How to Detect a Spam Comment on Your Blog and Unmask the Person Behind It.

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Google hates spam comment; webmasters hate it, and everybody hates it. Taking care of spam comment can really be tedious especially where you get them in their hundreds every passing day. Spam comments on websites and blogs have become a complete nuisance on the internet.

Some people are out to destroy your site/blog by making it look worthless in the site of Google and other search engine robots, through the use of spam comments. They are difficult to fight; they employ all sorts of tactics, including the use of bots/automated software to attack your blog and drop useless, worthless and pre-written comments on your blogs.

Spammers try as much as possible to make you think they are interested at making your site interactive. They most of the times coin words which could easily fit into any content. But they hardly make comments that are exclusive or unique to your post at a particular time. If you are observant, it would be easy for you to detect a spam comment, no matter what shape and style it takes.

How to detect a spam comment

Like I said earlier, spam comments have characteristics that give them away, no matter how they are disguised. Once you are able to understand these characteristics, it is damn easy to detect a spam comment on your blog. Some of the features that give a spam comment away, that you should look out for, include but are not limited to the following:

Spam commenter doesn’t have gravatar image

Most times, a spam commenter doesn’t use a gravatar image in the comments he leaves on blogs. It is usually not a mistake, but a deliberate act to minimize chances of being identified. It is easy to know somebody through his profile/gravatar image; so a spammer would do everything to avoid that.

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Spammers love to use links

You discover that spammers love to leave links in their comments. Even if his comment is just one or two lines, he would look for a space to squeeze in a link to his site, sales page or other forms of content. Since his primary aim of leaving a comment on your site/blog is to get a link, he tries by all means to get it.

Must Read:
1. Do You Reall Think Blogging Would Ever End?
2. 9 Effective Ways To Increase Comments on Your Posts

Spammers don’t obey the rules

One who comes to your blog to drop a spam comment hardly obeys your blog rules. Why does he do that? Most times he does not read the rules governing comments on the blog; so he cannot obey the rules he doesn’t know actually exist. Remember that most of the spammers use bots, so their bots cannot read and understand those rules because they were programmed to fill out the name of the commenter, his email, blog URL and twitter username and them paste the comment.

Spammers operate under anonymity

Most spammers would never disclose their true names while leaving comments on your blog. Instead they prefer to use “Anonymous’ as their username. This is to try to cover up their tracks. Every responsible blogger wants to let people see his contribution on your blog. So when you see the anonymous commenter, it is the first sign he could be a spammer.

Spammers ask for blog visit

Another way of knowing a spam commenter is that they tactically ask for a visit to their site or blog. After leaving their comments, they ask you to also visit their blogs. This is one trait that gives them away. They are looking for links, so they stupidly end up asking for it in their comments.

spammers don’t care about your site health

The desperate spammer does not care about the health of your site or blog. What interests them is to get an opportunity to leave their obnoxious comments behind. Their contributions are therefore hardly useful to anyone. They can leave one or two lines that are not related to your post because these comments were already programmed without having your post in mind. They don’t care whether Google is going to punish you for such poor, spammy comments; they are simply selfish.

Samples of spam Comments

I am going to try as much as possible to show us several comments that look like they are genuine, but they are actually spam. A spam comment would naturally look like any of the ones below, and others which I may not be able to include in this post.

Sample 1:

“Nice and useful content shared here. Thank you very much and keep posting like this in future too”
Why is this spam comment? Nice and useful content could fit in to any post. It is not unique to any post you have made on your site. “Keep posting like this in the future”. Keep posting like what?

Sample 2:

“Thanks for sharing a great post. I appreciate your thinking”.
Now take a look at that comment again. “sharing a great post”. The spammer gives you the impression that your post was great; but what post? That could describe any post. He knows you would be excited to be told your post was great. It doesn’t say things like “I understand from the third point you have shared, that marketing is quite easy when you use social media”. In this example, I am specific; the point I have referred to is number 3 and it talked about how to use social media to make your marketing easier. So if anyone reads that, it would be clear that my comment was made following a careful understanding of the content I have read.

Sample 3:

“Great stuff, I am using them constantly”
Every stuff on your site is great. So this doesn’t make your current post different from others. “I am using them constantly”. Using what constantly? Spammers know that most of the things bloggers write about are tips, recommendations, observations, criticisms, tutorials, etc. so they try to make their comments sound like they read your post and understood what you’re talking about. The easiest way to unveil such tricks is when the comments are dropped on a post that condemns some funny practices. That would be odd for anyone to now commend himself by saying “I am using them constantly”.

Sample 4:

“Good post! Excellent article, quite interesting info. I came across your website on Google. I am going to recommend it to our close friends”.
I don’t need to talk much about this. You must have had this on your blog several times. I can’t remember precisely how many times I have had this on my blog. You find it almost on all blogs.

Sample 5:

“I agree with your points. Especially the last one point. Thanks for sharing”
That is another disguised spam comment. Agreeing with especially the last point? Spammers are also aware you will hardly write a one point article. So, even though your post is just a 2 point post, that comment would perfectly fit in.

Sample 6:

“I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in sharing this. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future”
Did you notice that? Any post could be shared; so this comment is not telling us about what was shared. Besides, the commenter hopes for the same ‘best work’ in the future. What best work? You would be elated to hear someone say that your post is best. Isn’t it? This kind of spam comment could fit into any post because it is designed to be so.

Must Read: 10 Rules for Blogging Beginners

Sample 7:

“Nice post. It’s very useful to us”.
My question is, is there any post designed to be useless? If somebody says the post is useful, it is a subjective statement; he alone can tell us whether such post was actually useful. So you can’t challenge this comment. He says it’s useful even though others might think otherwise. Just prepared to be applied to any post.

Sample 8:

“The write-up has proven useful to me personally. It’s very helpful and you’re obviously quite educated of this type. You have opened up my eye to be able to varying views on this subject using interesting and reliable content”
Can you beat that? You can see how he has tactically avoided mentioning any topic; he keeps using words like “write-up”, “quite educated of this type”, interesting and reliable content”, etc.

Sample 9:

“I’m not that much of an online reader to be honest. But your site’s really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. Many thanks. Feel free to visit my web blog”
This is not different from other ones above. Why tell us you are bookmarking a site? The spammer has subtly asked for a visit to his own blog. Is that a part of his contribution to the blog he visited?

The examples just go on and on; but I have to stop here because we are already running out of time. So we will quickly look at how to unmask the person leaving the spam comment on your blog.

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How to unmask the spam commenter

Having seen some of the samples of spam comments, our next task would be how to unmask the culprits. Since the spammer has no profile pictures or gravatar pictures, it is your responsibility to try and find out his true identity. I would have talked about how to reduce or completely stop spam comments on your blog, but that would make this post too long. So I would talk about it some other time in my post.

To know the identity of the spammer, simply check the comment he has left behind and click on the links inside (they usually love to include links in their comments), or check their recent post if you are using Commentluv plugin. Commentluv would show their latest blog post at the end of their comment. Simply click on that link and you are taken to their website.

On getting to his website, you can simply check on his “About” page to unmask the ghost. When you identify him, you can decide what to do to stop him from spamming your blog further. I shall talk about that in my next post.

So what form of spam comments have you been receiving on your blogs? How have you been able to identify the culprits? Share your experiences with us, we need to hear from you and how far you have been able to fight spammers on your site.

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Image source: Free Digital Photos

About efoghorjos

Efoghor is a Registered Nurse turned entrepreneur, freelance writer and blogger. He currently lives in Bonny Island, Nigeria.

He started blogging in December, 2009 and ever since has not looked back. He has been sharing his knowledge in various fields with his followers online. He is a Platinum Expert author on Ezinearticles.

Efoghor hopes to do his best to give you the information he has and leave you to leverage on them to take your business to the next level of success. He tries as much as possible to give you great and unique content that would reposition you in whatever area of interest you have chosen to ply your trade.

You love my blog? Keep coming and make sure you tell your friends about Business Success Guide. I love you and I will do my best to make you happy here. Remember to subscribe to my mailing list to get all updates and promo announcements.

Comments

  1. Great post indeed. WordPress blogs are more vulnerable to spam commenting. Literally my site gets hundreds of spam comments everyday. Thanks to Anti spam plugins. Samples of spam comments are great and would certainly help newbies to understand this stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post How to make money with Smowtion

    • efoghorjoe says:

      Suresh, thanks for the vist and for leaving a comment. WordPress blogs seem to be really prone to a lot of spam comments. I had some spam comments on my Blogger blogs. But since I migrated to Worpress, it's like the comments tripled. So everyone on WordPress must do something extra to keep his blog from these attacks.

  2. “Good post! Excellent article, quite interesting info HAHA, just kidding! I hate spammers more than you could ever imagine. My favorite spam comments are the ones that are about 500 words all written in chinese, advertising nike shoes?!? At one point I went to one of my sites and even my adsense were advertising asian dating sites to me! The spam had overpowered my content, i put an end to that quick by blocking every chinese ip on my htaaccess. ~Take care
    My recent post Fishing Photography Tips, How to Make your Trout Look HUGE

    • efoghorjoe says:

      Dub, I could just imagine the stress you went through in the hands of those spammers. Imagine the heartache of having to be faced with 500 words all written in Chinese language which you cannot even read or understand.

      The products those habitual spammers talk about are numerous – ugg boots, nike shoes, viagra, cialis, canadian pharmacy, wedding gowns, etc. They are really a pain in the arse.

      Thank God you were able to figure out the IPs and block them.

  3. WordPress are prone to Spam comments. It all stops when I start using CommentLuv. Thanks for this useful post because it will help others to identify spam and stop it.

    • efoghorjoe says:

      Essien, thanks for your contribution. Commentluv is one of those plugins that help to fight spam comments on blog. We really need to take a bold step in stopping this menace on our blogs.

  4. Hi Efoghor,

    Terrible problem. Spamming. For the moment I get only 3-4 a day but it will increase. I have no doubt.

    I agree. The first thing is to identify the spam messages. It is not always easy. Usually, there is a site behind that comment but things are not so simple. Sometimes you find an About me page but it doesn't offer you much information. Just a general name or nickname. Sometimes there is a picture and an About me page but the guy is a spammer.
    One of the things I check is the site itself. How old is the site? How many article were posted? What's the frequency? How many comments does each post receive (on average). Who are the people who make the comments?
    There are instances when everything seems right but you have … that feeling… . Later it is confirmed. You were spammed.
    I think there will always be risks involved. Sometimes you have to take those risks.

    Have a nice day
    My recent post How to Test Your Homepage in 5 Seconds

    • efoghorjoe says:

      Silviu, you are quite correct. Identifying spam comments take a little bit of diligence, and tracing the culprit takes some skills as they are always careful to cover their tracks.

      However, going the extra mile can produce the positive result you need and keep your blog tidy and healthy.

  5. adetechblog says:

    I hate spam and in fact, I got pissed off when spam comment is made on my blog.
    My recent post Google SEO guide for newbie webmasters

    • efoghorjoe says:

      Adetechblog, You are not the only one who gets pissed off by spam comments. Those comments can really be so frustrating on your blog. They can give you sleepless nights when they are there in their hundreds.

  6. I just started my blog about a month ago, I have the comment Luv Premium plugin installed as well as the Askimet plugin. I have been pretty fortunate about not receiving any spam comments.

    But then my site is still very new and does not get a lot of traffic. I am sure that only people who get a lot of traffic have to deal with spam. I guess I should get busy and put a comment policy on my site.

    I have yet to do this. I got a comment the other day from someone who does not have their pic on their gravatar. Do you usually approve the comments if they do not have a profile picture?

    • Susan, Thanks for stopping by, and for also leaving a comment. You are right. Most times, spammers target blogs with great traffic for their attacks. However, since you have installed the Commentluv premium on your site, you should expect some rise in spamming activities. The only luck you have right now is that Akismet is already installed also, which would help to checkmate spamming.

      Like you said, you don’t need to worry yourself about spam comments for now; just concentrate and deliver quality content to your readers. Should there be any spam concern in the future, then you can employ extra ways to fight them.
      Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Spam comment really pissed me off and they are so much on my blog when I was still using my blog default comment box where most of my blog commenter will appear anonymously but thank God for commentluv and intensedebate, the level of the spam comment has really reduced.

    • Adesanmi, congratulations for being able to fight spam comments on your blog. Commentluv and Intensedebate are quite helpful. I was using both on my blog initially; but I recently deactivated the intensedebate plugin because I didn’t like the shape it was giving to my comment box and the image production. At least things are better now on my side after I added Anti-spam to the Commentluv on the recommendation of bro Obasi Miracle.

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