Debbie And Tony's Photographs And Memories The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England
The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England

S Is For Spam Comments

Spam is just something that we have learned to live with these days, but no matter where you look, whether it’s your email Inbox, Blogs or Blog Posts, or even Comments left on Blog Posts, there it is – spam spam spam!

Learning to deal with Spam is something that all bloggers are having to come to terms with, and for the most part it doesn’t take any effort, however you do not want to approve any spam comments, as this provides the spammers with backlinks to their sites, and adds to their value, rather than taking away from it.

Fortunately if you use blogging software like WordPress, there is an excellent plugin called Akismet, which continually adapts to spam, and does manage to catch 99% of the spam comments.   Unfortunately it also on occasion traps genuine comments, and site owners ought to check their spam comment lists regularly to make sure that there are no genuine ones that add value to the blog showing as spam.

How To Identify Spam Comments? 

This is really very easy 99% of the time.  Comments consist of 3 parts – the senders Email Address, Web Page (optional) and Comment.  Spam comments usually have an odd email address, or a web page that is trying to sell something, or the comment does not relate to the article which the comment is left on.   Often the comment is gibberish or is stuffed with keywords, and sometimes it’s huge, containing 50+ links to a spam website.

This month I have noticed a new trend on this blog, and this is undoubtedly a new tactic that the spammers are using to try and get comments approved.

Look at the image below (you can click on it if necessary to see a larger version.

Spam Comments

Spam filters like Akismet often flag comments from addresses that the blog is not familiar with as Pending, until you have approved several of their comments that is, and then following comments from them will be automatically approved.

These comments in the image are ALL SPAM, however Akismet did not identify them as such, and do you know why?   Look at the web sites that they are linking to… Bing, Yahoo… both well rated web sites.

However, look at the comment text, and every single one is full of mis-spellings, probably deliberate, who knows, and they do not relate to the articles.

If you were to approve comments like these, then the next time a comment arrives from that IP Address or Email Address, it will be automatically approved.  Now that is something that none of us want to happen is it!

Some Spam Comments are actually really funny when you read them, and this inspired me to make a collection of the best, and the result is my Funny Spam Comments lens on Squidoo.

Finally, before I allow you to leave… if you are really fed up with Spam and all the scam websites that these comments are promoting, there are ways that you can Fight Back At Spam

Their websites only get traffic and trick people into making purchases, for good that are invariably fake, or just never arrive, if the visitor does not realize that they are accessing a dubious site.

There is an Add-On for all the major browsers (including MSIE) called Web Of Trust (or WOT for short), and this shows a Green Circle against any website that is trustworthy, and a Red Circle against those that are not.   If you try to access a dubious site, it presents you with a warning screen, prior to displaying a dubious page, so that visitors can be warned of potential dangers.

What you can do is to (a) Install the WOT plugin yourself, (b) make sure your friends know about it, and if you come across any dubious sites, Rate Them in WOT to let others know.  This information and more can be found at Fight Back At Spam on Squidoo.

I hope this information proved useful, and helps you in the fight against spam.  The one thing I have found from participating in this April Blogging Challenge is that the number of comments that have been trapped by the spam filtering has increased dramatically. 

If it’s been happening on my blog, it’s likely to be happening on yours too.  I hope that you too will take a stand and join in the fight to battle the spammers.  If so, don’t just delete spam comments, rate their web sites down, or if nothing else, make sure that your friends are equipped with tools like Web Of Trust so that they know to not visit spam web sites.

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