNX plugin for wordpress – it adds a hidden field on the comments form, which spambots fill out but humans do not…if that hidden field is touched, the spam comment does not even get submitted!

    Yes, I read about the upcoming disclosure rules for bloggers. Obviously there will always be gray areas, but I follow a lot of technology podcasts and blogs, and actually welcome the new rules. In the past years, there have been numerous scandals involving people “reviewing” computers, smartphones, and other pricey items that they had received for free…

  3. PollyAnna: I got what sounds like a very similar comment on my RA blog about the mattress. It was supposedly from an RA sufferer who personally used the mattress. It sounded believable enough that I almost allowed the comment, but since the spam filter labeled it as spam, I followed their advice and deleted it. It truly does seem to be an attempt at bad marketing. Thanks for mentioning it on your blog so the rest of us are aware.

  4. I use Akismet and it generally works, but of the course the mattress folk are actually getting humans to write the comments (I assume), as there is always a comment pertinent to the post before the ad starts.

    I welcome the rules too – I don’t think there’s any harm in people with influence such as journalists being given freebies to review, provided it’s on the understanding that that won’t guarantee the review is favorable. On the other hand … you run the risk fo the journalists enjoying the freebies too much and thinking if they make unfavorable comment then the stream of freebies will dry up … hmmm, …

  5. I’ll give the mattress people 10/10 for effort – they must have hit just about every RA blog going – I wonder how many other health related blogs they’re targeting. I hope it all backfires on them badly!

  6. Japanese spam? Cool! You win.

  7. But I can’t read kanji (their symbols)! I can barely get the jist of romanji (transliterated into english characters) if I have access to a good dictionary. At least you probably have a general idea of what the Spanish spam said.

  8. LOL! Kanji looks prettier than Spanish though … and let’s face it, you probably don’t WANT to read it. ;o) As to my understanding of Spanish, having come back from my trip I’m trying to learn Spanish, but as yet I can only string together a few short sentences!

  9. Do you have a curriculum you like? My daughters are using Visual Link Spanish, and seem to be making pretty good progress. If you google it, you’ll find a sample lesson on their website.

  10. I’m going the slow route, a very little bit at a time, as I have zero capacity for languages. I’m using ‘Coffeebreak Spanish’ which is free from itunes (although you pay if you want various extras including a written synopsis of the lessons. It takes it very easy and is funny to boot. I’ve been astonished at how much I am managing to absorb, even though really it’s so far only a smattering of grammar and a handful of words!

    I’ll look at Visual Link Spanish though – although I’ve also borrowed a set of learn Spanish cassettes and a book that belong to my mum, though, so I don’t want to confuse myself by trying to learn from three different things at once. ;o) Not that keen on the one that’s mum’s though so I might go for the Visual Link one if it looks like my cup of tea.

  11. […] had this before of course – from ‘the mattress people’ among others – but when it’s a doctor it makes me really angry – especially when […]


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