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Tag: Spammers

 

I haven’t written about blogging for a while. Since I follow quite a few blogs every day, not to mention, monitor the activity of my own blogs, it’s interesting to see what works and what doesn’t work – sometimes it’s just plain obvious, other times I had to learn certain lessons the hard way. Here are six suggestions that may be useful to anyone who’s blogging.

 

  1. Avoid ads (at first, at least): when you just start a blog and even when it’s quite a bit more established, it’s best to avoid putting ads. First, you’re not going to make any serious amount of money: if you place AdSense code, you may get the occasional click which would probably amount to ~10 cents. However, you will cause – and this is particularly important at the beginning – your potential audience to reconsider visiting your blog.

     
    Here is a personal example: I have a niche site which provies book and movie reviews. When it first launched I got quite a few people very involved because it’s dealing with a specific topic that apparently many people find interesting. About a month after I launched it I added ads: this drove my two most loyal readers away – they never came back! I even wrote one emails and she never responded. After two months during which I made a whopping $4 I took the ads off. I think these people’s response was extreme but some people are turned off by ads or anything that can be viewed as trying to make money (if you’ve been on Twitter for a while, you know that people on Twitter – tweeps – are very hostile to ads). Note that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with placing ads – you spend time and effort, get a domain, a hosting account – why not get compensated, at least a bit, for your efforts?

     
    Another consideration is that a blog is a personal thing and ads take away from that intimacy. I think when you have an established audience, most (if not all) will understand it if you put ads, but at first it will turn people off.

     
    If and when you do place ads, it’s a good idea to put them in a place that doesn’t ruin the “visitor experience”. Some blogs are so crammed with ads it’s just a turn off even for me.

     

  2. Give your posts proper titles – the search engine perspective: Try to incorporate phrases that people search for in your titles. It’s not really hard to do, a quick visit to the Google keyword tool will show that. For example: Six Blogging Tips and Tricks (the title of this post).

     

  3. Give your posts proper titles – aim to go viral. If you can come up with a good catchy title it will certainly draw attention. And if it’s a good post, people will want to share it, retweet it and send it to their friends. My recent blog post “Gaining A Million Followers In Less Than 30 Days” – got the fastest numbers of visitors from the moment I tweeted a link to it from all of my other blog posts.

     

  4. Use video properly: using video is a great idea which is highly recommended. Search engines love it and people respond better to videos than to text – after all, it’s easier to listen than to read. However, videos can’t replace your blog post completely.

     
    There are blogs that only rely on a video to convey their message. No description of the content nor a meaningful title. Not only this is bad from an SEO perspective since there is no way for the search engines to figure what the post is all about, and so, index it properly, but this is also true for people too. Often I can’t turn on my speakers from various reasons and consequently, can’t listen to the video – so there are some blog posts I literally have no clue what they are about as much as I’d like to know.

     

  5. Use a correct permalink structure: meaning, the path to the post should not use Wordpress’ default structure (which looks something like this: www.domain.com/?p=1234. Instead, use /%category%/%postname%. This is good for three reasons.

     
    First, it helps with search engine optimization, as the path has a definite impact on SEO.

     
    Second, it helps humans know what the post is about if they just see the link. For example, even without reading this blog post, by looking at the link (which is: http://www.industryreview.org/search-engines/six-blogging-tips-and-tricks), people can get a pretty good idea what the post is about.

     
    Finally, it helps you when you check for rankings. One of my oldest sites – coincidentally, the one I mentioned in #1 – has multiple pages that rank well in Google (and Bing and Yahoo) for various phrases. However, I made the mistake of using the default permalink structure – so unless I manually check, I have no idea which pages rank! All I see is a www.domain.com/?p=1237.

     

  6. Beware of spammer comments: Although I’ve written a post about this before, some comments are really quite devious in the sense you may be tricked into approving them.

     
    Not only they may have hidden links – and this has happened to me – a space between two words had a link to some nasty site, and I couldn’t see it until I actually viewed the code. But additionally, even if they are harmless, and you approve them, they make your site look amateurish to anyone who has seen these comments a million times before.

     
    In other words: avoid any comment that sounds generic – like they could fit any post – particularly if they sound flattering, i.e. “Thank you for the great post”, “Can I use parts of your post in my own blog?”, “Darn, I left a comment but it didn’t work.. do you see it?”, “Your design is fantastic – can I ask where you got that theme from?” and that sort of thing. All these are similar to comments I get every single day.

 
That’s it for now. I hope this has been useful.

 

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Ashton Kutcher with 0 followers

Ashton Kutcher with 0 followers

 

Yesterday, I logged on to my Twitter account and was horrified to discover that all my followers have gone – and I’m not following anyone else. Shouts and screams all over Twitter – well, I imagined them as shouts and screams – confirmed that I am not alone. I went to the page of the King of Twitter, the mighty Ashton Kutcher, and it seemed he too was afflicted with this disease.. this..illness…

 
At that point, I realized that it is not an illness but rather a blessing, that finally, finally we are all equal on Twitter. Ashton, Britney Spears, me, Joe the plumber – even the spammers. We were all equals. None was above the other. In many ways it was truly an utopia.

 
Later I found out this was merely Twitter’s clumsy attempt of fixing a long time bug which allowed users to add themselves to your follower list without your approval (a bug I was aware of, then again, there are many other bugs I’m aware of Twitter is not fixing).

 
After a while this was resolved, Twitter returned to its normal rhythm, and Ashton was king once again.

 
I’ll always remember – even treasure – these precious few minutes (more like hours, actually). The time we were all equal. Perhaps one day this will happen again.

 

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My Summary of 2009


 
Originally I intended to write a summary of “my 2009″. But after reevaluating this, I decided to make it shorter.. or better phrased, easier to digest. Just share some of the lessons I learned this year. I’m mixing both the personal and the professional here, though items are generally grouped together.

 
Overall, 2009 was a great year. There were some rough moments, both personal and professional, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

 
In 2009 I learned:

  • That as suspected, having no boss and being self employed would result in (easily) more than twice the amount of hours that I worked when I had a boss. Even when considering investment banking (notorious for demanding a lot of hours).

     

  • That even though I am smart, an excellent planner and a hard worker… I sometimes lack focus. And focus matters more than I realized. This one was a very valuable lesson.

     

  • That working insane hours but having much more time to spend with your family is SOOOOOOO worth it.

     

  • That working after 4am can cause you the equivalent of a hangover. Since then I try (and often fail) not to do so.

     

  • That “Do No Evil” is just something that Google says, but nothing more than that.
  • .. and that things can change in a way you’d never expect: Who knew I would ever be rooting for Microsoft?

     

  • That twitter is not just about sharing “what I just ate” (admittedly, I used to think so too) but rather a wonderful, albeit addictive, medium for meeting friends and making business connections.
  • …yet sharing “what I just ate” occasionally results in the most fascinating discussions.

     

  • That Twitter includes the entire range of the human spectrum: the best, kindest and most wonderful people you’ll ever meet, and also some of the worst. And that “Block” is a wonderful option for the latter.

     

  • That Twitter allows one to find many people who need help but don’t know how to ask for it.
  • … but also that it’s wise to draw lines, otherwise you may get pulled in and (at times) blamed for some of their troubles. A lesson I learned the hard way.

     

  • That some celebrities are extremely friendly, and yet other people at times act like the worst celebrities regardless of the fact they’re no different than you and I (often less, actually).

     

  • That being a Twitter ex-con makes you tougher… kind of. Okay, it just makes you less talkative which may make you appear tougher (see my blog post on Twitter Jail).

     

  • That blogging about “professional subjects” leaves enough room for humor and self expression (until this year I’ve only had personal blogs).

     

  • That some spammers have a well honed sense of humor (see my two posts on spammers: spammers types, and spammers jokes).

     

  • That a good affiliate manager is worth his/her weight in gold (and if we’re talking about a really thin one, then platinum).

     

  • That sometimes you really need to listen to your instincts, but other times you really need to ignore them. Both professionally (in this case, talking CPA offers/Landing pages/Ad copy), and personally.

     

  • That due to the secretive nature of affiliate marketing, the good ideas usually stay with you, while the bad ideas get rehashed, repackaged, and resold.
  • …and I wish I could say more about the former…

     

  • That PPV is just awesome.
  • … but other times it’s not fun watching your entire budget evaporate in 20 minutes without any positive results.

     

  • That the most successful people – at least in affiliate marketing – are usually the most modest ones (or the most silent ones – sometimes it’s easy to confuse the two).

     

  • That it’s hard finding people who truly want to collaborate as a team. But when you do… it’s the best thing.

     

  • That quotes are a great way of saying what you want to say without saying it. And that sometimes this is very important (yes, being cryptic is part of the point here ;-) )

     

  • That some friends don’t even give the tiniest of warnings before they decide this world is not for them. Kaya, I wish I got to know you better before you left us. I hope you are at peace, wherever you are. (I intended for this to be the last item, but I don’t want the last one to be sad… and the next one relates in a way Kaya would have found amusing, I think).

     

  • That being deprived of cupcakes is extremely dangerous (more about that in future posts).

     

  • That I can survive on my own cooking (who knew?).

     

  • That having a character named after you in a book is, like, the coolest gift ever.

 
Can you believe it’s already 2010? I feel it was just 2000 maybe 2 years ago… how did a whole decade pass so quickly? Personally, I think 2010 is going to be fantastic – I just know it.

 
Happy new year everyone!

 

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Twitter Jail
Thanks Krishna Sadasivam from pcweenies for drawing this awesome comic!

Lately this term is becoming increasing used within the Twitterverse (at least in my circles). Twitter Jail means you maxed out your status updates for a period of time/a day (I think these are two separate things, though not 100% sure), OR you maxed out your number of Direct Messages (DMs) for the day.

 
(Edit: as far as I discovered, Twitter Jail occurs when you update your status more than 100 times per hour or 1000 times per day and can last any time between 30 minutes and several hours. For me it’s usually 2 hours).

 
Once this happens – usually in the midst of a conversation – you find out that you can’t talk anymore. Can happen both using standards tweets or DMs.

 
I imagine this was created to deal with spammers who would send 15,000 tweets in 10 minutes. I doubt it was meant to limit very talkative users – since what’s to stop someone from just unfollowing them? I see no reason to limit that.

 
Lately because of my increasing number of friends I find myself almost daily in ‘Twitter Jail’ for a period of time. This is very frustrating, because here I am, chatting to multiple friends, and suddenly I can’t reply – to anyone. From their perspective, I simply vanished. Usually I send them all DMs, but it’s becoming a really annoying daily situation. Sometimes it happens when I’m not even talking that much. I guess Christmas, with all the ‘Merry Xmas’ messages made this temporary worse (for me) and triggered writing this post.

 
As an ex profsesional software developer and architect I cannot but speculate, again, that this was done mainly to prevent spamming. However, wouldn’t it be best to limit the number of links that are sent, rather than the tweets? Since spammers mainly send URLs, by limiting only the number of tweets that include them it would really just target spammers. Then they can talk as much as they want but won’t get any sales… though I’d still have a limit, just make it much greater (say, 5 times as high).

 
Furthermore, if it were my system, I would set the limits according to the age of users: clearly a spammer is more likely to be a new user since sooner or later he’d be suspended. Unlike, for example, a user that has been a Twitter user for 2 years who would be far less likely to be a spammer. There’s no reason for the two to be treated the same.

 
Finally, I also think the limits should be set according to the number of people who follow a user: if someone has a million followers and wanted to respond to each, he’d be thrown very quickly to Twitter jail. Ridiculous in my opinion. If you have more people to talk to, you should be able to converse more. Isn’t that the whole point of Twitter – interaction?

 
These are just my 2 cents on the subject. If this ever gets to someone in the Twitter team, hopefully they will find it constructive criticism, which is my intent.

 
edit: I am amazed how searched this topic is. A large percentage of visitors to my blog look for information about Twitter Jail. As a result, I wrote a sequel post which deals with visitors who are interested in Twitter Jail.

 
edit 2: since writing these two posts I actually discovered yet a third type of Twitter Jail: Twitter Jail: Yet Another Type…. They never stop coming with ideas, do they..

 

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Funny spam

For two weeks now I keep planning to write, but life has been keeping me way, way, way too busy. There are already three posts in my head that I want to write, but no time. However, I decided to take this quick break since this will be a short post.

 
Ever since I wrote my article, Five Different Types of Spammers, I noticed that the post keeps getting spammy jokes (always one liners), something that I never got before. More interestingly, it’s only that specific post.

 
Clearly, some spammer/s saw my post and is/are joking around with me. I don’t think this is in ill intent, as actually most of the one-liners are pretty good. If they didn’t include links to drug sites, I might actually approve them. However, maybe it’s just my (at times) weird sense of humor, but I find this situation hilarious. So I’ve decided to include those I find amusing.

 
The point of this post is – the comments below are all spam comments I’ve received. Every single one.

 
This will be a repository for the spam jokes I get (those I think are good, at least). The people sending them are clearly making an effort! In fact, they’re invited to contact me – I’m curious to know their story :)

 
It’s a shame I erased most of the comments. But here goes. I get 2-3 a day, and about half are good, so this list will grow (edit: it seems the pace is greater than I remember – I get more like 5+ a day). Starting with only 3 5 14 26… 30

  • What did one ocean say to the other ocean? Nothing, they just waved.
  • What is the biggest ant? An elephant.
  • What is the most popular wine at Christmas? “Can’t we open the presents yet?”
  • Why do birds fly south for the winter? Because it’s too far to walk. [got it twice!]
  • What kind of coffee was served on the Titanic? Sanka.
  • Why did the man put wheels on his rocking chair? He wanted to rock and roll.
  • Why did Willie Nelson get hit by a car? He was playing on the road again.
  • Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honeycombs!!
  • What does it mean when the flag’s at half mast at the post office? They’re hiring.
  • What do you call it when worms take over the world? Global Worming.
  • Why was Santa’s little helper depressed? Because he had low elf esteem.
  • What’s happening when you hear “woof…splat…meow…splat?” It’s raining cats and dogs.
  • What do you use to redecorate a baby’s bathroom? Infantile.
  • What city has the largest rodent population? Hamsterdam.
  • Why does Santa have 3 gardens? So he can ho-ho-ho. [this one is pretty lame, I know]
  • How would you clean a tuba? Try a tuba toothpaste. [this one is pretty lame, I know]
  • What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.[got it twice!]
  • What’s green and red and goes 1000 miles an hour? A frog in a blender. [got it twice!]
  • Where does all the pepper go? No one nose.
  • What do you call a crazy blackbird? A raven lunatic! [I have a feeling this one came from someone else]
  • What do you call a crazy baker? A dough nut.
  • Why do hurricanes travel so fast? If they traveled slowly, we would have to call them slow-i-canes
  • What is the difference between a photocopier and the whooping cough? One makes facsimiles and the other makes sick families.
  • Why do bagpipers walk when they play? They’re trying to get away from the noise. [I got this one twice! Hmm. The guy is starting to repeat himself]
  • Why is the letter A like a flower? Because a Bee comes after it!
  • What do you call a bee born in May? A Maybe.
  • What is a zebra? 26 sizes larger than “A” bra.
  • What do you call four bull fighters in quicksand? Quatro sinko.
  • Where did King Tut go to ease his back pain? The Cairo-practor!
  • What kind of bird can write? A penguin. [didn't really get this one..]

 
Edit: Unbelievable (to me), but the jokes stopped. That’s 3 days in a row now. I guess the spammer follows my blog and doesn’t want to give me material? Oh.. but it was really in the best of intentions. Like I said, he’s more than welcome to send me an email, I’m curious to meet the fellow!

 
Edit2: No, they’re back. I’m actually feeling relief. It made checking spam more fun.

 
Edit3: Ok, I think 30 is a good place to stop. I made my point, and some are starting to repeat themselves…

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After you’ve used social media sites for a while, you start finding common patterns, specifically, annoying patterns. Although each one of us is annoyed by different things, usually there are commonalities that annoy each and every one of us. I’ve decided to create my own list of pet peeves and share it with you.

 
Originally I was hesitating whether I should call this article ‘Pet Peeves in social media’ and have one section for Twitter, one for Facebook and one for LinkedIn, all sites I know really well. However, considering I have fewer LinkedIn pet peeves, than say, Twitter pet peeves, I think I need more time to get a list worth reporting. So for now this is only for Twitter.

 
Second, after I came up with this subject I met a great guy on Twitter, Darren Williger (@Williger). Not only he’s extremely witty and hilarious, but it turns out he also created – a video – that (can you guess it?) is about Pet Peeves in Twitter. I thought that I can’t seriously write an article on the subject without including his video. I am fully aware that no matter what I say, people will remember Darren’s video (which is awesome) as the point of this post. Oh well, I bow down before you, Darren – absolutely brilliant video!

 
Here’s my list of Pet Peeves. Feel free to add some of your own.

  1. Many users have some kind of auto-follow script – so when you follow them, you get a direct message (DM) “Thank you for following me, blah blah blah”. That’s fine with me. However, the thing that irritates me the most (more than spammers!) are the users that send you the DM – but don’t follow you back, so you can’t respond! It goes along the lines of “Thank you for following me. Here’s my blog. Can you tell me about yourself?” (remember, all automated). But I can’t answer! Because you haven’t followed me! I’d much rather not get anything, and not be followed than get a message I can’t reply to!

     

  2. Following the previous item are the users who have an auto-follow that sends you to some kind of unrelated sales page. Sometimes the description is even deliberately misleading like, “learn about me in this link” or “read my blog here” but when you press the link, it’s a sales page! Dude, we just got to know each other, and you’re already asking me to buy something from you? What are the chances this is going to work? Occasionally these links are broken and don’t even work – which truly makes these users look ridiculous. I used to respond to them “your links are broken” but never received a response. Not even once.

     

  3. Bots, particularly the sophisticated ones. I don’t know whether these are real people who do 90% automation, or bots that occasionally have a real person controlling them (there’s a subtle different in my opinion). But do any of these sentences look familiar?
    • 140 cramping your style?
    • Apu Akhbar?
    • Ma Shlomkha?
    • Como está?
    • Hur är det?
    • What’s everyone talking about?
    • Robin Williams survived open-heart surgery; has new role in film – and life
    • Too many tweets. Too little time to reply.
    • Why is Twitter a verbal gym? Stress relieve for the mind.
    • The day ends with a tweet.
    • iphone is always ringing. standby
    • Random tweets
    • Is Obama doing a good job?
    • Ogenki desu ka

    I’m sure some at least look very familiar. Guys, I understand you want to automate things, but for crying out loud, get a better list. All these are real messages I’ve seen over and over and over and over. The ironic thing is that one of the messages is ‘random tweets’. My guess is that someone made a list of things to tweet, and the title was ‘random tweets’, and somehow this got into the actual list of things being tweeted about.

     
    I tend to retweet them with a smart ass comment, and never, ever, received a response. i.e. “Ma Shlomkha? -> Do you even understand what that means? Of course you don’t, you’re a bot” (it’s “what’s up?” in Hebrew).

     

  4. Spammers: I won’t elaborate. They annoy me less than most people. I even find them funny at times (read my post 5 Different Types of Spammers).

     

  5. Users promoting products in an idiotic way. Personally, I have no problem with people using Twitter as a vehicle for promoting products – not at all (hey, I may do this too at some point). But come on, be smart about doing this. Don’t say “Want to learn how to make $158,081 in less than 8 hours?” or “Gain 1,500 followers in the next 21 minutes!”, be smarter about this. No one in his right mind will take you seriously. And if they do, I assure you, they don’t have a credit card or a way to pay you.

     

  6. People doing #FollowFriday for people they don’t follow themselves. Quick explanation: #FollowFriday is a very nice Twitter Tradition. Usually every Thursday/Friday people will tweet a list of the people they recommend for following. Some just include names, other give lists with brief titles “amusing conversations” “sweet and funny”, etc. This is what gives Twitter its personality.

     
    However, some people do #FollowFriday for people they don’t follow themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s okay to retweet someone’s FollowFriday tweet even if you’re not following the person (since you’re basically just saying “listen to this guy, he knows what he’s saying”), but don’t publicly recommend following someone when you’re not following your own advice. It’s like a health guru eating junk food in secret – do what you preach!

     
    In particular I was irritated by a guy I tried to converse with a while ago (we have some things in common so I thought he’d be interesting to chat with). He ignored 2-3 tweets I sent him. One day I RTed two of his tweets. he ignored these too. Ok, I get it, he doesn’t want to talk. However, the next Friday he included me in his #FollowFriday. He wasn’t talking to me (at all), or following me himself, but he publicly recommended that people follow me. How hypocritical is that?

     

  7. The last one is pretty mild: Direct Messages (DMs) that require 10 separate messages. Yes, I understand the whole 140 character limit (that’s the point of microblogging), but at times you want to say more, and the only alternative is to use 10 consecutive messages. My friend Suzanne gets a phone call for every one of those and it can become really annoying. I would’ve much preferred if the direct message system was not limited to 140 characters (blasphemy, I know!), or alternatively, it could send you to an extra app that allows you to write one long email which will automatically be broken up. Or even just use real email (which is my preference).

 
That’s my list. Any ideas for more?

 
Edit: Although Twitter is still crawling with thousands of bots, they did take out the bot network I mentioned in #3 about 1-2 months after I posted this (not that I think there’s a connection…).

 
Edit 2: After writing this post I befriended Darren (the funny guy in the video). This friendship was a catalyst for so many positive things in my life. One of these is Social Media 201.

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the variety of spammers

when you have a couple of websites you begin noticing a predictable situation: you get spammers. Unless you use a plugin such as Akismet, these can make your life miserable. Note that Akismet can occasionally misclassify a valid comment as spam, so you should still monitor your spam queue periodically.

 
That being said, despite the fact spammers are pests, I’m beginning to find the amusing factor in them. In my book site (yes, I have one) I have a forum system that’s never been truly adopted by the users (unfortunately), and so, there were more spam comments than real comments. For a while I played a game with them: I’d edit their spam messages to meaningful text. For example:

 
“Buy Xenadroxalix for $50″ would change to “I really liked the Time Traveler’s wife. It was both romantic as well as creative. Truly a book for everyone”.

 
“Enlarge your ears for $25 using Vibralis” would change to “Not sure I agree with the previous commenter, I think it wasn’t a very good book. It just doesn’t make sense scientifically”.

 
Sometimes I’d even take it a degree further and just really mess with the comment. For example:

 
“Go to Kasinos and win thousands of dollars would change to “hey i like youre website but its could use some more reviews of books like jon gricham and things like that you know what im taking about?”.

 
Recently I got fed up, the game stopped amusing me. I’m going to just shut down that forum system.

 
But anyway, I’ve had enough experience with spammers that in this post I’d like to classify them to five categories:

 

  1. The mass linker: I don’t know what this type of spammer is thinking, but he posts massive comments with dozens or even hundreds of links, usually involving some sort of sexual or psychiatric drugs. That’s the classic spammer. It goes on like this “Xenadrioxi for $50. Venogra $50. Kialikx $80″ only a hundred times.

     

  2. The innocent commenter: this type of spammer usually leaves innocent looking , yet very generic spammy comments. For example: “Interesting post, look forward for more”. “Thanks for the article, would like you to focus on this subject again”. And sometimes even something “subtler” “I disagree with the approach you took, there are many complex points you are not addressing” (Yes, I got the exact same comment on several unrelated sites that are located on different hosting accounts).

     
    Sometimes it’s even clear the spammer doesn’t know English, as the sentence looks like one that was translated using Google Translate (or an equivalent tool). I don’t remember how it went exactly, but I got one that said something like “Very decent information. Honour you!” (clearly translated, no?)

     

  3. The weird commenter: One of my sites started getting a lot of those. Usually they leave a meaningless comment and signature (with a link) at the end. For example: “How do you spell your surname?” “On one hand…, on the other hand…” “Where are you going?” “When is the next bus to the airport?” “It’s early yet!”. These five comments are real spam comments I got today (in fact, this is what made me write this article. This is just funny!).

     

  4. The massive spammer: this type of spammer is the worst: he just sends one of the above in massive amounts. I used to (naively) think I could deal with all spam myself. But when one of my sites started getting thousands of comments I gave up. Did I mention I really like Akismet?

     

  5. The foreign spammer: this type of spammer couldn’t care less about being detected. He leaves comments in other languages. For example, the forum I mentioned above started getting a lot of Russian comments. I had no idea what they meant (that is, until I used Google Translate – I think they were about alternative healing), but they were clearly spam.

 
I’m sure if I spend more time I can come up with more. Have you got any interesting spam story you’d be willing to share?

 
Edit: since I’ve created this I’ve discovered yet another type. This one – I think – is the most sophisticated spammer. It displays a generic comment, usually – but not always – a question but one that may be legitimately asked, often flattering. For example: “what a good domain name, what made you pick this one?” or (this one is a real example): “Ooh oops i just typed a long comment and as soon as i hit post it came up blank! Please please tell me it worked right? “. Another real one: “I wrote a similar blog regarding this subject but your is better”. They’re usually not really relevant to the post, but innocent looking that many blog owners may approve them because they appear valid. So.. be warned.

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Ducks tend to use DoFollow

Ducks tend to use DoFollow


 
Continuing the title of this post, I don’t think this is really a question (maybe a rhetorical one). To me, the answer is clear: DoFollow. I just picked the title because I thought it’s amusing ;)

 
Yesterday I got a call from my good friend Miki Rapoport. He said “Dude, why are you using NoFollow links in your comments? How do you expect anyone to comment?” and I said “ehhm.. but I’m not!”. And then I remembered, Wordpress’ default setting is NoFollow. This was purposely set up to discourage spammers (who won’t gain link benefits though they will get potential traffic). I’ve learned this a long, long time ago but well, haven’t really thought about it since then.

 
This was pretty annoying to find out and I’m glad Miki mentioned it to me. I’ve created dozens of websites, but this has always slipped my mind. And even though I often check the follow status of other websites, that’s not something I’ve ever done for my own sites!

 
Irritatingly, Wordpress doesn’t offer a way to turn it off. However, multiple plugins exist for this very purpose. I repeatedly kept trying 3 Plugins (they all failed) until I found out that the theme I use hard-codes the nofollow links. Once I realized that’s the case it was a trivial thing to correct.

 
That being said, I tried one of the other plugins, the one that was my favorite, in another of my sites, and it worked like a charm.

 
The one I recommend is NoFollow Free, in particular because it is very configurable: you can set it so a number of comments a person makes are nofollow and after a threshold is reached it becomes dofollow. You can also set it so that certain words immediately trigger a nofollow. Pretty useful.

 
I also tested the other two, and they probably work as well (I don’t know because of my theme).

 
Highly recommended for people who want to give some ‘link juice’ to people who leave comments on their websites. The only concern is spammers, but that’s a different story (Akismet, how do I love thee? let me count the ways)

 
Now that my blog is setup for DoFollow, go ahead, leave a comment. I dare ya! ;)

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