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71 responses

  1. Thomas Sinfield

    I am pretty strict with my approval of comments for this very reason. But it is usually quite easy to pick out the people who are just commenting for a link because there is no value added.

    My personal rule is:

    Add value to post = approved.

    No value = Deleted


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  2. Dean Saliba

    This is something that I have found since I switched my blog to dofollow. I can normally spot them pretty easy though.

    I am now more concerned with trying to weed out the dodgy web urls that people leave when commenting.

  3. Jhay

    I’ve been experiencing this kind of sneaky spam since last year. And it has only gotten worse this time around. It’s a good thing I’ve developed a quick eye for such spam comments that look legitimate.

    What’s kind of annoying though is it seems that Akismet is slow in learning about this, a few comments still manage to get through.

  4. Todd Durell

    When I started my blog about a month ago, I wasn’t even aware this existed, but what a lesson! I screen every comment and I’m concerned about the amount of effort this will take if the volume increases substantially.

    When it’s not clear, I’ve googled the comment verbatim, and it normally shows up in dozens of other blogs’ posts. As you say, they’re typically generic comments with links to (sometimes bizarrely) unrelated sites. My personal favorite example so far was a glowing appraisal of my reasoning skills, which was submitted to a post of a picture of a monkey, and linked to a site discussing the dangers of lasik eye surgery.

  5. John Bottom

    Really useful post, Susan. I wanted to comment because I am getting a lot of comment spam on a blog that I manage for a client but I noticed a wonderful – and genuine – comment from one of them recently. I quote:
    “When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!”

    The comment was linked to a site that sold ‘square bathroom rugs’. My blog has nothing to do with bathroom rugs, square or otherwise.

    But I take great comfort from the fact that he now understands the pain of having an inbox filled with unnecessary comment alerts.



    • Jean | Delightful Repast

      John, that’s a good one! I’ll have to give it a try. I’ve been inundated with comment spam lately; fortunately, 99.9 percent of it is caught by my spam filter. And I moderate all comments. So I don’t know why they bother!

  6. John Bottom

    And here’s a follow up. I just followed the advice of one of your fellow commenters and Googled the phrase verbatim. Sure enough, the spammer has been using it everywhere, so maybe not as satisfying as I first thought.

    Not sure what they wanted to gain from it. Would it help them if I acted on it somehow? I’m still not publishing it.

    • Susan Gunelius

      John, The commenter is trying to get links back to the site that is used in the URL field of the comment form. Sounds like it’s probably an automated comment spam bot. The best thing you can do is flag it as spam (if you’re using a comment spam detector like Aksimet). If it persists, you can copy the IP address the comments are coming from and input those in your comment blacklist in the discussion settings of your WP dashboard. Hope that helps!

      • John Bottom

        Thanks Susan. They’re quite sneaky these chaps, aren’t they?


    useful article on spam

  8. EvilEye

    I can appreciate someone leaving a post on my blog to get a link or something but what gets to me the most is when what they say has absolutely nothing to do with my blog or the article they are posting on. At least challenge me to figure out if it is spam or not.

    Akismet does get rid of a lot of them though. I used to get at least 8-10 spam posts a day to the blogs I manage and now maybe one will slip through the cracks and that is one a week if that. Save yourself some time and hassle by using it.

    I guess my main question is… does it really help the google rankings? It is so unfair if it is where I am adding content to climb up rankings and some guy is spamming everyone to get ahead of me

  9. krishnakant sonakiya

    Till now, Akismet is working great to stop any spam comments to my blog. But some of them do feel like legitimate comments and I have to take a closer look in order to judge them as spam or not.

    But I also do as the Susan says, I look for the relevance of both post and comment and judge them. Not too time consuming because Akismet does a pretty good job in filtering out spam comments.

  10. Jen Phillips April

    Love this, I was wondering what the deal was with all these spammy comments on my new wordpress site. I’ve used SBI for years with nothing like this and I was thinking I was going crazy.
    It took me a few days but I then I realized I was getting the same comment almost verbatim from different urls. Hmm….

    Some are more creative though, my personal fave so far is “say thank you for this instruction superb analysis….( keyword phrase unrelated to my site) ….”I am constructive I’ll be back again and can ship out a couple of my associates” . Huh? Great, now the spammers are sending unwanted houseguests…..

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  13. G

    I’m getting increasingly frustrated by Askimet – there’s a fine line between stopping spammers and eroding principles of freedom of speech.
    I also think bloggers have become overly paranoid about spammers, after all no-follow is pretty effective at minimising any loss of juice.
    There’s so much more info about how to stop spammers than there is about the definition of a spammer… I think it’s good that people like Thomas Sinfeld that understand what I consider the true definition of spam/not spam.

  14. Alan Rogers

    I am getting comments being picked up by Akismet as spam but they are actually coming back from sites I have submitted articles to. They quote my article title – and the URL is the article directory followed by my article title. Being new to blogging I’m not sure if these are actually “links” coming back to my site and whether I should be approving them or not? The main reason for submitting the articles is to get the links back, but approving them and having them showing on my blog, will appear pretty “spammy” to the reader? How should I be interpretting and actioning these “comments”?

  15. Gillian

    Thank you that is very helpful for me, as a new site has been inundated with comments that seem OK at first glance but then get repeated with a slight change of wording. I have something concrete to go on now and will delete quite a lot of them.

  16. iş makinaları

    My personal rule is:

    Add value to post = approved.

    No value = Deleted

  17. Rent-A-Site

    What I think is the most hilarious is that I spotted two such spambot comments in this very comment strip! Hilarious! I wish I had a list of the most overused spam comments, that would make it easier to blacklist on all my customers sites… Thanks for good article though.

  18. Mark

    @iş makinaları I agree.

    If it adds value and is on topic then allow it.

    It’s the sheer volume of spam that saps the soul. It’s like a battle against an unseen enemy that you can never win.

    It’s v frustrating that the standard WordPress installation doesn’t allow you to disallow a href tags from comments without having to hack into the kses.php file too.

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  21. Tony Payne

    I have been getting a lot of spam like this on my blogs, as well as on my Squidoo lenses, and I am always careful to check the URL of those who seek to add comments to my sites.

    I also often take things one step further, and rate their site for leaving “Link Spam” using WOT (Web Of Trust). I created a page to explain how to do this, if you will permit me to leave a link and at least I get some satisfaction out of knowing I have denied them some traffic.

    Blatant spammers, scammers and plagiarizers also (if I have time) get reported to their hosting company, and if they use Adsense for example, get reported to Google as well.

    Vengeance can be sweet sometimes :)

    I did create a Squidoo lens about some of the funny spam comments that I have received (which are many), but won’t leave the link here as I already left one – don’t want to be seen as spamming myself!

  22. michael stephan

    this is a problem I have been having, but since my blog is new and I would like to have some comments so if they are nice comments without any info about their business (like their username), I have just been deleting their links before approving.

  23. Isla Pergola

    Askimet can do a pretty good job, but if you want to create conversation on your blog, then you need to have people placing comments. I´ve made it clear on my blogs that if the comment is on topic and adds something to the conversation I am happy to accept it and perhaps one or two links, but nothing more than that.

  24. Anthony Taylor

    This is something that I have found since I switched my blog to dofollow. I can normally spot them pretty easy though.

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    I agree with you no spam forever ^_^

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  36. Mike

    You can try Comment SPAM Wiper. It has a high rate of detection and has an API that works with the majority of platforms.

  37. Kelley

    Thanks for the article. I am really new to blogging and so those spam comments definitely stroked my ego, until I realized that they are basically just parasites. I’ll be more vigilant from now on thanks to your info.

  38. StephenD7

    Thank you Susan for this timely post. Like Kelly, I am a new blogger and my ego enjoyed the massage of comments. I noticed a lot of comments are Spun (not specific, flattering, identical with a few words different). I thought they are SPAM but did not realize the dangers.

  39. Howard

    Great post! lol..

    (wonder if you’ll delete this comment because of the first line)

    Anyway, I think Akismet does a good job in screening spam comments. What I did though was to install the FB social plugin which enables my readers to comment using their FB profiles. This way, any comment posted using WP is definitely a spam and I just let Akismet delete them in time.

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      Comment by “Things to do in Melbourne” sure looks spam-ish! lol

  41. Telecommunication

    Great post I read it,

    We unable to stop spamming on our website and we already installed akismet plugin and its working good, and we want to know another way to stop spamming comments on our website/blog.


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  44. Abby

    I’ve been getting spammed ever since I made my blog last year! My blog is a personal account of my life, and I get comments about Zunes vs. Ipods and stocks and whatnot, all on the same post. You see, I know it’s spam, but I don’t know how to stop it. I consistently mark the comments as spam, but they still come up every now and then. However, I didn’t know that comments like “Great blog” are spam! Thanks for the information, now I can recognize spam more once I get it! :)

  45. Hammock Dude

    I have several blogs, some of which have a lot of traffic. The amount of spam I get is unbelieveable. I have been searching for software or a plugin to control it, but it doesn’t seem to be good enough. Most software catches the blatent spam, but I try to restrict comments that don’t add any value, like the “good post” comments. Is anyone aware of software that is able to restrict those type of comments?

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  49. Earl

    Even if I know it’s a spam comment, I’d approve it if it brings a relevant point to the post. Should I stop doing that, seeing as it “encourages” spamming in some way?

  50. Imtiaz Ibne Alam

    Thank you “Susan” for writing a post on this topic. Actually, I also get so many comments, but most of them are filled with unusual anchor links like you mentioned. I was just thinking of deleting them, but was not sure that it’s right or wrong. I think it’s always better to delete them at once.

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  52. Anna Allen

    I just started a blog and have noticed that the comments submitted are in a broken english with very poor grammar. I had no idea spam content looked like that these days. I’ll be marking spam right away.
    They are pretty humorous to read though. I thought about giving them to my 3rd grader to improve his proof reading skills!
    Thanks for the article. By the way just this morning I read the comment you have dated 6/19/12 on my blog. Yep word for word. Oh, how they get around.

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    Good post. In fact, I just got that first one about the new comments notification and almost approved it. I do in fact have that function on my blog but when I tried looking up the email address to unsubscribe it, there was no match.

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