Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

I WILL mark your comments as SPAM!

Warning… if you leave me a mostly meaningless comment with a keyword in the name field, I will hit the SPAM button and Akismet with cause you pain across the entire WordPress install-base. You have been warned. Moreso, if your comment is added to one of my older blog posts with good pagerank, I will be doubly unforgiving!

spam, akismet, wordpress, spammers, comment-spam, dofollow, nofollow, blogging, alister-cameron

24 Comments

Note: Commenter website links are not no-followed, in case
you were wondering... I believe in rewarding commenters!

  1. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Unfortunately this practice of leaving comments with keywords in the name field has run rampant in the last couple of months – it’s driving me crazy too. I changed my comment policy and just hit delete, but maybe flagging them as spam is an even better idea.

  2. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I assume you “dofollow” comment author’s urls? I know that encourages commenting, but it also encourages spamming. I guess it’s a give and take, pro/con deal.

    I personally nofollow, because of this very thing. I love comments, but I hate spam even more. 🙂

  3. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Amen brotha!

    I was beginning to think it was just my blog or that Akismet was starting to fail or maybe it was because I haven’t upgraded wordpress in quite some time.

    It has gotten really ridiculous lately. I’ve been getting upwards of 10-20 junk comments per day. Not overt spam that you’d usually see in the old days selling replica watches and male member enhancements, but junk comments with keywords as the name.

    Obviously, somebody has figured out a way to pay people to leave almost innocuous comments on blog posts in an effort to get link love.

    I should probably post something similar on my blog to warn people because I’ve been doing exactly the same thing as you….it’s all getting marked as SPAM.

  4. TheMadHat
    Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I’ve taken to editing their comment if they don’t use a real name or handle, provided they say something worthwhile. Otherwise I’m with you and mark it as spam.

    It seems the rise of manual spammers is happening at an ever increasing rate.

    Oh yea, I left off my link just in case you figured this was a spam comment…I don’t do that manually 🙂

  5. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I’m annoyed with this issue too.
    I no follow
    and just select some commenter manually and link them with rel follow (my blog is small so I can do so hehe)

  6. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    @Randa – Well, I think it is. Tell Akismet they’re spammers! That’s what Akismet is for, and that’s what they are! If you see them commenting on your high-PR pages, then you have EVERY reason to know they’re being very deliberate for SPAM-only reasons.

  7. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I think it is strange. You remove the nofollow tag and do not allow for people to use their keywords. That is contradictory. What is the use of it then? Having 100 links with your own name?
    Furthermore, there are many sites (mainly SEO oriented) that do allow it. On my site you can also do it. I think it is a great gift, provided that people leave a message that contributes to the discussion.
    I usually put my keywords and finish the message by signing with my name.
    Well, this time, it is twice my name 🙂

    Olivier.

  8. Bill Wallace
    Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, thanks for the warning but getting such an email in my Inbox was not overly professional IMHO. If I leave a poor comment (feel free to do whatever you like with this one) do what you need to do. I like reading your stuff but this is out of the blue and no value at all.

  9. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Came through via remarkblogger.

    As I said there, I’ve 11 comments in moderation. Whilst I don’t spam them, I do a monthly post whereby I name and shame the comment spammers, whilst linking to me.

    COUNTER PRODUCTIVITY BABY!!

  10. Alister Cameron
    Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    @Bill – As one of my email subscribers, it’s a little different for you and I apologise if it seemed unprofessional from your point of view. Most of my readers are either web or feed people, for whom it didn’t appear as an email title. I think the effect of the headline was rather different for you and email subscribers, and I’ll bear that in mind.

    Remember too… I’m a marketer and my headlines are meant to be provocative, evocative, iconoclastic, memorable in tone, etc.

    @Olivier – If you use a keyword you better be adding value. And I’m not trying to be a hypocrite. Heck, I comment with “Alister Cameron // Blogologist” on everything, and it could be argued the latter is a keyword… actually it’s my brand and that’s different. Either way, add value and I am a very forgiving person. I don’t think you personally need to worry about that 🙂

  11. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the inspiration, Alister. I have been thinking about doing this for a little while now, and your adoption of this policy tipped me to it. However, my policy is that name ONLY goes in the name field. If you commented on my blog as Alister Cameron // Blogologist, I would delete your comment!

    I’ve received a flurry of positive comments from my readers in support of this idea. In the long run, holding commenters to a higher standard will be better for our blogs, especially where Google is concerned.

  12. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    I’ll be honest, I’m struggling to understand the vitriol that this issue is inspiring – maybe I just haven’t been on the receiving end of enough comment spam yet.
    I find that a combination of Akismet and full moderation of all comments works for me – no comment spam need sneak through to my pages. Even so, I still check Akismet because I’d also hate to see someone who has a legitimate comment drowning in the spam bucket.

    Jolly.

  13. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    And another AMEN to comment spam. Thank god for Askimet, I kill more than I save. DoFollow is a great thing, but its gotten so out of hand that the spammers are hitting the dofollow lists and simply going down the line. I’ll keep following my commenters, but I’ll lay heavy on the spammers! Thanks for your insight!

  14. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Hi there..

    Interesting about the feed vs. email title. I’ll keep that in mind too!

    That being said, some commenters are just commenting for the sake of the juice, but sometime they do add something to the conversation. This is a borderline case for do-follow blogs like ours, and a clear comment policy like this will be very crucial.

  15. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    This is my first comment post, so bear with me. I came over from Michael Martine’s site and although I understand the need to curb this before I becomes a real problem, I’m confused about what is acceptable. If I had signed my post with The Backfire Blog, the name of my site, would that cause me to be marked as spam, or am I just using my brand?

    I think Michael has a slightly different take on this. He seems to be taking a zero tolerance stance on the issue, which is fine. It’s his blog and he can do what he wants, but if you have a commentator that comments often using a set signature style, in the name of the “community”, do you as the blog owner have a certain responsibility to let them participate in that manner?

    I don’t really know the answer to that. I’m just tossing out the philosophical question.

  16. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Dave C. – I can tell you what I do on *my* blog to make the distinction.

    If someone were to leave a comment on this particular article along the lines of:

    “Great post! I agree that SPAM comments are a problem, something should be done.” And the “name” put in the comments field was “Replica Watches – Cheap”.

    It’s obvious that a real person left this comment…it vaguely mentions the post, but come on…it’s so obvious that this is spam. It adds nothing to the discussion whatsoever and it’s obviously intended to just get a backlink.

    Akismet is not catching those types of comments and it’s starting to take a lot of time to parse through these…

  17. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    @Rob – That seems completely reasonable. I can understand why that person would get marked as SPAM, but what if I wrote my last post or this one and signed it Backfire Blog instead of Dave C.? Am I a spammer or am I just using my branding?

  18. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    @Dave, I don’t know about anybody else, but as for me…if you leave a “legit” comment, I’ll approve it…I don’t care what you put as the name (provided it’s not rude or offensive).

  19. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Solution: no-follow.

    I don’t mean to be a cynic, but if I were a spammer SEO expert looking to up my ranking or the rankings of a client, the first thing I would do after setting up the website would be to find a long list of blogs that do-follow. Then I’d add somewhat meaningful/beneficial comments to posts, including the keyword I want to rank for and the url I’m trying to promote.

    I could easily get between 100-200 quality do-follow backlinks a day doing this.

    Oh, and by the way, if you’re on a do-follow list somewhere, you have a giant bullseye on your blog too.

    IMHO, do-follow is no good if you’re a blogger. If you’re looking to up your SE rankings, do-follow is a godsend.

  20. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    Nathan,

    Do you think spammers care if you add nofollow to your blogs? You understand that it is all automated and costs them next to nothing, right? If they don’t get PR from your links they still might get a couple of clicks. Even if they get nothing why would they spend their time to filter out your blog from their list, it only takes them a fraction of a second to post. Comment spam is hardly different from its email cousin. Its a matter of numbers.

    nofollow does not solve anything. It only disturbs natural linking and punishes your genuine commenters.

    You’d be better off using a plugin (preferably that doesnt require captchas) to fight spam. You can checkout a plugin that I wrote http://wordpresssupplies.com/wordpress-plugins/captcha-free/ (shameless plug 😉 ). This doesn’t replace Akismet but does complement it very well. Let me know if you try it.

  21. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    iDope, I think you’re missing a key point….

    we’re not talking about the automated garbage that the likes of Akismet or Captcha is going to work….these are obviously comments left by human beings, though shallow (add little to the conversation, but are very loosely related to the content of the post) and with obvious SEO type anchor text put in the name field.

  22. Posted 9 years, 8 months ago // Permalink

    iDope,

    Rob is correct, we’re not talking about spam comments … akismet does a good job of catching those.

    We’re talking about actual humans, doing their research to find do-follow blogs, adding a moderately on-topic comment, leaving a link to a site you’re trying to get backlinks to with the anchor text I want to rank for.

    Dofollow encourages this kind of thing. And akismet/capitcha won’t catch it (neither will your plugin, I suspect).

  23. Posted 9 years, 7 months ago // Permalink

    I am fairly new to blogging and I am amazed to see how much of this landscape has been altered with the dofollow/nofollow scene.

    By the way, what is the “acceptable” format for a name – just the first and last name? I do see keywords inserted for names – are all of these posts spammers?

    Any help from those of you with more experience is appreciated.

  24. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Hi, I think you will certainly scare away many “manual” spammers with this message, because once you get in the Akismet spammers list, you are not able to comment anything at all anymore, I had this bad experience already(I have a post about it in my blog).
    By the way, if you do not allow using keywords in your name, that means people are promoting their name as a Keyword – we have somehow promoted one name to google’s top pages. Oh, and the solution to that could be Keyword Luv plugin, which allows commentators to use keywords and their name separately.

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Recent Comments Article Database » Blog Archive » Increase Engagement in One Easy Step on Saying thank you to blog commenters just got a lot easierOlivier on I WILL mark your comments as SPAM!Alister Cameron onI WILL mark your comments as SPAM!SE7EN on I WILL mark your comments as SPAM!TheMadHat on I WILL mark your comments as SPAM!

  2. (I hear you snickering). Many of you who do this are my friends and people that I like and respect. If you consider yourself my friend, you will use only your name in the comments field here from now on. Otherwise, I will delete your comment. UnlikeAlister Cameron, I will not mark your comment as spam, causing you to be added to Akismet’s spammer list. I’m not angry at anyone and nobody need apologize. I just will no longer allow it. And I suggest that you adopt a similar comment policy. Maybe we should

  3. (I hear you snickering). Many of you who do this are my friends and people that I like and respect. If you consider yourself my friend, you will use only your name in the comments field here from now on. Otherwise, I will delete your comment. UnlikeAlister Cameron, I will not mark your comment as spam, causing you to be added to Akismet’s spammer list. I’m not angry at anyone and nobody need apologize. I just will no longer allow it. And I suggest that you adopt a similar comment policy. Maybe we should

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  6. […] I will delete your comment. Unlike Alister Cameron, I will not mark your comment as spam, causing you to be added to Akismet’s spammer […]

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