What is comment spam?
Comment spam is when people leave text or links in comment which are completely unrelated to the topic in question.
Invitations to visit a website, even if related ("it's all art"), would also be considered to be spam by many bloggers. I'm very judicious about leaving links in comments and keep them very strictly 'on topic'. If you want to issue an invite look for another way of contacting the site owner - remembering of course email should not be used to spam.
Bottom line, if you wouldn't do it in an email, then don't do it in a blog comment.
The latest name-oriented comment spam
The latest sort of spam found on blogs doesn't put the unrelated link in the comment - it puts it in the name of the person commenting.
Hence I had two comments in quick succession of the same post from somebody called "Gi$ft ca$rd prin$ting" (remove the dollar signs to see it as it was actually written - I've used the dollar signs to avoid any benefit to that name/site). There was no link in the email. Very innocuous comments but inserted with the obvious intention of getting my readers to notice and click on the name - generating traffic to their site. It is in effect an insidious form of free advertising - and hence spam.
It's often very simple comment spammers of this variety - ask yourself who would call themselves something like that! If none of your friends would then it's quite likely that it's comment name spam.
How to recognise name-oriented comment spam
Comment spam in an email sent for moderation frequently looks as if there is no hyperlink attached to their name. Wrong - what you see in the comment for moderation in your email is not how it appears when published as a comment. Another reason for identifying this as spam.
If I'm suspicious of a comment, then I usually check out the source at moderation stage in the email sent to me. That's not possible with this sort of spam.
If you publish the comment, you'll find that the name suddenly has a link. That link will go to a related commercial site linked to the content of the name.
This is what Google and Blogger do to prevent comment spam.
This is what Google does to prevent comment spam - Official Google Blog: Preventing comment spam
Blogger has two actions which are automatic to prevent comment spam. If you use Blogger you then have three more options to help limit spam. See Keeping Comments Clean for the code.
- Automatic Only five html tags are accepted - for making links; for making text bold and for making text italicised
- Automatic All links will automagically use the rel="nofollow" tag, so they will receive no PageRank boost.
- Option You can choose to receive notification by email when new comments have been posted on your blog. This way, you can monitor them for spam and delete them when necessary.
- Option You can enable word verification for your comments. This will require an extra step in the commenting process, which will deter automated comment spamming systems.
- Option You can enable comment moderation, which will let you view new comments and approve or reject them before they appear on your blog.
In general, links in comments in Blogger carry absolutely no weight in terms of enhancing "page rank" because the "no follow" attribute is added to all links. The only links which can count towards page rank are those contained in the text of blog posts.
What to do if you get spammed in this way
- ALWAYS delete the comments - to avoid encouraging the others!
- If you're so minded, make a note of the website concerned and send a note to Google which likes to hear about websites which spam others. You'll need to detail what happened, when and what you did. You do this via the "Report Spam in our Index" action which is part of webmasters tools for all those with a Google Account
Spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages.According to Hormel Foods (makers of SPAM), use of the term "spam" for unsolicited messages was adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which their SPAM meat product was featured. In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of "spam, spam, spam . . . " in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation.
Wikipedia - spam (electronic)
Screenshot from the Monty Python Spam skit
Hence, the analogy applied because unsolicited messages were drowning out normal discourse on the Internet. (A distinction is now maintained a between meat product and abuse through the use of upper and lower case letters respectively!)
- Blogger Help - Keeping comments clean
- Wikipedia - spam (electronic)
- Wikipedia - Spam in blogs
- Hormel Foods - SPAM and the Internet
I'm finally back home having been laid low with my 3rd dose of the "cold from hell". I do not jest. I went through a complete man-size box of tissues while resembling a running tap on Sunday. Then I spent Monday in bed all day because I was barely able to get out of it! Having slept most of Monday I was a teeny bit brighter on Tuesday but the hacking cough had now appeared; Wednesday I was just totally weary and Thursday I packed up and went home having succeeded in giving the cold to my mother! For all those who have yet to get it, could I just point out that the chemists are now running out of remedies............