Human Spam: From Genesis until It Hit You

Human Spam: From Genesis until It Hit You

Every now and then, I like to check my real-time stats and I noted a close relationship between spam and SEO. Perhaps you’re wondering, ha which is the big news? Well in my case, I didn’t think that it’s so planned!

It’s really evident how targeted is the spam, for me and I bet, for you too. All we can be hit for those bad guys.

 

Human Spammers

 

I’ve increased in a huge way my indexed pages, reaching good ranking for certain keywords with my SEO efforts, more after my move to WordPress. Also at the same time, more spam is coming, but not any spam: I’m talking about human-spammers with deliberated and methodical ways to reach you!

 

I’ll illustrate you with few stats: the genesis of a human spam, it sounds interesting, isn’t it?

Let’s begin with stats:


Human Spam Stats

 

As you can observe, those human-spammers were searching specific keywords to attack, in this case: “leave a comment” “kitchens”. He stayed few minutes to post his “bad donation” and here is the result:

 

Human Spam Comment

 

Where can I confirm that is the same person? The IP is the same in both cases – bingo!

Also as you know, they target mainly old posts – may be for the ranking, but I believe that the main reason is that they think that old posts are not monitored like the new ones – wrong my “spammy friend” 😉

This case was from India, but as you will perceive the countries don’t matter – we are “international” talking about spamming, here it’s another from UK:

 

Spam Human

 

Same thing, “soccer blog” “leave a comment” and my post about Uruguay Food Football more best of the week, was hit!
Better for him, that it hasn’t comments (I warned people that zero comments on some old posts, were due to the fact that I lost some of them in the transition to WordPress)

Here is the spammy comment and both show the same IP * bingo* again.


Spam Human Comment

The result: a generic comment, where you can find it put on other blogs.

Again, a good confirmation of human spam: is totally deliberated and planned, by persons, bad/fake “SEO agencies” or rarely very smart bots (but I don’t think that these are the cases). Surely, there are human spammers that mask their IPs changing them constantly, therefore try to block them it’s useless.

 

What possibilities do you have to fight that human spam?


Comment Spam WordPress Platform

As I explained in my post of the transition from ID to WordPress more plugins like GASP, you get out most of the spambots, and they’re minimal, but not human-spamming.

  • With Captchas, again you can reduce bots, but not human-spam.
  • Aksimet plugin can catch some of them or not, depending of the settings – even ban legitimate users, but I don’t recommend it.
    I’ve had a bad experience with it – being labelled as spammer for mistake taking about a month to try to be “normal” again and not all my comments being deleted or sent to spam.

So what are the options?

A simple way is to add several targeted keywords by spammers on: Discussion Settings / Comment Blacklist.

You know them: casinos, pills, etc – I don’t want to put my list to avoid being indexed for that words and receiving even more spam 😉
When human spammer triggers a keyword-listed, this comment will go straight to spam.

Certainly you can set to moderation all your comments – this up to you. Depending of the influx of comments / spam this can be a daunt task.

 

Comment Spam Blogger Platform

As I’ve been on Blogger and then I moved to WP, I’ve this problem also there.
First rule, if you let your guard down, you blog will be FULL of spam in old posts – never allow this. You’ll lose rank and as you are your own “brand”, you’ll be sinking irremediably with the blog.

  • Set to Moderation all your comments. I know this is not pretty and comfortable, but it’s worst to delete them after they were posted.
  • Don’t allow anonymous comments – they are the worst.
  • Install external comments system. This was my option with Intense Debate, read my experience with ID with all my problems, I don’t recommend it.
  • Disqus: I don’t have an opinion with them, I’ve seen positive and negative feedback. Give a try and let me know in comments 🙂

 

Returning to WordPress, my blog is CommentLuv and Keywordluv enabled and since some time, it’s partially Do-Follow.
What does it mean? You must reach 5 comments done with the same name and email to be Do-Follow. This is an extra measure for the human-spam that posts crap and run.

If approve for some reason a spammy comment, anyway NFFree will not give you a Do-Follow-link, till you reach 5 comments. Sorry, you’ll work a bit harder to reach it.

Want to deepen more about do-follow? Check out Ana’s article dofollow-vs-nofollow and regarding the NoFollowFree plugin, read Justin’s article how to control your dofollow blog comments.

 

I’d like to hear your voice and tell me which method you use to minimize human-spam on your blog.
I think that the positive feedback between bloggers is essential, because this is a constant task and it can be improved, always 🙂

 

Image by madmarv00

65 Responses to Human Spam: From Genesis until It Hit You

  1. I think the 5 comments threshold is totally awesome, it kinda gives you the advantage over spam bots. I myself use commenting for seo purposes but I kinda do it in my niche and on blogs that are related to mine so that I could actually contribute something rather just post crap like “great post” and “thanks for sharing”

    btw, thanks for sharing! :p

  2. I’ve read that it’s better to classify a spam comment as “spam” rather than deleting it. In my imagination, there is an avenging god of the internet that checks that folder to learn which boys and girls have been naughty.

    • Yes, it’s better to send to spam instead of delete, because in some cases the filters learn and in next instances send the spam directly to that folder.

  3. Whats typically the difference between spam and SEO? It almost have the same thing, it stays for a moment then leave comment. I do want to elaborate thing between the two but I guess I gotta need to know a lot of things.

    • Janna they are related but are different things. SEO is for better rankings and spammers are doing backlinks for improve rankings, at the end it’s all about better positions on searches.

  4. Not quite sure why but one of my posts, the California Raisin Bread post is attracting more spam than I’ve ever had before.
    I can’t stand it and it seems any way to try to prevent it makes it either more inconvenient for the commentor or me.
    It’s annoying. Do these spammers really accomplish anything?!

    • Joanne I’m pretty sure that this specific post should has some keywords that spammer are looking for. You’d check your stats to see if someone is looking related keywords to “California Raisin Bread”
      Yes they achieve several goals 🙁 So many bloggers accept spam because they don’t matter to be annoyed or have any control of their blog, then the backlink goes live.
      Several spammers are rented and they are paid by comment or per hour, it’s a job…

  5. Damn these spammers Gera…big pain! I have Akismet and Bad Behavior and both seem to do a pretty fine job. The only thing is that some regular commenters repeatedly get labelled as spam. I sift through 200-400 spams every morning! Sigh…

    • Deeba I don’t like Akismet because so many genuine commenters end there as false positives.
      My case, I was labelled as “spam” after my migration to WP and I couldn’t comment anywhere because all my comments ended in spam, finally I send an explanatory email to Akismet support and they lifted the ban uff.

      200-400 spam everyday wow! I’m completely sure that most of them are automatic (I’ve had this experience of hundreds per day) but you can reduce them to a 5%.
      Install the free GASP plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/growmap-anti-spambot-plugin/ (or it is included on the Commentluv premium today also)

      It’s the simple check box that you’d check in the comment area, that said you’re not a spammer bla bla. This kill all the automatic bots that are spamming you and legitimate comments are not affected at all… unless they don’t to check the little checkbox. It takes only a minute and you’ll save tons of hours!

  6. Hi Gera,

    I was looking for info about how to fight spam. That is how i found this post. It is interesting to see your thought on this.

    I have something to add: In my opinion these spammers are looking at old posts because of moderation.

    But also I tested the spammers objective. Normally I delete spam instantly, but once I published a spam comment on my little blog http://www.tiramisublog.com

    This is just a site with a few pages, and I think it is not a masterpiece.

    When the spammer saw I published the coment, he began linking to my page. I didn’t mind, because me pagerank grew from 0 to 2. So this spammer knew his stuff. He put a link on my page and started bulding “linkjuice” to it. To give the link more power I think.

    It’s interresting to see that spam and SEO are so well connected.

    I think we will never get rid of spam. The more popular your site is, the more spammers you will attract. It’s almost like real life…

    Ramses (Holland)

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