One side-effect of making your blog DoFollow is an increase in traffic. Unfortunately, it also leads to an increase in comment spam – and I’ve recently been spammed by Make Money Online Master.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, if you use WordPress, most comment spam can be stopped using plugins (I use a combination of Simple Trackback Validation, Math Comment Spam Protection and Askimet).
There are many differing views on what’s acceptable. Each blogger must make their own decision, on what’s spam and what’s not, for their blog.
Personally, I don’t mind helping my commentators by letting them use their keywords in the name field, but I want to know their real name, so I feel like a real person is leaving the comment.
That’s why I created the KeywordLuv plugin for WordPress, which lets commentators enter both their name and their keywords. This rewards your commentators and should help increase traffic to your website as a result. However, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in borderline spam as well.
Spammed By A Make Money Master
Even though I no longer have time to answer all comments, I still read every comment and look for spam.
I recently noticed someone who was using one email address, but several different websites (no problem) and different names (problem). He left 20 comments, using 10 different names and linking to 6 different domains.
Crucially, he made multiple comments on the same post, using different names. His comments were fine and contributed to the conversation – it’s just he was having the conversation with himself!
I recognized one of the domains he linked to as belonging to a prominent Make Money Online blogger: a sometimes controversial, former blackhat, who tells it like it is and who has a very loyal fan-base. I won’t say who he is. There are a few bloggers who could fit that description.
This is someone I used to read a lot (before we moved and I ran out of time). He really knows what he’s doing and I’ve learnt a lot from him. He’s even left the occasional comment here, as himself.
The Take Aways
I got several take aways from this:
1. DoFollow comment links are worth pursuing (if you use your keywords): If this guy took the time to leave comments, you know that it works.
2. Borderline comment spam is indeed a confusing issue: I’ve learnt a lot from him and I don’t mind giving him the links, but I still feel spammed.
3. This ones just for me: I’ve been able to build a portfolio of his sites, so I can see some real life examples to go with the theory I’ve learnt from him!
New DoFollow Plugin Coming
As a direct result of being targeted by borderline comment spammers (not the Make Money Online Master in particular), I’m creating a new Dofollow plugin that will discourage borderline spammers and reward those who contribute quality comments.
It goes a step beyond what we’ve previously seen with plugins like Lucia’s Linky Love, which only makes comments dofollow after the user has left a certain number of comments on the site. That was a great innovation, but I’ve had some borderline spammers who leave 10 comments in a session.
As with any spam prevention mechanism, a small number of serious spammers will find away around it, but it should discourage most of them.
I’ve got a full load on right now, so it may take a couple of weeks to finish.
Borderline comment spam is inevitable on a DoFollow blog. However, annoying as it is, you’ll also get an increase in traffic: more people reading and commenting on your blog. For me, it’s worth it, on this blog.
Hopefully, I’ll soon have a DoFollow plugin that will keep the spammers honest and make them worth for their link.