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Comment Spammers Sink to a New Low

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of October 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

I just saw something that made my stomach turn. A ‘comment’ left on this blog that read:

Help save the people in katrina! Donate

money to the red cross! :)


The link then went to viagra (no follow tags used).

That has to be one of the lowest examples of comment spam that I’ve come across.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Anything for a click to a website…..how shameful.
    That is the type of thing that DIScourages people from helping in times of crisis.
    There ought to be a law- and probably is.

  2. Reports around the web show spammers have made 6-7 figures on Hurricane Katrina alone. I agree with HeartlandOutdoorsman.Com – because of these spammers we lose trust in all or most of the honest donation centers. A sad thing.

  3. […] I just read a post by Darren at ProBlogger.net in which he describes a spam comment that used a Hurricane Katrina line to take you to a viagra website.  This got me researching.  A variety of sources around the web have estimated that spammers have made anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 off Hurricane Katrina alone through click-throughs, phishing, and other low tactics.  Is there no end? Permanent link […]

  4. I’m intrigued that you would put the link in your post (even with the nofollow). Isn’t there a chance that’ll help the spammer?

  5. These evil, greedy little twits have no soul.

  6. Typical! Any chance to make monery from adversity … these people are pretty much as shameless as they get.

    I don’t think many people would bother clicking on the link – or more importantly buying anything.

  7. True Martin – but the intent is to optimize their page for Search Engines via the link not direct puchases.

  8. I’ve reported them to Google Adsense which they run ads for on their page and suggested they have their account banned and that they be removed from Google’s index.

    I recommend others do the same

  9. George says: 10/27/2005 at 2:01 pm

    I get tons of junk comments at my guestbook. Those spammers think I don’t monitor it and hoping to ride the PR.

  10. Well, I think that’s the drawback to the way that the comment system on this blog currently works. Although the obvious upside is ease of use and a potential for better communication between your readers and yourself, the downside to not having any type of authentication are exactly those types of posts.

    In addition, due to the popularity of your site now, I would expect to see more of this until some protective measure is taken. “Splogging” is catching on quick and it is lucrative once scripts are developed to mass post links such as Viagra/Katrina donations.

    You might have to look into turning on authentication of some sort if the problem gets out of hand. Many bloggers have had to do just that or even in extreme cases turn off commenting all together (i.e see Mini-MSFT).

  11. You’re right Darren. I guess that’s why all the big guys got together and implemented the “no follow” tag. It’s sad that because of a few bad apples genuine commenters can’t get any real s/e benefit.

  12. I sympathize with you on this one Darren. On my site, I was fed up with receiving spam, and when the count was reaching 89 comments in 24 hours (which was a spike) I decided to implement Blogger’s Word Verification (slightly tweaked it though…you’ll have to visit it to understand).

    I also got rid of trackbacks because of the same reason and replaced them with back links instead. I think my blog is now 99% spam proof. Unless they use human spammers of coarse (yes, I’ve been spammed by humans too).

  13. “but the intent is to optimize their page for Search Engines via the link not direct puchases.”
    I think you’ll find that they are less interested in the SE juice than the click through. Most of the destinations are affiliate sites and not really playing the Search Engine traffic game. There hope is just that a large enough percentage of the click throughs will buy. Even a link with a nofollow from Problogger could be quite beneficial to them.

  14. Just when you think they can’t go any lower, they prove you wrong and do. Barstards!

  15. Martin says: 10/27/2005 at 5:40 pm

    Why repeat the link here and give them more rank?

  16. Sickening, but not surprising. People with low morals in general are quite happy to profit from human misery. It’s been happening since the world began, the Internet just mass-produces it. Makes the “I like your site” kind of spam look positively innocent.

  17. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, you can find users like this. He isnt even a U.S citizen, and yet has given so selflessly of himself, it is a incredible. His photos, and the profound way in which he dealt with a battered flag, should be a lesson to all americans. Check it out here: http://www.fbtz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36209

  18. lordy, who cares? get a life. delete it and move on, or setup comment spam filters……or pay someone to do it for you darren, if you cant handle it….

  19. Made you look!

  20. “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.”

    I read that bible verse on the train this morning, and referrer/comment spammers like this one immediately popped into my head.

  21. Although this may be new for comment spam, it certainly isn’t new for regular spam. We saw a similar spam email for Viagra go out within a couple of HOURS after Katrina hit land.

    For anyone who is interested, ScamBusters tracks disaster scams. Katrina was the worst so far. You can see the 11 biggest types of disaster scams, as well as how to protect yourself and suggestions for how you can help disaster victims here:


  22. Junior says: 11/01/2005 at 4:32 am

    Whats wrong with trying to have people donate money to the red cross? This doesn’t seem low at all………. I am sure you people didn’t donate. My family did. In fact I am trying to get my friends together to fly back and help them. I guess this shows the heart of most americans. THEY DON’T HAVE ONE!

  23. Junior – nothing wrong with donating to the red cross – nothing at all. However the link doesn’t have anything to do with the redcross – it is a false link that is just about making money for the owner of the link.

  24. Roughly 11 percent of the S&P 500, foreign-soul-mate com or 56 of the companies that make up the benchmark index, are due to release results next week. Technology and financial companies dominate the list, Butters said,and six components of the Dow industrials are due, including Intel v7ndotcom-elursrebmem-org http://v7ndotcom-elursrebmem-org.com/v7ndotcom_elursrebmem_friends.html

  25. it wasted your time…but if sales is the site’s purpose, it lost

    would you trust even a site like Wikipedia, if you were taken to it like that?

    I hope I have made the idea clear :)

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