If you have a blog, you’ll be very familiar with today’s topic: blog spam.
I’m sure you’ve all experienced the rush of excitement when you receive a comment on your blog post, only to be let down when you realize it’s just comment spam. When I first started blogging for Rival IQ, I couldn’t understand why anyone would waste their valuable time spamming my posts. Upon further investigation, I learned the history behind blog spam and the steps you can take to prevent it from contaminating your posts. Today we’ll cover both of these topics, in addition to taking a look at a few of my very favorite spam comments I’ve received.
The History of Blog Spam
After a little investigating I was able to figure out the motivation behind comment spam. It all dates back to when Google introduced PageRank into the mix. If you aren’t familiar with PageRank, here it is explained at the most basic level: PageRank is an algorithm that ranks websites in Google’s search. It does this by taking into account the content of the website, in addition to who links to the website.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how PageRank works, let’s discuss how blog spam plays into this. Basically, the more links that point to a website, the higher they rank on search. With this knowledge in mind, people started implementing a method called “Google Bombing”. A Google bomb is the creation of a ton of links that point to a website in order to increase search rank. These Google bombers will scatter these links wherever they can, like on your blog post for example.
After I read all about Google bombing, I finally understood the reason behind spamming – that is until I learned that Google made changes to PageRank in 2007, making bombing nowhere near as effective as it was before. So here’s my question for anyone out there who knows the answer: If Google bombs aren’t that effective, then why are people still comment spamming? I’d love to know the answer, so please share in the comments below.
How to Prevent Blog Spam
Now that we understand the history behind spamming, let’s discuss how you can do your part to eliminate the annoyance using Nofollow. From the mouth of Mr. Matt Cutts himself, “From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.”
If you are using WordPress, lucky for you Nofollow is automatically added to all links left in your comments. If you aren’t using WordPress, all you have to do is modify the link as shown below.
<a href="http://wordpress.org/" rel="nofollow">wordpress!</a>
The idea here is that the more and more Nofollow is used, the less of a reason spammers have to spam. For more immediate ways to prevent spam from plaguing your posts, click here for some spam solutions.
Some Hilarious Spam
As annoying as blog spam is, it can be equally as amusing. On days that I feel like I really neglected my ab routine, I just browse through the Rival IQ blog spam filter and laugh my way to a six pack. Here are some of my favorites from last month, along with commentary of course. I hope these amuse you as much as they amuse me!
Danielle’s Thoughts: As a girl who recently moved from sunny Florida to cloudy Seattle, I feel for this man – it really sucks being pale.
Danielle’s Thoughts: Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Danielle’s Thoughts: If you aren’t laughing your head off at that, you either don’t follow football or you’re a Florida Gator.
To Sum It All Up…
Blog spam is annoying, there’s not doubt about it – but there are things that can be done to eliminate the amount of time spent managing comment spam. As for the few comments that “slip through the cracks”, there’s almost always a good laugh to be gained from reading them.
What’s the funniest spam comment you’ve come across on your blogging journey? Please share it in the comments below!