This morning, I received a panicky message from a client. She’d received a comment criticizing her Search Engine Optimization process. I’ve written about comment spam in the past, but SEO spam is something particularly nasty.
Here’s a copy of the comment my client received:
Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. <a href=”http://www.
SEORankingLinks.com” rel=”nofollow”>Seo Plugin</a>
I’ve received many worried messages from clients, responding to comments such as these. They worry that something is wrong with their pages.
There’s nothing wrong with their pages.
How do I know this is spam?
- The content is general, with no specifics about the website being criticized. There are no references to the website name, the content or the author. This comment could have been made about any blog post.
- The comment is addressed to “Web Admin,” when the author’s name is clearly identified on the post. Again, very general and could apply to any blog post.
- But the most blatant proof that this is spam is in the last sentence. There’s a link purporting to be a resource for better on-page SEO.
I clicked on the link (after making sure my virus protection was updated). It wasn’t a link to an SEO resource at all. It was this:
Why is this link embedded into the comment? Why is it NOT a true SEO resource to help you “repair” the on-page SEO problems identified by the commenter? Why would someone take the time to write a fraudulent comment with an embedded fraudulent link? Because the commenter is simply trying to get links published to his “Thousand Dollar Days” website. The commenter believes – rightly – that many bloggers will post any comment. If this comment were to go live on your site, you would be unwittingly “advertising” for the $100 Dollar Days, which would be a terrible idea.
Sadly, someone probably hired the commenter to “generate awesome traffic” or “get tons of backlinks.” Little does the commenter’s client know that Google and Bing and Yahoo will punish fraudulent backlinks. And part of that punishment may be to de-list that offending website… which is YOUR website, if you allow such a comment to be published.
Here’s what you can do to make sure you aren’t hosting comment spam:
- Force every comment to be approved by you, the website owner. Dashboard>Settings>Discussion
- Disable comments on all pages and media files and only permit comments on blog posts. Comments in WordPress are permitted by default on all pages, posts and image pages. Dashboard>Pages>All Pages>Quick Edit>Uncheck “allow comments.”
- Consider using a “Captcha” plugin or “Akismet” to reduce or eliminate all spam comments.
Captcha is one of those little boxes with some math problem, random text form or other proof that a commenter is a human and not a robo-spam program. Captcha is a free program, but does take some technical skill to install properly.
Akismet is a plugin developed by the creators of WordPress. It’s available for a monthly fee, but is exceptionally effective at removing spam while permitting legitimate comments. It is easy to install from the WordPress Dashboard.
All DecemberPress websites are delivered to clients with settings that force manual approval of all comments.