November 15, 2004
Comment Spamming: The Next Chapter?

These days I'm observing some strange new patterns in blog comment spamming and somehow I don't get what's the idea behind it. Maybe some other bloggers have noticed a similar phenomenon and have idea what's its purpose. Or how about if one you spammers tell me why you do it?

Okay, here is what happens: besides the usual comments that contain direct links to various junk sites in a hopeless attempt to get a share of my site's pagerank I'm getting more and more crap comments that contain links to sites like google.com or other "serious" sites. What's the purpose of that? Those posts are always completely unrelated to the content of the corresponding article so they are definitely not written by real visitors. Usually those attacks come in waves of four or five and I already suspected that maybe the first ones are made to lull me in so I let the fifth slip through - but no, none of those contains any kind of questionable URLs or offers. So I really don't understand what's their purpose except to annoy me.

On the other side when I check my logfiles I'm seeing a lot of new referrers coming from the comments of other blogs. This is of course is normally very welcome - but strangely lots of these others blogs are thematically completely unrelelated to Quasimondo so I must say it smells a bit strange if suddenly I see ten exotic new links in a day when before there were usually one or two in a week. Of course I don't mind incoming links wherever they come from - but somehow I suspect a sinister plot behind this - like feeding my pagerank first and then when it's ripe, to gather the harvest in form of massive comment spamming? But actually I have no idea. Looks like I have to sit back and keep watching.

Posted at November 15, 2004 11:56 PM | Further reading
Comments

fyi, on the links from other comment weblogs, we have noticed that the spammers spider tools will harvest URLs from weblog comments. So, if you post on my weblog, and leave your URL, the when the spammer spams my weblog, he will grab your URL and then go and spam you.

This way, it automates finding new sites to spam.

mike chambers

mesh@macromedia.com

Posted by: mike chambers on November 16, 2004 12:20 AM

i have no comments enabled in my blog but i also experienced referer spamming in the last days/weeks.. got about 100 referers hits each for domains looking like this: www2.[rather-obvious-pr0n-domain].net/com. i just ignore them, but it's rather annoying as they kinda mess up my stats

Posted by: claus wahlers on November 16, 2004 02:09 AM

I think the purpose is two-fold.

1. by putting in legitimate domains they are hoping to make your blacklist invalid - thinking you will blacklist the contents of the post as well as the poster. By putting in domains you don't want blacklisted they are trying to break your list.

2. by spamming your referrer logs they are hoping you read your referrer log and will see an unusual link and visit it. If it is a p o r n site they are probably hoping you will follow it in order to find out why a link to your site exists on theirs. The theory being once you visit the site you may be intrigued enough to check it out.

Last month I had a very unusual sounding link in my referrer logs that I visited. At the bottom of the site was a link that said "visit this other great site: " and it had a link to my site. It was a php site that had a script to auto-link back to the referring pages domain.

Posted by: Bill on November 16, 2004 02:50 PM

Hi, in the last 24 hours I've got more than 50 spam comments. I am starting to get very upset with this, I've lost almost an hour today, sunday, correcting the mess.

I use WordPress and have many spammers urls listed in my filter, but still I have to spend time deleting the "no approved" sites and updating my filter list.

I would like to know a way to fight back this kind of attacks. Everybody knows that time is a very important asset, spending it reviewing unrelated and annoying comments is really a big problem.

Regards.

Posted by: Alexis Bellido on November 28, 2004 11:10 PM

Hi Mario,
Why don't you add a "Captcha"-code to the form?
As I know you, you gonna build one yourself. Maybe even an animated one with Flash ;)

Posted by: Bastian Waidelich on December 9, 2004 12:02 PM

Yes, why not? But as usual around x-mas I'm in the hellalotofwork-phase of the year so I guess that's something for the to-do list.

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on December 9, 2004 12:21 PM

I'm thinking they might be posting these unreleated sites so that when the crawler bots from google and other search engines site index your site, it sees a relations with the other urls wich in turn will increase there page ranking with the search engine.

I'm pretty sure that's why they are doing it!

Posted by: alphaboy on December 31, 2004 05:22 AM
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