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Why people compliment spam your blog

If you’ve ever run a blog, you might see people leave comments on your blog such as “I love your design, how did you do it?” or “Great site!  I have bookmarked this amazing site OMG!!!!!”.  It’s because of something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Because website rankings in search engines depend on links pointing to that site, spammers will leave comments on blogs to generate a link to their site.  By leaving a compliment, bloggers may be suckered by the flattery and they may be less likely to delete such comments.  However, it’s a spamological arms race.  The search engines don’t want spammy search results, so they will take steps to filter out sites that rank higher than they should. So this isn’t a very effective technique nowadays if the link is to a site completely unrelated to the blog.  Also, most (though not all) blog software and content management systems will place a “nofollow” attribute onto all the links, so links submitted by spammers won’t count towards search engine results.

The truly devious spammers will create fake blog pages that look like a real blog.  (Or they may simply copy a real blog.)  And then that fake blog links to their real site.  By simply following the link to their fake site, it won’t be entirely obvious that they are compliment spamming your blog.  But not everybody is this smart and most compliment spam is easy to spot.

2 Comments

  1. Ryan wrote:

    I keep a little block on my site called “Ask a question!” where all they have to do is jot up a little question, include their email so I can shoot them back an answer.

    Over the past two days out of the blue I’ve received about 10 submissions, none of them questions, maximum of 2 sentences, and usually accompanied by a typo.

    I’m more than familiar with comment spam, but I don’t see any SEO benefit at all to what they’re doing. My best guess is that they are scraping the old fashion way and the footprints they use are accidentally catching my question block.

    Have you come across this at all? While I hate to think these complements are phony my time in SEO leads me to believe that something is a miss. Heck half of them are coming from foreign email domains.

    That’s pretty much the gist, do you think this is what I think it is (misguided comment spam)?

    Anyways, thanks for the write up and giving me a place to ask. (not compliment spam lol)

    Monday, December 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    Well I suppose that I can speak from experience in that there is a way to complispam certain sites for SEO benefit. It is a cat and mouse game though, and eventually the CMS system creators will nofollow comments and Google may figure out a way to curb that behaviour. (Yes… there are certain sites out there that don’t nofollow URLs in comments… though that is a rare breed.)

    2- Don’t you think that typos are intentional? A lot of affiliate/scam sites have comments with typos in them. This makes the comment more authentic. Oh yeah, I only recently noticed that I have a huge spelling mistake in the graphics on this site… ahahahaha. ;)

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink