We all get email spam, but if you run a blog or administer a message board – I do both now – you have the pleasure of discovering whole new and different spam varieties. Generally it doesn’t shout at you like junk mail does. It’s altogether more refined, attempting to slip in its advertising payload – usually just a link – under the guise of a relevant contribution. Naturally though the writer (if the spam is actually written by a human) can’t possibly have the time to understand and contribute meaningfully to the discussion going on. If they did they wouldn’t be spammers. They’d be… welcome. Their posts therefore are purposefully bland – which, paradoxically, makes them easy to spot. We got the perfect example the other day:
You are not right. I can prove it.
Science has shown that this is the most likely statement to be found on any message board forum.
On blogs however the spam is more agreeable – agreeing, in fact, with about anything. Usually it’s along the lines of “I couldn’t have put it better myself. Here are some links to other articles that might interest you”. Which turn out of course to be adverts for crap like electronic cigarettes from Russia, or wood carving tools. I kid you not, I got one advertising wood carving tools today. Ostensibly at least; the site it linked to talked about such tools, but offered no way to actually buy them. Something else is going on here, more subtle than just advertising.
There is a belief that the more links there are to your site, the higher it will be ranked by search engines. This is an oversimplification, but people still pay Search Engine Optimization services to improve their page ranking. Some of these “experts” then pay spammers to clog up and overwhelm boards and blogs. Real humans then have to clean up the mess.
Stop doing this.