Real Comments, Spam URL’s

So lately, I’ve been spending a fair bit of time going through and dealing with Spam on so many blogs. The comments look real, they read like real comments. They are most likely done by hand rather than spam bots, but if you look at the URL they’ve used, and sometimes their name as well, you’ll see that they are still trying to spam.

This is frustrating because their comments add some small value to blogs, but on the flip side, they are just trying to get links to their site, drive traffic to their ads, or otherwise create a poor experience for people online.

How do you deal with this type of spam on your blog? Do you mark it as spam, delete it, edit it to not include the URL, or just approve it outright?

We can’t check the URL on every comment, as it can get time consuming, but by marking good quality comments as spam based on the URL field, are we messing up Akismet?

Let me know in the comments below, and please…no spam.

Sidenote: J Angelo Racoma recently wrote about this on Performancing (What do you do with valid comments that have commercial links?) and got a few opinions about what to do with the comments, so I’d love to see more discussion on what tools you use to moderate and manage these comments without getting too many false positives. Is Akismet still the best way to manage spam on WordPress blogs, should people be using multiple plugins, or is another service better?

12 thoughts on “Real Comments, Spam URL’s

  1. Given that Google now loves new content and activity post caffeine. I am testing serp on a blog by posting the
    product linked comments e.g great post etc which link to a busniess website.
    will measure for July / Aug. It is unclear from Google how they rate these comments as indicators of activity on a blog site and therfore a ranking measure.

  2. This is totally frustrating! The best advice I can give (as a web developer) is to seek out keywords that are common spam and use a “security/spam code”. It can also be worth keeping a log of “blacklisted” IP addresses and, if it gets REALLY BAD, cap the number of comments a single IP can submit per day.

  3. I must admit “Vacationer” is not my real name. I am also pretty sure that most people don’t post their real names. Looking at comments on Techcrunch today I see names like – Some Guy, ajadoniz, The_BORG, browse, nil…. Do you think thats what their parents named them?

    So when I call myself “Vacationer” am I just using that as a pen name (because I like being on vacation) or am I promoting that keyword. Its a gray area, but if you allow entering the website, why waste time policing the Name? Its the quality of the comment (and free content your site is getting from me) thats important.

  4. I get comments where people read the title or just the first sentence and they try to make up a comment that sounds like they read it but it is still a “great post” type of comment then at the end their is some kw rich link. Those are really easy to catch. The ones that do the same thing but link only in the name/website fields I don’t always catch those. It is also real easy to catch the ones that make 3 or 4 comments. It is a pretty clever way of getting links but they should know not to link in the comment and only make one comment. I use spam karma and it catches all the bots but it does not catch the Indians that just surf all day and make comments.

  5. That’s my problem, too. I run a few blogs and get lots of those spammy comments which is quite irritating. However, I’ve decided to approve comments, as long as it relates to the topic. If not, I just push delete! That’s my rule and I stick to it so I don’t waste my time.

  6. This post is NOT SPAM in that I am not promoting spammy topics and illegitimate websites, but it IS SPAM in that I am linking my site to my favorite keywords in the name/website boxes above.

    BUT, what are those boxes for anyway?
    No one is putting their real name and anyone entering a URL is promoting his/her site, blog or business.

    I have the same issue on my blogs and if someone is providing any sort of interesting content, I allow it with their “SPAM”. I consider it the price (actually, free) I pay for the content and to generate discussion among my commentors.

    What bothers me is the people who write “great post” and then link to “Vacation Rental in Zimbabwe” on my blog about Manhattan. The filtering process takes a little longer, but I accept all comments on my blog and prune every few days.

    If I cut everyone who added their URL – I would have only my mother’s comments on my blog.

    1. Those boxes are to give your NAME and URL. Not your Keywords. It isn’t the keywords field. I don’t mind people using their business URL in the URL field, but keywords for the Name is no good here.

  7. I think, that as long as the comments are relative and add substance to the blog article, they should not be considered spam. I agree with David. I am new at all of this and I try to really contribute. If I don’t think I can contribute, I do not make a comment. I browse a lot of blogs to see if I can find a blog nische that interests me enough to start my own blog. The comment block asks for my website and I include one. Am I not allowed to include my small advertisement, as long as it is not offensive or violates the spirit of the blog?

  8. I see. Kind of like the guy who joins Toastmasters or Lions to network for his business, but still really participates. If they are really contributing, you’re using them as much as they’re using you. I’d let them stay. With two exceptions: (1) they’re crowding out others, (2) the links are not just irrelevant but incompatible. We try to be a family-friendly site and certain links are just not acceptable.

  9. I find three levels of comments: (1) those that add value to the discussion, for example, proposing a counter-argument, (2) those that are nuetral in value, for example, “Great post! You inspired me today,” (3) those that interfere with the discussion, which includes both the pharmacy advertisements and the pure insults. I automatically label as spam type 3 comments. Type 1 comments are kept, no matter where the link leads (you won’t delete mine, will you, just because it’s for an unrelated blog?).

    Type 2 is probably what you’re referring to (I should come up with better terminology). These I keep if the linked website is on a related subject matter or if the commenter is known to me. If the comment is neutral but the link seems like spam, I’ll delete the comment rather than mark it as spam. That way, if I got it wrong and the poster was actually being sincere, they’ll have a second chance.

    1. David – Actually, I am getting lots of type 1 but they lead to “buy drugname here” links, or “seo services from India”…

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