I was amused by the following spam comment on a blog I ghost write and administer. The comment led me to write this article. It read: “Wow neat! This is a really great site! I am wondering if anyone else has come across something similar in the past? Keep up the great work!”
If I were a novice I might have taken this as a compliment at first glance and I certainly would have eagerly approved the comment. That is until I investigated further.
The WEB site it was going to link to was a gay sex site and was totally unrelated to the blog. I could tell that from the signature and the attempted linkbait which seemed unrelated to the blog post. The link was not even written correctly and did not even work.
Blog spamming is when writers attempt to get a link back to their sites by placing a link on another site. Digital spam is defined as hyperlinks between pages without real merit. Spamming is definitely black hat technique, frowned upon be Web site owners and even penalized when caught by search engines.
Spammers look for sites accepting comments from visitors that allow links back to the visitor’s site. These are typically blogs, forums, wikis, guest books, directories, etc. They enter comments and email addresses manually or via automated software. Their link is either in the WEB site section, comments section or both. Sometimes there are numerous links in the comments section.
One of the main purposes of spam is to take advantage of search engine formulas, called algorithms, that rank Web sites. These mathematical formulas give higher rankings to websites when they have other websites link to them that are ranked higher than they are. The more links the better the rankings, especially when those links come from higher rated sites.
Another reason for spamming is to lure visitors hoping some may purchase their products. There are many spammers since there is relatively low cost in operating and difficult to hold anybody accountable.
Tools are available to help prevent spammers from taking hold of your site. You should become familiar with these tools and use them to help thwart spammers while keeping you in the good graces of search engines. There are services that attempt to filter spam comments automatically.
I am most familiar with Akismet and Captcha. I was introduced to Akismet though WordPres.com and blogging. It is offered free with all WordPress.com blogs. The filter works by combining information on participating blogs about captured spam. They formulate rules and use these rules to block future spam. It is very effective but spammers still find ways around it which is why a blog owner should always moderate and approve all comments.
A Captcha is a test used to validate that the response is not generated by a computer. The process uses one computer to ask the user to complete a simple test like entering randomly generated letters, digits or both. A human should be able to enter a correct answer. However, the generated letters and numbers appear as a distorted image which cannot be read by another computer.
There are other spam filtering services available. You should always make use of a service to filter out the bad guys to keep them from infiltrating your turf.