It really is spam

Back when spamming started it was a very crude business. Comments left would consist of many links around one subject – “Buy my porn” or “Buy my pills.” These posts were very obviously spam and blog owners deleted them when they saw them. At some point the spammers changed tactics.

Everyone likes a compliment and we all like to think that what we write is interesting — the spammers are targeting that vanity. These are all spam:

Interesting Findings of the Blog World » Chuck Norris wants a Bible Curriculum in the Public Schools (Gasp!)
[…] Read the rest of this great post here […]

Very interesting… as always!

For the most part I agree with you and enjoy reading your posts.

Hi, you have a jolly good post here, thanks for the good read

[…] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.

Anything from

And in all the above cases someone told Akismet that it was not spam. In each of the above cases the spammers won because on all those blogs their spammy link is staying. You need to look at the links in the post or the author link. Click it — where does it go?

Do you nofollow your links? It makes no difference — spam is spam. Only Google check for no-follow links and even if everyone did, do you want someone to associate your blog with drugs? Porn? It takes one visitor to your blog to go to those sites and click on a single ad for you to have made them money. Leaving that spammy link is bad for you and great for the spammer.

In the case of the pingbacks (the ones that start […]) the spammers are actually stealing your work, putting it on their website and hoping people searching for information will find them first, not you – and again they all have lots of spammy ads. So you lose real people reading at your blog and again your work makes them money.

And lastly of course they want you to tell Akismet that this spam is not spam. They want you to help make Akismet become less effective so you can get even more spam. Akismet is pretty good at stopping this stuff but your help would make this even better.

Don’t let the spammers con you — check those links.


  1. I have had a few clients that seem to have a hard time understanding why I tell them to delete that type of stuff on their blog. If you really have to keep the “Jolly Good Post” comment, at least remove the links!

  2. UPDATE: I contacted Akismet support and got a response from Mark on our false positive situation. Thanks! As a user of Akismet on our blog, I’m happy with the service but am worried about being marked again in the future…I encourage the Akismet team to look at Google’s efforts as a model (Matt Cutts, Webmaster Central, help boards) to help legitimate Web marketers work with Google but at the same time firmly fighting against Webspam and Black Hat SEO.

  3. Thankfully all the spammers tend to be consistant when posting their rubbish to my blog. Usually it’s from a user ‘softpilot’ with the same message, links and email address. You’d figure if you don’t succeed once it just isn’t going to happen. But hey ho, that’s how it goes really.

    But I must admit I’ve only had one false positive on my own blog, yet on any other wordpress blog it claims all my comments are spam. In fact, I reckon nobody will ever see this comment as I’ll get “THIS COMMENT IS SPAM.. blah blah blah” message 😦

  4. Askimet is pretty good really and between it, and .htaccess, I keep a pretty good handle on the would be spammers.

    I know that spammers move around alot, but more and more these days, there are becoming less and less proxies for spammers to come sailing in on, so I knock down one ip range at a time.

    Last year (2006) I was getting 200 to 250 a month (small, low readership guy here), but in 2007, it’s reduced to 30 to 40 a month. In November this year (2007) I only had 6.

    I think that killing off offshore proxy servers via .htaccess has helped quite a bit.

    Am I worried about what someone in Borneo or Singapore has to say about our towns local taxes? Not really…. no.

  5. I had this situation arise, spam trackbacks.

    One thing: I let one of the trackbacks stand, and strangely enough, it is generating traffic and links for me!

  6. the stats at the top of the page state that 92% of all comments are spam. Wow..why the heck would anyone as a blog owner allow comments on thier blog. If spam is so bad and it ruins you life so much why would you allow ANY comments with 92% of all comments spam. If 92% of everyone that visited my home were thieves and stole from me..I wouldnt allow anyone to visit me at home.

  7. Askimet rocks. Without it I would be out of the blogging. I don’t care about generating traffic. I just want to have a blog with no spam.


  8. One thing: I let one of the trackbacks stand, and strangely enough, it is generating traffic and links for me!

  9. Is there any chance that including a link to one’s Akismet stats might put off some spammers? They see your protected and choose to head somewhere else, kind of like burglars seeing a burglar alarm on one house in the streeet?


  10. I don’t think that even Google cares about nofollow tags. I know that all of is nofollowed to anything that goes outside of their website, but with my Google stats they still have several pages from there linking to my site.

  11. Cody,
    If something has a nofollow tag on it doesn’t mean that Google won’t index that link. It means that they won’t pass page rank to it which is a quite different kettle of fish from indexing.

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  13. Yeah, I so hate it when there’s a web doing a pingback/trackback to my blog, it feels like they has stole my post!!!!!

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  16. Umm..the comment from ITSS (ITSS Says: December 4th, 2007 at 7:22 am)appears to be spam.

    Linkscanner rates the link to this poster’s website as a known exploit site.

    It is a little disappointing to see this in Akismet’s own comments, but I guess no system is perfect.

  17. Ash – the site looks legitimate? Firefox, Google and Yahoo do not flag it as anything to be worried about.

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  20. It is nice to know that I am not alone in my hatred of spam pingbacks. The worst offender is “steal this blog . net” (no spaces). Askimet notified me of a pingback so I checked their whois. I got the name of their ISP and called them immediately. They told me they cannot do anything without “proof” so I took screen shots of the offending site, and provided them with links to the mirror site they created of my own. They did absolutely nothing, and essentially said too bad. “My” mirror site is down now, but I am sure it won’t be the last time they try this with my content. Is there a better way of dealing with this guy? He seemingly does this to tons of people.

    1. JustMary, automated pingback sites often copy material from the blogs they spam. If that’s the case you can send a formal DMCA copyright violation notice to the site’s hosting company – provided your notice is accurate and complete this will almost always result in action.

  21. I was wondering, have you been in contact with google in order to share data with them about spam sites? I think this would improve the web greatly, if google could block sites based on akismet data.

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