Browsing Tag: spam


    Hey Disqus, 627 Comments in 1 Day is Probably Spam

    July 8, 2013

    Here’s one of the commenters that I banned today while moderating the comments on Search Engine Land and Marketing Land:


    If someone’s writing 627 comments in a single day — their first day! — that’s probably a spammer. It’s not 627 comments on SEL and ML, but across this person’s Disqus account.

    This has been a problem for some time now with Disqus. Some idiots think they can just bludgeon blogs left and right with tons of comments … and they can.

    I wrote a similar post here a little more than a year and suggested that Disqus simply put a limit on how many comments new users can post.

    Disqus staff read the post and joined the conversation in the comments, but that suggestion seems to have fallen on deaf ears.


    Blog Comment Spam: Not Quality, but Quantity

    July 18, 2012

    Sometimes blog comment spam isn’t about the quality of the comment, but about the quantity of comments.

    Earlier today, Kelsey managed to leave 10 comments on my small business search marketing blog in the span of nine minutes.


    (You can click for the full-size image.)

    I’m a big believer in brevity, and I try to publish short blog posts that don’t waste people’s time, but there’s no way Kelsey read those 10 articles in just nine minutes.

    The comments themselves aren’t fabulous, but if there were just one or two of them, I would probably have approved them. But at this quantity? No chance. They were all zapped.

    Good luck with that blog commenting strategy, Kelsey. Shame that s/he didn’t read this post: Case Study: Power of a Blog Comment.


    Dear Disqus, Here’s a Simple Way to Slow Down Spam

    June 21, 2012


    One of my responsibilities at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land is to monitor the comments on both sites as much as possible. I usually check 2-4 times per day to make sure our community guidelines are being followed and to keep an eye on spam.

    We recently switched to Disqus on both sites for our comment system, and while comments have increased since then, so, too, has the amount of spam we get. Ugh.

    What’s frustrating about it is that there’s a simple fix that would cut down on probably 80 percent of all the spam we see on both sites: limit the number of comments a new Disqus user can post.

    The vast majority of spam we get is from users like this:




    Seriously, if you’re leaving more than 5-10 comments on your first day with an account, I bet chances are pretty good that you’re spamming. But 182? 223? 303? On the first day? Wow….

    Yes, I’ve blacklisted all of these accounts and yes, I’ve made this suggestion to Disqus via their feedback system. Fingers crossed someone’s listening.

    Social Media

    How NOT to Market on Mixx

    October 19, 2008

    We all know that a lot of people and companies are using social media for brand exposure, traffic, links, etc. Marketing is there, and always will be, but the smart companies and people do a great job of not being obvious about it. They work to fit in, to blend in and become part of the community.

    And then there are morons like this:


    This moron is going around leaving spammy comments on all kinds of stories — that’s how s/he has those 390 points. I think you get 3 points for a comment on Mixx, so that’s 130 spammy comments. Way to contribute to the community.

    If there’s any silver lining to this, it comes from looking at this person’s friends and followers:

    screenshot 2

    The silver lining? Look how easy it’ll be for the Mixx spam cops to quickly zap all kinds of lame accounts that have no business being active on the site. It’s 3:40 pm PT on Sunday as I post this. Let’s see how long it takes to get all this cleaned up. I’m betting it won’t be long at all…..

    (This reminds me of my post earlier this year, How NOT to Market on Flickr. Spammers are just dumb….)


    It’s now 4:07 pm, 27 minutes later, and that account is gone. Nice job, Mixx crew. You rock.

    Social Media

    Top 10 Signs You’re Spamming Sphinn

    May 28, 2008

    Being a moderator at Sphinn is pretty time-consuming, but it’s also fun! I’ve killed thousands of submissions and accounts from users spammers trying to game the site for exposure, a free and followed link, or whatever else they’re trying to accomplish. As Danny (I think) once said, “Nothing smells better than fresh killspam in the morning.” Hehehehe, so true.

    Sphinn’s guidelines seem pretty straightforward to me. The primary rule is use common sense. Well, judging from the amount of spam that gets submitted every day, common sense isn’t very common.

    So, in an effort to help those who need it, here are one moderator’s examples of signs that you’re spamming or gaming Sphinn. (I’ve blurred out the names of the guilty; the point isn’t to call them out individually, it’s to help… really. (And to make you roll your eyes at the crap we see.))

    1.) Your submission has 61 words in the title.

    (Note: Sphinn has no specific rule about how long a headline can be. But really, 61 words? Takeaway: Use common sense.)

    2.) The URL you’re submitting has the phrase “for sale” in it.

    Sphinn - for sale

    3.) The article you wrote is filled with affiliate links.

    Sphinn - affiliate links

    (Note: As a moderator, I’ll overlook it if you have a good article that has an affiliate link at the end. But the example above? Spam.)

    4.) You repeat your keyword four times in the headline.

    Sphinn - keyword stuffing 1

    5.) You repeat your keyword six times in the headline. (And once more in the description, because too much is never enough!)

    Sphinn - keyword stuffing 2

    6.) I click to read your article, and before the page loads, you hit me with a pop-up window selling your products, your services, your newsletter … anything.


    (Note: Sphinn has no rule against submitting articles with pop-ups. This is not spam by definition. It’s just annoying, and looks spammy. Takeaway: Use common sense.)

    7.) Your submission gets 19 votes in less than 40 minutes, while every other submission before and after yours only has 1-2 votes.

    Sphinn - voting block

    (Note: I know people have friends/co-workers who help vote up each other’s stories. We decide on a case-by-case basis if these are spam/gaming the site. And I know there’s only one submission from a recognizable user in the screenshot above, but still … 19 votes in less than 40 minutes? Please.)

    8.) You submitted your home page.

    (No image necessary. Point is, 99 times out of 100, people submit a home page for self-promotional spamming purposes. Submit your articles/blog posts, instead; not your home page.)

    9.) Your story is off-topic, and you wrote the headline in ALL FREAKIN’ CAPS.

    Sphinn - all caps

    (Note: Off-topic = spam. ALL CAPS = annoying.)

    10.) You have a public, open-to-anyone Facebook group called “I Sphinn Your Back – You Sphinn My Back.”

    Sphinn Facebook spam

    If I missed any, feel free to add them in the comments!