As you may have noticed, the ‘recent comments’ section on the left side of my weblog has been filled lately by two types of comments: those pushing various poker, casino, and other card type games and those from ‘real’ sounding people telling me what an “Interesting wonderful great site you have! I will be sure to come back in the future” followed by a few paragraphs of crap about whatever product they’re hawking.
It’s the commonly known problem of comment spam, robots crawling the Web and posting comments on weblogs with links to their own site to boost their page rank with Google.
For the first few months since I switched to the dancody.org domain name, I didn’t have a problem with comment spam bots at all because my own ‘page rank’ with google was so low that there was nothing to be gained out of having a link from my site. In the last month or so though, I’ve been posting a lot more, and a few of my posts have been linked to from well known weblogs, two journals, and last week the web site of the Washington Post.
In fact, the month of December has been the busiest ever for my website (going back five years with five2one.org) with about 1,000 unique visitors a day and 5,000 – 7,500 page views a day. Nothing huge in the grand scheme of things of course, and not anything that drives what happens here, but interesting none the less. It’s also slightly gratifying that after years of talking about the issues I talk about – in the way that I talk about them – that I’m making a small difference and being looked to for opinion of my own from time to time. And as all of my good friends now, if there’s anything that I’m all about, it’s self gratification.. Kidding of course ;)
All of those things have increased the page rank of my own site, which makes it more attractive for spam bots to post their links here with the hope of increasing their own page rank. To be honest, what is getting through in terms of spam on the site is a very small amount of what the spam bots are trying to get through. I block probably about 90% of the comment spam attempts every day before they make it to the site, but a few do trickle through.
There are some other ways to stop it, but I don’t want to make people ‘register’ for my site just to post a comment, nor jump through any other hoops like moderation from me. Bryan mentioned to me last week that the new version of Movable Type has some increased functionality with regards to comment spam, so I might be upgrading to that in the next week, which should take a bite out the comment spam so you can see in an instant who is berating who in the political slugfest of the day :)