Flattery Will Get You … Spam?

Are you getting some flattering comments on your site? Ah, that’s nice. Except, they’re probably spam.

I totally fell for it. There was a nice comment about how powerful my writing was and how it moved the reader and they signed up for my RSS feed and … wait, except I didn’t have an RSS feed on that site. Then I checked the name and it was something product-y sounding. Hmm. I checked the URL of their domain. Yep, some spammy product. I was crushed! A new fan! A loving comment! But probably just a robot! Waaaaah.

Welcome to new age of comment spam.

I don’t know if they’re robots or just hired guns (at crazy low rates, I’m sure). But they’re sneaky. There was a time when spam was also just a bunch of words thrown together. I didn’t really get that strategy. Of course, the typical keyword stuffing days are over for the most part as your spam (or comment) protection should get them. In WordPress, Akismet does an excellent job of comment spam protection because it gathers the spam from millions (no, millions and millions) of sites to compare notes and get the most accurate kill rates. But now they’re up to new tricks: flattery.

[quote]Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it![/quote]

They’re hard to detect because maybe they’re even accurate. I don’t know if they actually read the content or even try a little bit to make the comment relevant. But hey, we’re all suckers for flattery, right? Maybe just leave the comment up for a few days? Just to get the Feel Good out of it? Then delete it? Up to you. But with every link out from your site, you’re giving up a tiny bit of your Google Juice to another site. Usually, you want to do that, it’s good all around. But for the spammers, maybe just save their flattering comment in your email, or print it out and put it on your wall, but delete it from your comments.

Is that real chorizo? Or is it spam? How can you tell?

Is that real chorizo? Or is it spam? How can you tell?


About the Author:

I've done the big corporate thing. I've done the creative writer thing. Now I'm happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in "working their website before their website works them." I'm also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+


  1. Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous June 30, 2013 at 2:36 am - Reply

    The spam comments I really hate are the ones that criticize your grammar or spelling. It’s so tempting to go to their website to “defend” yourself, even though you know logically that it’s spam.

    • Bradley Charbonneau July 8, 2013 at 3:04 am - Reply

      They criticize your grammar!? How funny, well, weird-funny and probably ironic because, and I’m going to generalize here, I’m going to be that your English is better than theirs. But then again, now you and I are both talking about what are probably robots, thus giving them more credit than they deserve. Spammers!

  2. Laurie McAndish King July 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    I received a really friendly one: “Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.
    Many thanks.”

    It was from a spammy URL, and the formatting of my post in IE was fine.

    Very tricky!

    • Bradley Charbonneau July 8, 2013 at 3:06 am - Reply

      The worst part is that it then takes our time to decipher if they’re real or not! Even more time when you’re not completely sure and you do some checking and testing … all based on the auto-comment from a robot. Aaaah!

  3. Digital Dental X-Ray Seattle WA October 24, 2013 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Thanks for your this informative post. This post is Excellent but i need more information in this regard.

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