Beware the Flattery of Comment Spammers

Like all the bloggers I know, I love getting comments on my blog posts. The more the merrier.

I know there are bloggers who have had so many comments they’ve turned comments off. Not a problem for me. Nor, as I say, is it something I know to be a problem for any other bloggers whom I know personally. But I hate comment spam. Fortunately, Akismet cuts most of it off at the pass. The obvious ones are just taken away and the doubtful ones are left for me to judge.

What I seem to be seeing more of is the “comment” that is not, at first glance, obvious spam, and is cunningly designed to get under your guard so that its purpose, which is to plant a link on your site, is met.

For example, what if you logged on tomorrow to your blog and the first comment you saw was:

I just love reading your blog.

Warm inner glow? Glad to be appreciated? Positive feelings about the day ahead?

That was how I felt.

What if you then read exactly the same comment, by the same person, on another post on the same blog?

Would that look a bit fishy to you?

Did to me.

So I clicked through to the commenter’s site. Sure enough, it was a “flycatcher” sales page, leading with a tantalizing question beginning

Did you know there is a secret little business out there where people buy..

To which my response is: Actually, no I didn’t. And no, I’m not reading any more and certainly not buying from you. What’s more, I’m quite irritated that you’ve just wasted several minutes of my day with your sneaky game.

I wrote about this sort of thing back in June last year, on my Thinking Home Business blog. In Monday Rant on Sneaky But Dumb Comment Spam, I wrote:

I worked out quite a while ago that “comments” along the lines of “Great post”, or “Great blog” or ”I’ve bookmarked it” are a good reason for me to keep the comments on this blog moderated.

As the comments on that post record, one quite ethical blogger I know was upset by my including “Great post” as an example of potential comment spam. But I have to say I think the spammers have, as with so many other aspects of life online, spoilt some otherwise quite natural exchanges. For me, the acid test is where their comment leads to. If it leads to a real blog, no problem. If it leads to a fake blog or spammy sales page or flycatcher, it goes in the spam bucket as far as I’m concerned.

But these spammers never give up, do they?

And for a moment, that “I just love reading your blog” got under my guard.

Beware the flattery of comment spammers. The don’t really love you, or your blog.

Flattery from other bloggers I can take 🙂

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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  1. I have Lucia’s Linky Love turned on – it’s a wonderful concept since it discourages the one-time bloggers. I also have a habit of visiting the links from any new commentors so I know what they’re about before I allow their comment through. I either get a new blog to read, one to visit from time to time, or a comment to deny.

  2. Greetings from San Francisco!

    We met at BlogWorld and I enjoy reading your posts and learning.

    I am a newbie blogger and wish to learn the comment protocol.

    When is it proper to cite one’s website address in a comment as a means for a reader to find our business?

    For example, is it not cool to compose “Carlos at The Fearless Entrepreneur”, http://www.etc says…

    I did learn from Scott Allen, BlogWorld guest panelist about citing (3) positives and (1) constructive comment.

    Looking forward to reading your wisdom!

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