Lnk Spam
Traffic / SEO
47

Link Building Spammers Still Don’t Get It – Do You?

Lnk Spam

Image Credit: Me -So Feel Free (Terms)

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

Blog Comment SpammersWhile 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?

Link Exchange RequestIt’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 nofollow.

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. :)

Brian D. Hawkins Visit Website
Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Subscribe to our VIP List and enjoy true connection.

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47 Comments
  • Reply


    Twitter: alfanhendro
    I’m not really sure about this. My competitors are spamming like hell, and get far ahead of me. Could it be that Google can only detect spam in English sites and not bothering or not able to combat spams in non-English sites?

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I won’t pretend to understand how Google is handling non-English sites Alfan, it could be the certain areas are slower than others to get updates, I really have no idea.

      I will say that many businesses cheat on their taxes; is that the key to their success or will that come around and hurt them eventually? Are there other, less obvious, things they are doing to that’s making the difference?

  • Nofa
    Reply

    Nice post Brian,

    Is there any wordpress plugin to avoid link spam that often get in?

    I’ve tried Akismet plugin but still confused how use it.

    Thanks in advance, sorry for my bad english…
    Nofa recently posted..Make Up for Dark SkinMy Profile

  • Reply

    Now I do wonder, if I use the same link multiple times on my blog,what should I do then…
    For instance, I post multiple music mixes, always mixed by the same DJ in different posts. As I like to give credit to the original DJ, I link to his website and youtube channel. But I do kinda “spam” my own blog with his links. Should I like keep one of them do-follow and make the rest no-follow, or would it be fine to keep them as they are?
    Yentl recently posted..World of Hardstyle Winter 2012 by Lip DJMy Profile

  • Reply

    Very relevant topic, Brian…

    Spam comments can be an Pain in the butt!

    I have not got any on my site, though, going through them to make sure genuine comments are not drowning in the sea of spam, can be a little time consuming….

    Most of the spam comments are so obvious, that it gives me a laugh sometimes…

    As I have mentioned, elsewhere, I noticed spammers are now signing up to Newsletters, etc… so some spammers are getting creative…

    Due to this I had to delete(unsubscribe) a bunch of subscribers to be on the safe side, as, after a little research, I found that their sites were really on the nose and alarm bells went off…..
    Danny recently posted..Writer’s Block Sucks How To Beat It?My Profile

  • Reply

    Hi Brian, I have a ton of low quality/beginner comments on my site. Google seemed to punish me for awhile but then traffic picked back up. I definitely screen out the worst, but give Do Follow links to anyone who says something moderately intelligible. Could be a huge mistake. Maybe Google’s next algo update will be the Cockroach Slap.
    Astro Gremlin recently posted..Pumpkin Carving Sculpture by Ray VillafaneMy Profile

  • Reply


    Twitter: DecalsSigns
    It’s good that you’ve covered that no-follow part. I just don’t understand people going for do-follow sites for the most part. Imagine how google would look at your site IF most or ALL backlinks come from do follow links. Google might get a little suspicious about that. Also, it’s clear spamming when one does post comments at THE SAME BLOG POST repetitively. Indeed, there are still people who don’t understand link building spamming and all they could care about is to see their links posted.

  • Reply


    Twitter: namaserajesh
    Thanks Brian for sharing this valuable and wonderful post, I’ve seen many comments with same IP but different name, I agree with you – I’ll mark them as SPAM from next time.

  • Reply

    I really hate spammers. many people who use dofollow blogs to comment spam on blogs. Matt Cutts issued a penguin algorithms to eradicate the blog comment spammers. I am very grateful for his actions.

  • Reply

    I swear I’m in an arms race with WordPress spammers, every time I delete a bunch of spam comments or install a spam blocking plugin more end up getting posted in a week. Any tips? :/

  • Reply


    Twitter: hypernovadesign
    Link building strategies must be very sublime in order to get desired effects for our websites. Be aware of the link exchange proposals wanting you to include their link on you high PR pages, and giving back links with 0 PR. Cheers

  • Reply


    Twitter: omega_web
    What’s really awkward about that picture you have displaying the three different people with the same IP address is I have had all three of those people comment on my blog for months now and I’ve been letting the comments through…

    These “link builders” are getting harder and harder to catch these days!
    Ian Eberle recently posted..Why My Blog Still Thrives After Google Algorithm UpdatesMy Profile

  • Reply

    Link building irritate me a lot it just break the chain of our blog article and writing some thing that it not related to our topic is not good and it decline the productivity of our blog ..

  • Reply


    Twitter: webwarbegin
    thanks alot Brian sir, i wen today opened dashboard of my website, 257 spams were there then i have added check box ( do check to confirm you r not spammer or alien ) since then i didnt get any spam , thanks a lot…

    sir i need some tips on healthy backlink building ….i m checking your blogsite for it , if i didnt get ill ask you

  • Reply


    Twitter: katndmouse
    Karo said she doesn’t bother with blog comment links anymore but I would like to remind everyone that you can get great inbound links from blog commenting even if they are all no follow. Just make sure you leave intelligent answers and leave value to the blog where you’re commenting. You’ll begin to develop a reputation as an authority and readers will follow you back to your site and then potentially link to you there.

  • Reply


    Twitter: internetdreamof
    Link requests are something that shouldn’t be done anymore :)

    Getting those emails don’t work anymore.

    Comment spam is annoying but unfortunately we have to deal with it all the time.
    Samuel recently posted..7 Cool WordPress Plugins!My Profile

  • Reply


    Twitter: webwarbegin
    thanks sir, my next query is does Captcha plugin will solve spam comments effectively,

    i think so but i think some feedback commenters are too lazy to write even 4 character captcha code
    bharat gautam recently posted..Dont Do in SEOMy Profile

  • Jim Zboran
    Reply


    Twitter: JimZboran
    Thanks for the helpful primer on maintaining blog reputation by watching out for link spam, Brian.

    I used to be deluged by spam comments, all of which I deleted by the page. Since I added CommentLuv Premium I haven’t had a problem with spam comments at all… another plus to upgrading to the paid version.

    Thanks also for the tip about the Broken Link Checker plugin in one of your comments. In between reading your article and commenting I installed it on a couple blogs and snagged 3 broken links. Very cool!
    Jim Zboran recently posted..Start a Website for Small Business Marketing that SucceedsMy Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Jim, I love CommentLuv Premium, as you know, we use it here. It works against comment span because it incorporates the GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin; for those that didn’t know that.

      The Broken Link Checker plugin is definitely a time saver. Not only does it find the dead links for us, we can handle everything right there in our control panel. It beats searching around and editing pages,posts and comments.

  • Reply

    Nice Tips Brain, I was unaware that we have to check the IP Address of commentators in order to avoid any kind of link spam. After reading your articles I will try to monitor IP Addresses of people who comment on my blog with different name and website links. Thanks for the article

  • Reply


    Twitter: BlogClerks
    Brian, I think until websites / blogs are truly penalized in a meaningful way for accepting and posting spam links, this will continue to happen. Maybe the disavow feature is a sign of things to come. I would not mind an occasional spam link if it was at least somewhat related to my site. Anyway, thanks for spreading the word.

  • bharat gautam
    Reply


    Twitter: webwarbegin
    same case happening with me sir i m getting 20-25 comments per day just because commenters are doing this for link exchange( what i am doing is either trash or spam n flushing them off.

    is there any other solution. for this, i am using commentluv too?

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      There are several Anti Spam WordPress plugins Bharat, some using databases like Project Honey Pot. They use reported IP addresses to spam out comments before they get approved. They may be worth looking into but I just delete, spam and ban, depending on the comment.

  • Reply


    Twitter: bbrian017
    Hi Brian, you know at the end of the day the value and benefit out weighs the risk for these link spammers. It’s not always easy for them to get caught and the benefit of doing may be extremely high. I mean lets face it, if they get caught it’s as easy as starting over with an $8 usd domain name. Thanks for the IP address Tip I’ve never considered checking that before.
    bbrian017 recently posted..The 2012 $500 USD Guest Blogging Contest #6 WinnersMy Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I’m not so sure the benefit is very strong for spammers anymore, at least not with Google. Hopefully Google will continue to tighten the screws on spammers and, once the link spammers figure it out, our lives will get easier. Think about it, how often are you running into scraper sites lately? The benefit is no longer there so there are far fewer of them polluting the net.

      No problem, I’m glad WordPress shows us the IP address of commenters.

  • Ferb
    Reply


    Twitter: FerbHinlor
    Link building is important. if you accidentally link to a low quality website, it’s also effect your own. Recently I found a tool on the Warrior Forum that can remove link and as you go around Warrior Forum you’ll see it.

    Another problem is DoFollow/NoFollow, I think everyone loves DoFollow because it can increase others PR and help them a lot. However, NoFollow is good too but this often uses by blog that has high PR like problogger, dailyblogtips… because they don’t their PR to go down. And recommend DoFollow for new blogs.

    Thank you – Ferb

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Ferb, I’d be careful with a product that says it can remove a link that’s on someone else’s site, unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying.

      One thing bloggers should keep in mind, Google is looking for natural links and for those leaving comments and guest posting only on do-follow sites, their inbound links are going to look very unnatural.

  • Reply


    Twitter: BlogSetupGuide
    Hey Brian,

    It’s because people are lazy. They want to get ranked, but don’t care to do the work. Hard work pays off believe me. Questionable links that are in on my site I just remove their link. It’s not worth it to me to get smacked because of shady link on my site (as you stated). Also, check for broken links too. Those will kill your seo. For my hosting review site I just turned comments off and removed all comments. I got hit with 600 spam comments a day! HAHA Matt Cutts looks funny with no hair!

    Garen

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Great points Garen, it’s better to remove bad links that take a chance paying the price for a link spammer that couldn’t care less about you or your blog. Even if they’re not a spammer, there’s no reason to jeopardize our business because they want to leave an irrelevant link on your blog.

      I use the Broken Link Checker plugin to keep those dead links under control.

  • Karo
    Reply


    Twitter: BloggingNewbies
    Great post Brian. Honestly I don’t even bother with blog comment links anymore even on blogs that use the KeywordLuv plugin I don’t enter a keyword. I know it’s almost a waste of time. The only plugin I appreciate now that I think every blog should have is the CommmentLuv plugin. That’s enough to help honest commenters get some exposure for their posts.

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Karo, I love CommmentLuv because it helps me be a better moderator but I’ll comment almost anywhere, CommmentLuv or not. In fact, I’ve started leaving other links whenever I comment on an off-niche site that isn’t related to blogging. Sometimes I’ll leave a social like like Facebook, Pinterest, or whatever is closest to the topic and other times I’ll leave a link to my personal site or even Tumblr blog.

      Like you said, blogging commenting for backlinks is a waste of time.

  • Reply

    I’m not agree with link exchange. As you say Brian, what is that? this is pathetic. It is incredible what people do for money. They don’t work and want to be very popular with this methods. As blog commenting, I have a full list of spammers….

  • Kuldeep
    Reply


    Twitter: cooltricksin
    Hi Brian,

    Thats an interesting post, Well i too get lot of free link exchange request initially i do accept them but after a complete research i’ve came to know that its a bad habit. And thus i stopped it.

    I liked your post very much as its very informative.. thanks

  • Reply


    Twitter: rancorinfotech
    Hi Brian,

    How would you judge if a link is low quality or bad? Seriously I’ve heard about this term many times but didn’t really know how to find it out. Your help would be appreciated.

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      That’s a tough call Aasma because no one knows much beyond the basic guidelines. There are a few examples
      here but I think anything not relivant to the post may post a danger to the overall page.

      In other words, unrelated niche sites become low quality, in my view. Certainly links to sites like payday loans and debt consolidation left on your web design site are low quality and allowing do-follow links on your blog (if you had one) would affect your blog’s reputation in Google’s eyes.

      It seems complicated but it’s really this simple… Allowing do-follow links from your website/s is saying,

      “Hey Google, this site is relevant to mine AND is great quality so I vouch for it”.

      If you are not willing to say that, you should include the no-follow tag.

      • Karo
        Reply


        Twitter: BloggingNewbies
        I agree Brian. It’s that simple. Related goes with related. Don’t link to a site if your visitors will not get any benefit from that site. In fact link building should be changed to Value linking. You’re supposed to only link a site you trust and you’re sure will help your readers.

      • Reply


        Twitter: ThatGamingCriti
        Oh man, so when I put DoFollow on my comment on your website. I’m ruinning your website because on niche’s are related? That sucks, I’ve been guest posting on blog’s that are not in my same niche. ..I’ve been doing everything wrong. All so I can get out of that stupid 0/10 page-rank non-sense! Why can’t I just write and it be seen. Plain and simple! – Scott Craighead
        Scott Craighead recently posted..Top 10 Cheap 3D HDTV’S!My Profile

  • Reply


    Twitter: berget
    That’s interesting Brian. I haven’t given this much thought, but when I saw your example, I noticed that I have the same people commenting on my blog (with the same ip-addresses). But, I haven’t flagged them as spam, because their comments are relevant and not that bad.

    Should we care more about the link they’re adding, and who they are, rather than the comment (content)? I am not sure how to deal with this. Maybe it’s enough to use no-follow to the links in the comments?
    Jens P. Berget recently posted..When does marketing end?My Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Jens, the danger is in the links they leave. In my case, once someone comments a set number of times, their comment are automatically approved and then, eventually, they gain do-follow with their CommentLuv (Like yours above :) so spammers know if they can slip by enough that they will have it much easier later.

      Some spammers will leave half a dozen comments and not use a link at all. Then once they get through without moderation, they start plastering low quality links all over your blog.

      For the moment, it looks like no-follow for these links are okay; but who know what Google’s next animal update will focus on?

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