How can tell if a comment you receive on a blog post/article is real and sincere – or just a spammer trying to get a link? I often get very short comments in my blog. They often say “Great post” or “Thanks for the tip”, or some such vague language. One of the ways that people hope to improve their website page ranking, is by getting inlinks – and they do this by leaving fake or spam comments in other people blogs. But how can you tell the difference?
First off, if you are reading this and you are blogging without Akismet, get Akismet. It caches the vast majority of spam. As of the writing of this post, Akismet has caught over 24,000 spams – from my blog alone! So let it do the heavy lifting for you.
For those comments that Akismet misses, you need to determine which are spam, and which are good comments, and which are not spam, but comments that you don’t want to approve. Since marking a comment as spam sends it into the Akismet database, you want to be fairly sure the ones you mark as spam deserve it.
I recently got a comment that fell into this grey category, and I wanted to share with you what I did to make my decision.
Here’s what I got in my email from WordPress:
Notice two things. First it’s from a gmail account, yet the URL is a website to a web design company. I’m always suspicious when there’s a website in the URL field, yet the E-mail field has an unrelated email address. Secondly, notice the generic comment “Thanks for providing such a nice tips”. Not even good english.
So I go and look at my web tracking tool, Web-Stat. I find the visitor by matching the IP address.
Here’s the visit:
Now, the article was on search engine optimization and online stores. So if this is a legitimate comment, I should see those keywords used in the search this person used to find my blog article.
But they used “web design”. Hmmm. And the URL was to a web design company. Now, smart folks know that the most valuable links are from websites that contain keywords that your company uses. So a web design company would love to have a free link from my blog, wouldn’t they?
Based on this, I decide this person has attempted to get a free link to their (or a client’s ) company by posting a fake comment in my blog. I mark it as spam, and send them to Akisment purgatory.Jill
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.