In this post I’ll give a couple examples why link spam is still alive and how it is a threat to your blog. I guess I should toss in a couple of solutions for you as well.
Google added the Penguin updates with the primary goal of getting a handle on black hat techniques like spamdexing. Despite all of the media attention and how it seemed to dominate social media conversations for a while, at least in my circles, link spammers are still going after those links like cockroaches after crumbs in the dark.
Why is that? Could it be that the Penguin algorithm updates have failed and link spammers still run below the radar? Why else would we still see, in this post-penguin era, the same tired old link schemes day after day? It’s more likely that link spammers really are like cockroaches in the dark and just don’t understand; at least that’s what I choose to believe.
The Evolution Of The Blog Comment Spammer
It used to be pretty simple to tell when you were dealing with lowlifes out to spam your blog. They usually had no avatar, always praised the post and never commented directly on the actual content. Spammers have evolved since those early days and have gotten pretty creative. Some even play on the blogger’s emotions by throwing out generic insults in hopes of getting their comment approved. Many have avatars and even use legitimate looking emails.
Watch Those IP Addresses
While it’s true that most sites sit on shared servers and many share the same IP addresses, it would be a pretty rare event for two different people that use the same IP address to be on your blog at the same time and both deciding to comment on that blog. You have a better chance of winning several lotteries than that ever happening. So when you see the same IP Address using different names, spam them out.
Are Paid Link Builders The Same As Spammers?
We all see them, pro link builders using blog commenting as a link building resource. There are fewer of them since Penguin but they’re still out there. These link builders actually do read the post, at least enough to leave a comment that will more than likely be approved. Do you consider these commenters to be spammers? I guess it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say there are far more people doing the exact same thing, only for their own websites. Where’s the line to be drawn?
Link Exchange Requests, Really?
It’s hard to believe, in this day and age, that we still get link exchange requests. It’s almost laughable, really. I can’t think of too many things more pathetic. It’s like those people that used to waste their time on FFA (Free for All) sites; remember those?
The Danger Of Link Spam On Your Blog
Google has been pretty clear on this issue; low quality links on your site will hurt you in your search engine standings. We are the keepers of our own blogs and it’s our responsibility to protect our blogs. Check out this short video by Google’s very own Matt Cutts:
Solutions To Protect Your Blog’s Reputation
Depending on the severity of the comments, we can, at the bare minimum, spam them out, ban them and/or report them. In other words, our moderation is the first step to protecting our blogging reputation
No-Follow Isn’t A Bad Word
I switched to no-follow, for the most part, for blog comments shortly after the first Penguin filters were announced. It’s still possible to gain do-follow links here and our regular commenters know how but the no-follow links have not slowed commenting and interaction on this blog. Unfortunately, it hasn’t slowed the comment spam either but that wasn’t the reason for going no-follow.
Keywords And Bad Habits
Not every inappropriate comment is spam. We often get a perfectly reasonable blog comment where the reader left their keywords where their name goes. Proof there’s no shortage of bloggers in need of sites like ours (Google doesn’t like that), but I’ll often removed those keywords and replace them with “Anonymous (Read Comment Policy)” rather than send it to the spam box. When I have to do this, there’s a very good chance I will remove the link attached as well.
Completely Irrelevant Links
Many commenters love to leave some pretty interesting links on our blogs. I often wonder if I was the only one knocked out of the niche blogging waters with Google’s Panda. As you can see from the video above, Matt Cutts clearly cautions against allowing irrelevant links in those comments, at least with do-follow. So even once a blogger becomes a regular and discovers how we allow do-follow links but leaves a bad or low quality link, I either manually remove the link altogether or add the no-follow tag. Since we use AND RECOMMEND CommentLuv Premium($), we can remove the do-follow as well as the CommentLuv with the click of a link.
It’s All About You
This was going to be a short post for Quick Blogging Tip Thursday but at 900 words already, well, I guess I had a lot to share. lol Is blog comment span an issue for you and your blog? How do you deal with link spam? Have you seen any penalties or de-indexing? Your questions and comments are always welcome here because YOU are the reason for this blog to begin with.