Another spate of ‘compliments’

Image: Lime Canvas

Anyone else get a pot full of spam this morning? I went to bed last night with an empty email inbox and a clean, up-to-date Akismet screen. This morning I was greeted with 16 comments being held for moderation and the resulting 16 email notifications in my inbox.

Every one of them was a “compliment” comment like those Lorelle wrote about a few days ago. Here are some examples that were aimed at various older posts on Pied Type, presumably in the hope they wouldn’t be noticed:

Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the e book in it or something.

I seriously get pleasure from your posts. Thanks

Hey, buddy, I’ve not discovered the way to subscribe

I’m not positive the place you’re getting your information, but great topic.

Wonderful website. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

I discovered what I had been searching for. good post, many thanks

Presumably Akismet flagged these for moderation (instead of deleting them) because, although they did provide names and email addresses as I’ve required in my Discussion settings, the authors did not have any previously approved comments, also a requirement in my settings. As a final safeguard, I get email notifications of all new comments, primarily to make sure I don’t overlook those on older posts (as these would have been).

Obviously the spammers and their bots are getting better with their English. And gone are the days when they tried to post long lists of links or paragraphs full of keywords instead of coherent sentences. But this stuff is still spam. If it appears on your blog, the authors’ names will link to the spammers’ websites. Those links aren’t directly harmful to you, but they boost the spammer’s (or, more likely, their employer’s) website ratings with internet search engines.

If a reader clicks on one of those links, the website gets a hit and another boost in ratings. With luck, the site won’t be a porn site; it might only be a Russian car dealer or a seller of fake Viagra who hired the spammer. (Spamming for pay is big business and provides income to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.) But do you want to do that to your readers and to your own reputation?

I hope the folks at Akismet can come up with an algorithm to stop this stuff completely so I don’t have to deal with it manually. But in the meantime, having it held for moderation is certainly better than having it appear in my published comments until, hopefully, I see and delete it.




13 thoughts on “Another spate of ‘compliments’

  1. Good grief PT. I guess I got lucky, for the moment at least, because I’ve yet to get such “high quality” spam. But I know that, sooner or later, their little bots will key onto my blog too… 😯

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve somehow made myself a target by ranting so much about spam. On the other hand, maybe I’m just prettier than you 😉

  2. Spamming is HUGE business and sadly I see many bloggers are approving and posting it on their blogs. This does of course mean a negative impact on the blog’s authority and page rank.

  3. Just to help people better understand spam, Akismet learns. By marking spam as spam, the information goes into the database and updates as people add more spam references. It doesn’t need to fix its algorithm. You help by marking spam as spam.

    Spam annoys us all. It is part of the painful part of blogging. Just know this. You are not alone. It’s not personal. You are not being targeted (Honestly, of the billions of websites in the world, do you think they think you are special? 😀 ). A large majority of spam is generated by humans which can outwit any protective actions you take, which is why Akismet works so well. It learns and is not dependent upon quizzes, CAPTCHAs and other torture techniques.

    Shutting off comments will not stop comment spam. That will only stop comments. There are no tricks other than using a tool like Akismet, and if you are self-hosted I would add the Bad Behavior WordPress Plugin. uses a similar feature, blocking comment spam before you ever see it.

    Be smarter than the spammers. Every time I mark comment spam as spam, I don’t get upset or take it personally. I say “DIE SUCKER” and send it to the great virtual database where others are sending their spam. This prevents that spam from hitting millions of others using Akismet.

    We have to work together on this. It’s a team effort. I just wish someone would come up with such an easy way to deal with the rest of the evil in the world. One click does it. 😀

    1. Akismet is now 16 spams smarter than it was this morning. But it was highly unusual for this many spams to get all the way to moderation (instead of going straight into the spam bin). That’s why I’m thinking Akismet’s algorithms might need some work. If I had not been requiring that commenters have previously approved comments, these 16 would have been posted at about 4 am local time, meaning they’d have been displayed on Pied Type for approximately 6 hours before I got to them. I’m grateful to have had the tools that kept that from happening.

  4. An afterthought: Be aware that spammers will also try to set up links via trackbacks (by reblogging your posts) and by commenting on individual images in your galleries/slideshows. Akismet guards these for you. Spammers also create links through Likes and Follows; we have no way to delete those, although we can disable Likes.

  5. I’ve been seeing a jump in spam, too. Holding stuff in moderation helps – and you can make it as spam…hopefully someone/something will notice that. Spammers are always trying to out figure the system – guess it’s just life in blogland. They do seem to haunt older posts. Never ending battle ( and I wish we could control re-blogging – that’s another way spammers grab)

    1. Akismet does a great job. Just look at all the spam it stops that you don’t ever have to see or moderate. I just wish it would do the same for spam Likes and spam Follows. As for reblogging, don’t get me started. I’ve ranted enough about that already.

... and that's my two cents