Few words to comment marketing scum



You. Yes, you – one of those who consider themselves very clever for using ultimate underknown technique that can fool any antispam filter and even most humans.

I want to share my opinion on what you are doing.

Can fool program but not intuition

I like to mess with comment spam. It is interesting to figure out how it works, how it changes and how to deal with it in efficient manner. Without readers even noticing that I do that.

When I first encountered comment about your service I froze. I just stared at it for five minutes, thinking that I should click approve already but couldn’t. It had zero of tells spam always has. It was nice, friendly and made sense.

Then I started to dig. And when I failed to find anything I extended my choice of tools and continued to dig. And after all I did found what was bothering me.

You had simply paid someone to make that comment.

Can hope to fool next time but won’t

There is nothing simple and straightforward in those comments. Comparing to regular spam they are extremely hard to spot except by sheer experience and few very minor signs:

  • comment text is original but short;
  • name and email seem real but there are never gravatar or personal link present;
  • it seems to be on topic but fails to say a thing relevant to post – as though someone had only bothered to read headline;
  • it has anchor text or wording around link in a way that average commenter unlikely to type it;
  • it feels wrong and far from extensive and valuable comments my awesome readers usually make.

You are screwing with my blog and with my readers in disgustingly sneaky way.

Can really piss me off (and you did)

I am very aware about how small of a fish I am and how little can I influence what you are doing. Surely you won’t even read this (still hope you do).

But I would feel like a failure without doing what little I can:

  • I will never ever mention your service by name or link, I won’t even think about it;
  • if someone asks me about your service directly I will answer it is as good as gulping anthrax on Monday morning;
  • if I ever hear my friends, readers, followers or whatever considering your service I will go out of my way to present them choice of better and cheaper alternatives;
  • I will pay special attention to covering your competition in my posts;
  • I will stop doing this and openly celebrate on day you go out of business.

I could be your devoted and valuable fan.

But you tried to harm me and my readers so I am your lifetime enemy instead.

Enjoy your social media success.

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  • JeeMan #

    Haha, well done Rarst! I am a regular reader for a couple of weeks, and I really like your blog. This kind of posts will make me come back, that is for sure!
  • Lyndi #

    You are definitely mad at someone. I also hate these comment spammers (who doesn't). I wish there was something that could be done to stop these guys once and for all. Maybe we could shoot them on sight, that will stop them.
  • Rarst #

    @JeeMan Glad you like it. :) If you have some specific ideas on what posts you want to see - feel free to drop suggestion in Skribit widget. @Lyndi Nah, not really mad. :) This is more of metaphor post. Cold murderous resolve to cause some backlash (at leisure) is more productive than being mad about stuff you can't control anyway.
  • Donace #

    Ah spammers; think I've spent waaay to much time finding ways to combat them!3 posts on one topic! think the dominate The Nexus's idea bank :p
  • Rarst #

    @Donace You are overthinking then. :) Determine common factor, block it, most of spam solved.
  • The DataRat #

    "I am a regular reader for a couple of weeks, and I really like your blog" Ditto here. Just found your blog on a link at Freeware Genius today... http://www.freewaregenius.com/ Enjoy your writing, and love your thinking ! Only negative (and this is ~almost~ trivial), how come only one URL link per post ? I like to provide links where possible to stuff I mention. Usually no more than two or three (typically just two). But your blog won't accept replies with more than one URL. I suppose there's some good purpose in this. To prevent some abuse or another. Still very much esteem you and your blog. The DataRat .
  • Rarst #

    >Enjoy your writing, and love your thinking ! Thanks! :) Samer (and Martin of gHacks) typically send awesome readers my way. >But your blog won’t accept replies with more than one URL. Sorry, but I get ridiculous amount of spam with multiply links and it's fastes and most foolproof way to filter it. And comments are usually light on links. You can use as many links as you want if you don't include protocol (http) part and they are inactive.