Earlier today one of our best clients, The Law Offices of Matthew J. Rich called asking about a recent influx of spam on his blog. The spam was all in the form of submitted comments. Thanks to the protection we put in place, none of it actually appeared in his blog (at least, not until he put up this humorous post making light of it), but he was still curious… why were so many people submitting junk comments?
The short answer: Search Engine Optimization. Inbound links to your site from another site are a factor in getting your own site more traffic from the search engines. While this isn’t as much of a factor as it used to be, it’s still a consideration. They’re hoping their comment makes it to your actual page so they get credit for a link to their page. In the case of mrichlaw.com, the built in protections stopped this from happening.
What can be done about it? At the end of the day it’s not making it to the site so it’s an annoyance. Common ways for dealing with this situation:
- Don’t allow comments on your blog posts at all. I don’t care for this because it removes the ability for your blog to be a two way communication tool.
- Require a reverse Turing test before a comment can be posted. Simply explained – this is the technical term for having to prove you’re a human by entering obscured words from a little box that you can’t quite make out. Again, this is annoying and causes people to not participate.
- Use an advanced blacklist filter to stop known IP addresses from submitting comments. This is generally marginally effective, as it’s so easy to grab a new IP address.
- Have a sense of humor and enjoy the poorly constructed comments before you delete them. As the blog owner, you’re the only one that will ever see them, and as Mr. Rich points out… they’re kind of funny.