You’re a Comment Spammer

Mountain and GarbageIf you’ve blogged for any amount of time, you’ve seen them: comments that strangely have no substance at all. There are words there, yes, but why did someone take the time to type something that really adds no value?

It’s called comment spam, and the more popular your blog is, the more of it you get.

“But wait,” I hear the spammers saying. “I actually took the time to write something. This wasn’t an automated process. I actually wrote that. That means it’s not spam.”

You may actually believe that, or you may just be trying to rationalize your spamming. Either way, here’s how to tell whether or not your comment is spam: Did you write it just to get a link to your site? If so, it’s spam — period. I don’t care that you didn’t mention Viagra, poker or unmentionable deviant acts.

Spam does fall into different categories, though, based on how bad it is or how often you do it. Here are some potential consequences you face when you make the choice to comment spam.

Bad:
Your comment gets deleted and never makes it to the site.

Worse:
You get called out very publicly.

Worst:
I (and others) mark you as spam in Akismet and suddenly your legit comments aren’t even getting through anymore.

Comment spamming — like so many other “secrets” you read about on the Internet — is a short-cut method that can very easily do more harm than good. Resist the temptation. If you don’t have anything genuine to say, don’t say anything at all. Trust me.

Photo by runran.


Comments


  • Kim

    September 4, 2008
    at 10:51 am

    Shane,

    So right! I typically avoid commenting on other’s blogs unless I have something valid to say because I really don’t want to appear to be marketing. But, one of the main reasons I spend so much time on my computer is to market my business.

    It really is a tough balancing act sometimes! Without the face-to-face contact, networking is both easier & more difficult.

    I really love connecting with like-minded on the web, which, for me, is the true motivation for commenting (& for the business).

    Kim (website withheld so I won’t appear a comment spammer) ;-)


     

  • Shane

    September 4, 2008
    at 11:13 am

    See, now that’s a good comment. Totally worthwhile — and worth me going back to put in the URL for her ;)

    And you’re right, it totally is a tough balancing act. I think we’d all be lying if we said that the link back wasn’t at least in the back of our minds any time we leave a comment.


     

  • Kim

    September 4, 2008
    at 11:17 am

    Thanks man, you made me laugh! That was nice.


     

  • Sucker

    September 4, 2008
    at 3:40 pm

    I hear ya. I get more trigger happy with the “mark as spam” button every day. What really drives me crazy is people leaving a worthless comment with a keyword-rich anchor text link like “learn how to make money with my internet marketing blog” – sheesh!


     

  • Melanie Phung

    September 4, 2008
    at 4:06 pm

    Worster: Having the site you spammed call you out for spamming, publishing your email address next to text that says “So and so is a comment spammer” and then having those pages appear in search results for your name. :)


     

  • Shane

    September 4, 2008
    at 4:21 pm

    Ha! Yes, indeed. I hope you weren’t the one with the email address published.


     

  • Melanie Phung

    September 4, 2008
    at 4:32 pm

    Back when I was younger and more clueless (if you can believe such a thing): http://tinyurl.com/comment-spammer

    Enjoy that little tale. I wear it like a big Scarlet A around my neck ;)


     

  • Shane

    September 4, 2008
    at 4:36 pm

    I love this comment from your post: “If you donít know what youíre doing, stay away from dumb black hat tricks. Iím not saying it canít work, but unless you already know a little something about how a site operates and who it shares info with, you could just end up looking like a moron.”

    And I think it’s a great thing to hold on to failure like that. There are some things that I’ve screwed up on that I never want to forget — not because I want to beat myself up over them, but because it’s so valuable to remember where you’ve been so that you can remember never to go back there again.


     

  • Kim

    September 4, 2008
    at 4:37 pm

    OMG Melanie! You poor thing! How awful & what a story. Quite a lesson for those of us just getting into the business of social networking! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m always impressed with people who are willing to share their true stories of “oops” for the benefit of others.

    You ROCK!


     

  • Melanie Phung

    September 5, 2008
    at 9:48 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed that! We’re all fallible, we’ve all made mistakes along the way. If we can’t laugh about them and perhaps help others avoid those same pitfalls, that would just be a shame.


     
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