|Is Blog Comment Spam Declining?|
With just about all blog comment links being set to "nofollow" and with most bloggers employing some type of moderation control, is the volume of comment spam starting to decline?
In the small sample of blogs I have access to, it SEEMS like there's less comment spam being posted, but that's hardly a statistical sample.
I have to imagine that there's a lot less to gain these days, but if the process is fully automated, I wouldn't expect many spammers to give up.
|Small Website Guy|
Blog hosts may be doing a better job at catching spam comments.
CAPTCHA may prevent less sophisticated spam robots from doing their evil deeds.
|With just about all blog comment links being set to "nofollow" and with most bloggers employing some type of moderation control, is the volume of comment spam starting to decline? |
You would expect that to happen and I do believe it has in many instances but...
I think there is a bit more to the whole rel="nofollow" thing that people overlook. The association. I'm watching one community right now and every 15 minutes there is a new round of comment spam. It sits long enough to get indexed and even though nofollow is present, the association is present.
I think the smart spammers know the inner workings of nofollow and how to use it to their advantage. I wouldn't be too sure that there are "no advantages" to comment spamming a nofollow resource. In fact, I'm going to "personally" step out on a limb and say that it doesn't provide a 100% foolproof solution to the challenges at hand.
Google still indexes and crawls the content even though the link is nofollowed. Association?
I'll tell you what, if you think that the rel="nofollow" attribute is the answer to comment spam, take a look at Google Cache these days. Remember, Google will index almost anything and put it into the indices. At some point it gets filtered but it still makes its rounds, yes? What happens during the "round robin" process?
Comment Spam should never be able to see the light of day, period! User generated content without moderation is poison.
|I have to imagine that there's a lot less to gain these days, but if the process is fully automated, I wouldn't expect many spammers to give up. |
Oh boy! Automation did you say?
P.S. If you are relying on the rel="nofollow" to deter comment spam, you may also want to include the noarchive directive so that cache is not available. I think Google cache is being used in specific instances. < "Tin Hat Alert"
Actually, on my blogs I premoderate everything. My perception is that spam loads have declined somewhat, despite no changes in CAPTCHA or other spam prevention tools.
I suppose it's also possible that blogs that never display spam might be avoided by would-be spammers, but that never seemed to matter in the past.
If you consider the growth of email spam over 10 years, even though ten years ago it seemed like there was more spam than ever possible, infinite spam, yet infinity got bigger.
Why would blog spam stop? The spam universe is not reasonable, it is just massively gratuitous and constant and perseverant. If you really want to know if blog spam will die out, the answer is NO, not ever.
I agree, WTD. Even though people complain about "junk mail," most of us get very few pieces of junk mail daily and most of those are reasonably well-targeted at our interests. The high cost of putting a catalog or letter in a potential customer's mailbox holds down the volume.
Blog spam, on the other hand, is nearly free, so there's little incentive NOT to do it. On the other hand, as it gets less and less productive, spammers may decide to devote themselves to better spam techniques.
I suspect there's no less - just shared out among more blogs.
If the growth of the bloggery ever slows, then the tide of spam will catch up in seconds, drowning any that don't take sensible precautions and moderate thoroughly.
Don't forget we don't just have industrial spammers - we have industrial bloggers, too.