Can You Swing To the Comment Spam Two-Step?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

The following has been sitting in my comment queue:

The purpose, imvho, is to find blogs with poor comment moderation practices. The goal of this comment spam isn’t linkbuilding directly – it’s finding linkspam victims to increase the conversion rate when the real spam gets dropped.

The concatenated spammer’s name is unique; Google’s index doesn’t have the s**b**g**** string in it anywhere. Likewise if you try searching for any series of words left in the comments. Random sites with one or more of the words show up, but nothing with any of the phrases you might make from that, and certainly not the whole thing. And Mashable is a reputable site, which happens to employ my friend and social media expert Tamar.

So how is this useful if the spammer isn’t repeatedly using the same ‘name’ or words in the comments? They can’t search for say s**b**g**** and find the sites they spammed, right?

My guess is that it all goes into a database. The strings are then pulled from the database by a program and searched for to see if the comment spam was succesful. If not, that site is eliminated from the list. If so, it’s added to a queue for additional spamming.

There may also be a variable to hit better ranking sites a few times to try and get through the automated filters if any and test the human admins; this was not the sole randomized comment spam I got. Wonder what XMCP, Matt, Nick, Nop, Rogue, Rob and the Dinkster might have to say about the technique?

If you liked this post about spam, get my RSS feed! Also, you’ll probably be interested in this post, “Indexed – With no links or submission,” to find out how it happened and what signal probably triggered it.

Tags: , , ,

Sidebar Story


  1. I'd say you're right on the money there. One other thing to remember though. If you use the same IP and whatnot coming back(I think it's IP based? Maybe name/url, but I'm not sure) it should bypass the moderation queue ;)

    Comment by SlightlyShadySEO - August 6, 2008 @ 10:03pm
  2. WEll,you and I just tested and it's based on the linked-to URL. I guess it might be a three step operation then. Spam using legit links, then spam with your selected URL and the same gibberish words and no links, and then finally waste the place with links within the comment.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - August 6, 2008 @ 10:24pm
  3. Hi Gab, Interesting post about spamming. I think that comment spamming is a technique from the past. Most of the time I run into sites that allow comments without moderation they have been flooded with comments and they usually date from around 2005-2006. I think that most black hats would rather spam using trackbacks than they would using comments. For many years was a great tool for blackhat sites to get one way trackbacks. The tool still works but many webmasters are wise about the this trick of the trade. As far as comments go, I like using comment kahuna for finding related comments. Trackboost by jack humphry is a good script for finding related trackbacks. If you want some oldschool spam tools, I could prob whip up a list for you. Good Luck

    Comment by Matt Longley - August 7, 2008 @ 1:01pm
  4. Hey Matt, Your comment and those of others seem to indicate that it is indeed outdated. As I don't comment spam, I wouldn't know. Seemed a clever twist on it to me, hence this post. I'll have to look at those two tools; I know you've mentioned them before and they sound interesting. Would love the list of oldschool spam tools too :). Cheers Gab

    Comment by Gab Goldenberg - August 8, 2008 @ 3:35pm
  5. Heya Gab, Comment spam is not dead. In fact, well designed comment spam is better than most anything else today. Some of the best of the new spammers regularly try to post comments on one or more of my blogs. It's a way, for me, to keep up with the times. Your assumptions about a database used with automation sounds right to me. But, instead of looking to see the ranking of a site, the algo would only look to see if the link is live. If the link hasn't been deleted, then the blog is open to further abuse. Likewise with the no-follow attribute. It is not a concern for spamming purposes. If the link is not no-followed, good. If it is no-followed, oh well. Keep on keepin on, Mate.

    Comment by Dink - August 13, 2008 @ 3:24am
  6. Nice to hear your perspective on the status of comment spam today, and what you do with the comment spam launched at your blog. You'd think if they were really smart comment spammers they'd know enough to filter out any blog that talks about BH techniques lol. Not sure where I referred to the ranking of a site, but your point as to what the algo would look for is what I meant - whether the link is live or not. And of course you're right about the no-follow. Cheers Gab

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - August 13, 2008 @ 11:33am

Leave a Reply