Dukeo » Blogging » Comment Spam: Why Is It Dangerous For Our Blogs

Comment Spam: Why Is It Dangerous For Our Blogs

Steven 11 responses Blogging

It might not seem like it now, but one of these days you’re going to have to start worrying about comment spam.

Every blogger does.

It’s nasty stuff, left by even nastier people and it’s dangerous, dangerous for your, your visitors, and the entire blogosphere.

Holy canned Spam, Batman!

How can comment spam be dangerous?

1. What Is Comment Spam?

You’ll know comment spam when you see it.

The comment itself is usually only about three words long:

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Nice post. Thanks!

There’s nothing to indicate the commentor even read your post and it’s usually accompanied by a link in the name box that leads to a questionable site.

These spammy bloggers hire people to leave hundreds of blog comments a day or they purchase software that lets them automatically submit their comments all day long.

2. It Damages Your Reputation

Imagine you’re a first-time visitor to some fancy blog and you decide you want to leave a comment.

Until, that is, you see all those links to Viagra and some EZCash Loans sites that have been left by hundreds of bloggers before you.

You’ll probably run away screaming and you definitely won’t go back.

Your readers trust you to monitor the links on your site.

They assume you’ve checked every single one of those links on their behalf.

When they finally do follow one of those links and end up on a spammer’s blog, they’re going to immediately spread the word that you’re not to be trusted, ever again.

3. It Damages Your Rankings

We’ve already seen that Google punishes blogs that link to poor-quality, shoddy sites.

If you’re using do-follow links for your commentors then you run the risk of having your site devalued.

Even if you’re using no-follow, Google still sees where those links are going and it’s a safe bet they’re eventually going to address this with another catastrophic algorithm change.

Many of those spammy comments include broken links, too, something which Google frowns upon.

Get enough of them and your blog may be severely penalized.

What makes this situation even worse is the fact that if your site drops in ranking another site rises to take your place – and it’s probably going to be one of these spammers who beat the system.

Unfortunately, if you let these links stand, your readers might actually follow that link.

Many of these spam sites include malicious malware that can harm the visitor’s computer.

Now, wouldn’t that help your online reputation when you send one of your readers to follow a link that ends up blowing up their computer?

4. It Damages The Blogosphere

As a blogger you should know this: If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.

Each time an unscrupulous blogger successfully gets his spammy links published in a comment somewhere he’s striking another blow against a reputable blogger who’s worked his butt off to provide quality content and a blog where people felt comfortable.

Those spammy comments scare away visitors and it’s your responsibility as the host of your blog, to control comment spam as much as humanly possible.

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  1. Liza

    This is why mine are 1) not accepted or 2) edited so the link is simply excluded. I have commenting guidelines above my comment box for a reason. Sometimes they are completely ignored, and when such happens, well… that’s not my problem. All comments are moderated first for this reason. However, not everyone does this, which means that many times spam actually goes through. :x

    1. Liza, I’ve had the case of some commenters getting mad at me because I was moderating their comments. They fail to understand that Dukeo is MY property and I’m not going to let their crap appear on my pages.

  2. Gail Gardner

    Spam is not so easily defined as most imagine so many bloggers are deleting real comments and running off their regular readers. Obviously, the examples you gave ARE spam, but there are spammers who are good at writing comments who use automated tools.

    I strongly encourage bloggers NOT to delete comments unless they really are spam. Read the post I’ve attached to this comment to see what I mean by that. If you are so obsessed with deleting spam that you delete comments your readers spent time writing they will leave – usually silently – and never come back.

    The first thing I recommend for WordPress blogs is to install the GrowMap anti-spambot plugin because it blocks bots and they are what will flood your blog with spam – much of which LOOKS like real comments.

    You have probably seen it if you comment much on other blogs. It adds a checkbox asking you to check if you’re a human or not a spammer or something similar. (The text is easily editable.) In fact, scroll down and you’ll see it in use on this very blog.

    GASP does NOT block manually left spam, so some also use another plugin. I don’t because the volume really isn’t that great and you have to moderate the spam section anyone because even if you don’t use Akismet – even if you DELETE it, WordPress will still put real comments into spam – including yours on your own blog!

    1. Nothing beats a good ol’ shameless self plug!

      First comment on Dukeo ever, and it’s just to plug your product… funny.

      This could actually be considered as spam by some people.

  3. Liza Shaw

    I had a lot of issue’s with spam comments when I started out and was using the generic wordpress comment system. Since moving over to disqus the spam has stopped (for now at least)

    Thanks Steven for pointing these issues out.

    1. Liza, I’m really not a fan of Commenting Systems such as Disqus, but if it fits your needs, that’s a good thing

  4. Boothpix

    Never understood why the spammers do this, they are told repeatedly its a wast of time but they still continue or do they just not stay up to date on SEO?

    Your right though they are obvious, apart from the lack of spelling and frequent typo’s, their comments are either generic or vague make absolutely no sense.

    I noticed a dramatic decrease in the number I was getting by setting a time limit on comments. Once a post reaches a certain age, for some unkown reason I get fewer requests for comments on newer posts.

    1. Let’s be clear, if spammers keep posting spam, it must be working to a certain extent.

  5. Wends Of Journeys And Travels

    I have just started on a self-hosted site and uses disqus for commenting purposes. Will that one be an alright alternative to weed out the spammers?

    1. As I already stated numerous times before, I don’t use any comment management system because I like to keep control of what’s happening on my blog. Sorry I can’t help you about Disqus. However, I’m sure a lot of my readers would be interested to know how it’s going for you

  6. Scott Allen

    It’s not just the outbound links you need to worry about, but inbound ones. See, whenever one of these auto-posting bots successfully posts one of its spam comments, it also starts posting backlinks to that post from other spammy posts and comments.

    This KILLED one of my friends’ site in SEO. He thought he was OK because he was deleting the spam comments daily, but when his ranking started dropping, we did a link analysis and found thousands of inbound links to the posts on which those comments had been posted.

    So you really MUST implement a solution to prevent this stuff from ever getting published on your blog in the first place, not just clean them up after the fact. No solution is 100%, but you really need to err on the side of caution.