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Differentiating between Spam Comments and Real Comments

When I first started blogging four months ago I was amazed at the number of comments I received.  At first I was delighted, especially when the comments said I was a very skilled blogger and that they had enjoyed the blog posts.

It made all my hard work seem worthwhile.  I really thought at first that I was actually getting somewhere.  But soon I noticed that some comments were repeated again and again.  Then some commenters told me that I had a lot of spam on the website and that really puzzled me.  I couldn’t understand why people would be bothered to put a comment on a website that they didn’t mean.  I had never done that and couldn’t see the point.

But that comment kept coming up, so I decided I had better research the whole thing of comments.  Especially as the comments on this website became so numerous that I just didn’t have the time to read the comments let alone reply to those who were asking questions.  My answer was to put on Defensio Anti-Spam plugin.  I soon noticed that this plugin spammed every comment.  I thought that this can’t be right, so went to Google and asked the relevant question.

I found quite a few blogs that informed me that people are spamming in order to get links to their own site.  That they are using the comment box as a form of advertising.  If the unsuspecting blogger doesn’t take control and eliminate the spam it would actually do great harm to his website and his hard work would suffer.

I have copied the following two facts from http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/11/hard-facts-about-comment-spam.html

FACT: Abusing comment fields of innocent sites is a bad and risky way of getting links to your site. If you choose to do so, you are tarnishing other people’s hard work and lowering the quality of the web, transforming a potentially good resource of additional information into a list of nonsense keywords.

FACT: Comment spammers are often trying to improve their site’s organic search ranking by creating dubious inbound links to their site. Google has an understanding of the link graph of the web, and has algorithmic ways of discovering those alterations and tackling them. At best, a link spammer might spend hours doing spammy linkdrops which would count for little or nothing because Google is pretty good at devaluing these types of links. Think of all the more productive things one could do with that time and energy that would provide much more value for one’s site in the long run.

The article goes on to advise webmasters that if they wanted to improve their sites visibility the worst way to do this was by becoming a spamming commenter.  Instead they advised that if they want to promote their site having original and useful content is the right way to do this.  Having original content makes your site more search engine friendly and you will get better ranking as a result.

Google then goes on to help website owners to understand what constitutes spam and what to do about it.

Their guidelines are mainly to disallow anonymous posting. To treat any comment that uses keywords instead of the person’s name as spam, no matter what the comment is that is being used. Also all comments that are obviously copied, should be treated as spam.  They also say that a comment should relate to the conversation of the blog post, but then I thought that that may be a step too far – I have made comments on blog posts that usually is in appreciation of the blog post.

So for the time being, I am going to spam all comments that use keywords instead of the persons name – and also if the website given isn’t genuine, all will be spammed.  If I notice that a comment is copied over and over again that too will be treated as spam.

I am sorry if I am taking a hard line over this matter, but I have spent a lot of time and energy on all my websites, and it is hard to see ones hard work being trashed.  Also  I am no longer allowing foreign languages and names as comments, as I feel that if anyone can read the blog post in English, their ability to read and write English must be good enough to make their comment in English, and also to write their name in English. If I cannot read and understand the comment I cannot allow it, and that goes for the names of the commenter.

I am slowly going through all the comments on my websites, and spamming any comments that have keywords instead to the person’s name, and any comments written in foreign languages.

I apologize if I have offended anyone, I don’t want to do that, I am delighted that anyone takes the time and energy to write a comment, but I won’t tolerate spam, and now that I know that spamming exists in the comment box I will do what I can to eradicate the obvious spamming comments from this website and my other sites. Previously I thought spam only related to my email box, and heaven knows I get enough spam emails, and I do delete everything I think is spam.

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