I started to get a few strange comments to my blogs, so decided to investigate. I was being used!
I decided to keep a record of all my Smartcompany.com.au blog postings at a website I setup called WordPress. I used the free (that’s open source license) WordPress software on one of my servers, and quickly setup a site. No costs involved and it took me around five minutes to get the basic site up and going.
All good. Started pasting copies of all my articles in there, so I have a record of what I have talked about. This has been fairly useful to me as the archive is searchable, so I can quickly find out that the cool idea I have just had, was the same cool idea I had six months ago when I wrote about it.
Then something weird happened. I started to get some comments on my blog. That sounded strange. People that I had never heard of started giving pointless feedback on my articles. Comments such as “thanks for the article”. Strange I thought.
Then I noticed that many of these people have the same IP address. An IP address is a numerical notation for where someone connects to the internet from. These people weren’t trying to flog Viagra or casinos, but it struck me as strange they were commenting on my archive. I have left a copy of spam comment here so you can see what I mean.
So I went back to the wordpress site, and discovered what they were really up to. The comments are known as “comment spam”. The authors make comments on your blog that appear to be innocuous, but what’s actually going on is that they have their name or other word, hyperlinked back to a website.
This takes advantage of Google and many others search engine’s ranking engine system. One of the ways a website gets a higher ranking for a search term is by getting lots of other websites to link to it via a relevant linked piece of text.
So what’s happening is that the person making the comment on your blog is doing it for the sole purpose of creating a link back to their website. In effect getting a free ride from you.
Luckily the WordPress software I am using allows me to not only moderate (approve/delete) comments but also mark the comment maker as a spammer.
This reduces the number of spammers allowed to comment on my site. At this stage it seems effective.
Brendan Lewis is the founder of two IT service firms, Edion and Verve IT, and executive director of the Churchill Club.
To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.