A client was puzzled because her business was tanking but it seemed like everyone was reading her blogs. She was getting a lot of comments encouraging her to keep up the good work and telling her how valuable her insights were.
Why weren’t those happy readers calling her for her services?
Sad to say, when I looked at her blog I discovered that it was mostly a spam magnet. She was getting phony comments from automated programs who were carefully linking back to their own site. Her blog was being used as a way to deceive Google into thinking that the spammers had a popular web site of their own.
If you’re running a blog, you need two tools:
- A spam application that catches suspicious comments and holds them for your approval before publishing them
- A comment mechanism that instructs Google not to follow links in comments.
The first tool is essential. This blog uses a spam filter that catches 100’s of attempts by automated bots to link back to their site.
The second tool is now industry standard for blogging programs like WordPress. It makes your blog less attractive to smart spammers by robbing them of the Google boost IF any of their spammy comments should get through. This precaution may make you feel better should the anti-spam program slip up and allow a malicious comment to be published. However, it generally doesn’t lessen the amount of spam on your blog because most spammers use a shotgun approach and don’t investigate to see if their spam is really going to help them.
Your blog can be helpful to your business and your reputation. Blogging is fun, too!
However, practice safe blogging. It’ll help you collect realistic statistics, and by robbing spammers of their links you’ll be doing your part to fight slimy Internet practices.