Posts Tagged ‘comment spam’

Crying over fulfillment

June 20th, 2011

We all know about spam, but those of you who do not have the good fortune to be bloggers may not be familiar with comment spam.  Comment spam is an interesting, highly specialized part of the ecology of the internet, like the parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in a particular type of grub, or the orchids that smell like lobster and grow only on one species of decaying tree.

Or perhaps a more apt metaphor would be the barnacles that grow on whales, because comment spam derives its existence from that leviathan among search engines, Google.  When you search for something on Google, the list of results it presents you is ranked according to a multi-factorial formula which gives heavy weight to the number of times each site is cited on other sites.  The idea is that if a site receives more links, it is probably more authoritative.  The number one search result has the most links, and so on.  Comment spam seeks to take advantage of this mechanism by surreptitiously placing links to the spammer’s web site on as many bloggers’ sites as possible, in the form of comments to blog postings.  The spammer’s site address is embedded in some text purporting to be a comment.  If the comment is posted, it enhances the positioning of the spammer’s site among search results.  The higher you are on the list of search results, the more likely a searcher will be to click on you.

There’s a lot of comment spam.  According to the spam filter that my web host thoughtfully provides for me, in a little over a year of writing this blog I have received 4,327 spam comments.  I remember the day I turned on my computer and found that 35 had appeared overnight.  I thought I had Arrived at the Big Time!

Some of it is gibberish:

pdooflyga,.. dmikkksnsns

Some of it appeals to the blogger’s vanity:

Hello!  Interesting post!  Check my video!

or,  more typically:

It’s always good to obtain some hints like you share for blog posting.  Thank you for your top quality work and continue writing articles in such a high quality manner.

Some of it is amusingly inappropriate, like this comment that came to my web site’s biography page:

I have been searching all over the web for hours literally man thank you for this great info that I could get nowhere else.

And some of it is simply magnificent:

I precisely had to appreciate you again. I am not sure what I could possibly have sorted out without the concepts revealed by you over this topic.  It became an absolute traumatic condition for me personally, but witnessing a new specialized tactic you dealt with that made me to cry over fulfillment.  Now I’m happier for this guidance as well as sincerely hope you know what an amazing job you happen to be carrying out instructing men and women by way of your blog.  I am certain you’ve never met any of us.