Comment spam is out of control. For those that aren't familiar with the term, it refers to people posting comments on a blog or article that are not intended to add value, but rather a link back to their site for SEO purposes. The problem is people continue to do it because it actually can work, but only when done right.
I spend some time each week removing these comments from our site. They're easy to spot, since people are rarely actually named things like "web design bombay" or "car hire gatwick." What amuses me the most is that our site, which used to allow links in the comments, no longer does. Way back when we first launched, you could add a URL that would appear as a link from your username. Comment spam ended that practice. However, really bad SEOs continue to post with these ridiculous usernames, even though it has no benefit. Even if the link was active, we use no-follow code in our comments section (this tells the search engines to ignore links, rendering them useless for SEO purposes).
I'm all for black hat SEOs wasting their time. I just hate when it wastes mine. So, I decided to track down my biggest offender, "Car Hire UK." By searching for his email on his many comments, I found the company he is working for. In addition to emailing him, I decided it would be cathartic to contact the company he's contracting for as well. Here's the chat transcript below.
Hello and Welcome to CarHireUK, my name is 'Jenny' , How may I help you today?
: Hello Peter
: yeah, i have an odd question...
: How may I help you?
: i was hoping you could pass this to whomever does your website's marketing. I must get at least 2 comments a day on my blog from you guys, and they are all comment spam. See http://www.352media.com/blog/5-Things-Not-to-Do-in-Your-Webinars.aspx
for an example. How do I make this stop?
: It's all coming from Arnav Disuza. (http://airport.ezinemark.com/car-rental-gatwick-7d35fe02ea5f.html
: I am really sorry, This would be the reservation dept. you need to send an email to our customer service dept
: during the working hiursJenny: 10.00 to 16.00 GMT
: not that i am a customer, but sure, what's their information?
: i should point out that your spammer seems to work all hours, as the latest one just came in.
: so what is their email?
: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com regarding this query Peter
: great. I look forward to spamming the hell out of them.
Did it help anything? No way. Do I feel better? You're damn right!
And please, don't become a vigilante and email firstname.lastname@example.org
at all hours of the day and night. That is wrong.