New trend in comment spam?

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The tactics employed by comment spammers continue to fascinate me, but I have noticed a new trend, which indicates either a new trend or adaption from the spammers – which reminds me of the way bacteria respond to antibiotics – or perhaps just indicates I am being over-sensitive.

Twice in the last 48 hours I have had comments from people who are clearly responding to the content of the blog post but who are also linking to an explicitly and solely commercial page: one was an XML editor and the other was a video on “how to be a hacker” (of the LulzSec variety as opposed to kernel patcher type).

Now, this blog is currently doing pretty well in Google on a number of the technical areas it discusses and traffic is slowly rising as a result. (Interestingly Google ranks the HTTPS pages much higher than their HTTP cousins, but that’s another issue and not one I am going to discuss here, because I really have no idea why that is.)

Therefore it may well be quite valuable to comment spam this site if you are looking for people interested in XSLT or the Kronecker delta or whatever. But you are also up against a pretty good spam filter in terms of Akismet, so the usual “your blog is great” crap is not going to make it.

So, like a bacterium faced with penicillin the spammers mutate and devote more energy to survival. Or, it is just that people who sell a product are genuinely interested in what I write here – though something tells me that it is more likely to be the first!

4 thoughts on “New trend in comment spam?

  1. Do the comments indicate any particular comprehension of the posts, or are they just “hi I liked you post keep up the good work” plus link? (I’ve gotten one or two of those.) I ask because it occurs to me that someone might pay cheap labor to run out commenting on blogs (in your case, blogs related to computers and computing technology). If the comments reflect technical comprehension, though, that would seem to rule out the “cheap labor” theory.

  2. Paul, well, the both indicated an understanding of the issues – they are both still on the site: I just chopped the spammy link – so have a look if you have time.

  3. Definitely looks like someone with a clue both times. It could be some people with stuff to shill just plop the link in everything they post anywhere.

  4. I have had the same thing happening recently. Both times the spammer clearly read at least part of the post, but the sites they link back to are really crappy commercial pages. I haven’t approved them. One of the commenters keeps checking back.

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