A WordPress plugin brought to you by Search Engine Journal.
Warning! This post uses metaphors and some phrases that are not suitable for children’s eyes and ears. It is directed towards other bloggers and not the average public who does not know about the struggles and fights that occur invisible to them behind blog plug-ins and comment management and review tools and are part of every day’s life for the average blogger today.
Back in the days blunt attempts to steal our link love did seem to have caused problems for many of us righteous bloggers. It was less the messages itself, but the sheer amount of them that was attempting to get us down on our knees and throw the towel. Messages like this:
Want <a href=http://groups.google.at/group/xyz/web/ringtones>real ringtones? </a> check <a href=http://groups.msn.com/qwkpday/loan.msnw>quick cash payday loan</a> or <a href=http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/cashloan_123>advance cash loan online</a>
Although blogs are still flooded every day with mindless messages like this one, I would say that bloggers who care about their blogs got a pretty good grip on those types of link-love theft attempts. Filters like Akismet or Spam Karma catch most of them before we even see them and created an invisible shield to protect us and our readers. We can go and watch them like exotic animals in the zoo if we do a little sight-seeing tour into the comment spam folder (not a pretty sight though). The few that slip through are mostly hanging in pending for approval status and are easily identified. The few single ones that make it through despite all the filters and everything else are so rare that nobody really considers it an issue anymore.
It wasn’t for long that comment spam appeared that was a bit smarter. Suddenly bloggers got a lot more but very short lived praise for their writings by people who never commented before.
Who doesn’t like the positive feedback like this one?
“Great post! Thank you for sharing the information.”
This is what makes all the hard work for a blogger worthwhile, doesn’t it? Well, it used to be, back in the days, when you knew the folks who posted such comments and when they were honest and sincere. Unfortunately did most of those raving fans of your writing didn’t come back to participate more in the discussions. They moved on to other blogs, because there are so many good ones out there and need the same love they just shared with you. It was all a short one-night stand. You were betrayed by those link-whores and replaced with another blog the next day. The only thing that stuck and remained from you brief but emotional encounter is a link. And you didn’t even use a link-condom, because you thought that you were engaging in a safe and long term relationship.
Well, the link-whores were messing around everywhere until every serious blogger who is committed to long-term relationship knew about them and started to push them back and reject their short and temporary love. “Delete!” Ha, you didn’t expect that? Didn’t you? No more abuse, no more one-night stands and also no link condoms for all our long-term relationships we built over the years.
But whores are tricky and don’t throw the helve after the hatchet after a minor defeat.
They were already equipped with tools to find potential targets, honest and loving bloggers who don’t use link-condoms with their trusted and contributing audience. Yes, those nasty little No-Nofollow/Do-follow finders that spy on you to find out if you use condoms or not. They still know who you are and they changed their strategy.
Okay, the generic …
“me luv u long time”
… sweet talking phrases are out the window and are now replaced with targeted messages. They look like comments from your friends at first glance. They are related to your messages and many of your friends messages look pretty much the same. However, the love is not real and the feeling that they are engaging in the subject to communicate with everybody of your audience to share the love equally and not just with you… The biatch is just faking it again. It took her one minute to figure out what you are talking about in your post to be able to then respond with a message that relates directly to the subject of the post, but really does not add very much, if any, helpful information to the discussion.
It is hard to detect those and almost impossible, if they only occur one at a time. The problem with those whores is that they are greedy and can’t get enough of something they were able to get in small doses. This geed allows us to detect them. Another indicator is the use of to pretty names to be given to them by birth. Commercial keyword1 plus commercial keyword2 and sometimes even commercial keyword 3 is a name that even the worst black hat would not name his child.
If you detect them, what should you do now? There is always the risk of a false positive and the person who added the comment(s) is not a whore and just not so knowledgeable about the subject and the name might be his weird forum handle everybody made fun off in the past and made him think about changing it more than once already. There is also the problem with the love that is shared not only with you, but other contributors as well. They might don’t know about the other discussions where the whore was seeding her traitorous messages.
You can’t just delete them, right?
What you could do is to add a link-condom to just those links that were used by the whore, as website/blog URL or sneaked into the comment directly. Is there a WordPress and/or MovableType plug-in out there where you can add link-condoms to selected domains in your comments and website URLS of the comment authors? There is one for Wikipedia as far as I know. Wikipedia, the hopeless love that did not return any love to us and worse, started using link-condoms for everybody. Some revengeful bloggers created plug-ins to nofollow links to the ungrateful Wikipedia automatically, posts, comments etc., something like this, but with the option to add any domain to a list of sites that will not receive any love from us anymore.
Does such tool already exist? If you know about such useful weapon, speak up and don’t let your fellow bloggers alone in the struggle against those greedy whores who deserve nothing better than a link-condom, as a warning and sign that they were uncloaked and exposed as what they really are.
Conclusion and Final Notes
Okay, this post was written to sound funny, but the problem is real. I am sure that other bloggers noticed the increase of this kind of “comment spam”, which appears to be normal comments at the first glance and to the un-expecting visitor. A link from a PR7 or PR8 site sells for couple hundred dollars on the (now black) market for link buyers and sellers. Getting the link without paying a dime and just spending one or two minutes on a blog post comment makes this practice more worthwhile than ever. It will only increase over time.
To isolate those abuses and single them out publically for the abuser to see is important IMO. Blog plug-ins will be needed to provide the necessary type of control to the blog owner. Is there anybody up to the task?
Link-Whores beware to comment on this post! I see you and know who you are! hehe
Carsten is an internet marketer and entrepreneur as well as the owner and operator of the internet marketing resources portal at cumbrowski.com.