My site is almost one-year old now. From the day that I set it up through WordPress,
I started receiving neutral comments like, “I like your articles; great work,
keep it up, God Bless you; keep posting; good article or whatever,” no matter
whether they are related to the topic or not.
Most of these comments are not genuine. At least, I believe they’re not
posted by human beings. They are either posted by automatic software or some
kind of script. The same is experienced in the case of other websites that I owned
and today, also I received dozens of such comments. How do you see them? Who and
why are they doing this?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #13, I look at spam in comments and speculate on why they often
seem generic or off-topic.
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I actually think that, in many cases, they are not automated. I believe that
there are a lot of low-paid individuals in overseas countries (where,
here we would consider very low-paid; they would consider a living wage) who
are actually paid to do this kind of thing.
I see these kind of comments all the time. Not just on Ask Leo! but on many
of my WordPress sites: there will be a name and there will be a comment that is
completely generic. It has nothing to do with the article that it’s actually
been posted on.
The reason they do that, I believe, is that on most websites you get to post
four pieces of information:
- You get to post your name, which is displayed
- An email address, which is not
- Your comment which, of course, is displayed
- You’re also allowed to often post a URL
When the comment is displayed: rather than your name linking to your email
address (which would be a privacy issue), your name is linked to the URL that
you provided as part of your comment.
Getting online links
So if I commented (if I went to a website and commented; gave my name as
Leo, my email address, my website as http://ask-leo.com and made a comment),
when that comment is published on the website (when it’s processed, be it
approved manually, or approved immediately), the name Leo would then, if you click on it, take you to ask-leo.com.
That’s what these spammers are after. They are trying to get more links to
It’s also one of the reasons you’ll see names that make absolutely no sense.
Names like “Ugg Boots” where the link is to a website that sells Ugg boots.
So, I understand why they are doing it. It’s very annoying if you’re trying
to maintain a website and actually have the comment portion of the page be
somewhat relevant and useful for subsequent visitors.
Moderate the comments
On Ask Leo! we post moderate. Your comments get posted immediately, but then
within 24 hours, they’re all reviewed and anything that is spammy or even the
least bit spam-like is going to get deleted. On other websites that don’t have
nearly the same volume of traffic, I actually moderate every comment. There’s
just a ton of stuff!
The glossary site is a great
example. You can comment on the glossary entries; but there’s a bunch of
comments that come in that you will never, ever see. They are exactly this;
they’re completely off topic. They are only for getting more links to some
website that’s trying to sell you something completely unrelated.