What is Comment Spam?

Example: “Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time”

Comment spam is the term used to describe comments that people write as comments on blogs and forums that provide no content or comment of any value and are posted simply to provide links back to other sites. The idea behind comment spam is that each link back to a blog or website helps with search engine optimisation and so the more comments you could post on blogs around the web with each having a link back to your own site, the higher your own website would rank.

As blogging content management systems like WordPress and Blogger became freely available and blogs proliferated, comment spam rapidly became big problem and blogs that allowed comments quickly became cluttered up with low or no value comments.

There were two main solutions to this problem. First, blogging tools became more sophisticated and began to manage the comment process so that only approved comments would be published after review by the blog owner, or comments were restricted to registered contributors to a blog who could be trusted. Secondly, a new HTML tag called the “no follow” tag was developed and adopted by browsers.

The nofollow tag essentially tells search engines to ignore any links to sites that are tagged “nofollow”. What this means is that there were no longer any SEO benefits of scattering links to your site liberally around the web and wasting everyone’s time. Note, however, that even without any SEO benefits of comment spam due to the widespread adoption of the no follow tag, a well written comment can attract clicks to a website.

One classic example of comment spam includes the phrase

“Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time”.

Note the rubbish English!

This comment is generated by a system somewhere online because comment spam that includes that phrase contains links to loads of different sites.