In the past few weeks, I’ve been receiving a new, particularly insidious kind of comment spam. They’re short, apparently legitimate comments, but posted in a systematic way to popular pages on the site. Here are some examples.
They mostly link to dodgy-looking Russian or eastern European websites or link farms.
The tricky part is that they refer to the blog post and are written by somebody with decent English. For example, on a post about the movie Eragon, the comment reads:
The book was written by a teenager. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a best seller.
By itself that would be legit, I guess, except that it links to a link farm and there are similar brief, benign comments by the same IP on other pages of my site.
I do regularly receive promotional comments on specific posts from business owners, but these are usually one-off messages from naive folks who don’t understand that they shouldn’t be leaving sales messages for their mortuary services (for example) anywhere they can. This comment spam is far more methodical.
I assume that companies are manually identifying popular pages on blogs, reading the posts, and posting contextual comments to attempt to improve their SEO (I use the ‘nofollow’ tag, so it won’t help them). I can’t imagine that that’s cost effective.