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Like Honey to Spammers: It's All About Jakob, Baby

By - June 02, 2004

jnielsenWhat’s with this post? Why is “Jakob Nielsen, Holiday Mixer” *the* post of choice for a panoply of comment spammers? I’ve had like 100 different comment spams on this post, and for the life of me, I can’t determine why, save one thing: I linked to Cory. No….wait. I linked to Shona Brown’s book. No… I linked to pictures of Mt. Tam too, and a picture of Berkeley. And to Jakob’s site. And…oh God…to Joi as well. Is there rhyme or reason to this?

If I deleted this post from my archives, I’d have about 25% less spam than I do now. At least, until they chose the next favorite post.

So in the spirit of Dan Gillmor’s maxim – “My readers know way more than I do” – what gives?

(Yep, I’ve repeated the links, for anyone keeping score…let’s see if this post attracts them too…)

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6 thoughts on “Like Honey to Spammers: It's All About Jakob, Baby

  1. Can you check your server logs for referers to that post?

    My guess is that it ranks highly for a common Google phrase, and that’s how comment-spammers find it.

    They aren’t searching on the links. They’re searching on some words which that post has, and Google gives them that post.

  2. Hmm … it’s #3 on Google for the words: holiday mixer

    That might be the combination they’re using which hits it.

  3. Betsy Devine says:

    I agree, they are hoping for Google juice rather than actual clickthrough. I think comment spammers also search for posts spammed by others–if previous bogus comments weren’t deleted, theirs have a better chance to survive.

  4. My guess is that it ranks highly for a common Google phrase, and that’s how comment-spammers find it.

    This is typically the source of comment spam on my site. The spam is normally on a post that is somewhat related to the product that the spammer is selling.

  5. One thing you can do to dissuade the spammers is to not link to people’s home page from the recent comments section on the left hand tool bar. Just put their name without the link and the spammers will figure it is not worth the trouble… that solve 90% of our problem at WIN.

  6. Abe says:

    There is no need to delete spam infested posts to cut off the spam, all you need to do is turn off comments for that particular post.

    I’ve gotten into the habit of immediately turning off comments in posts once the spam starts to come in. Spammers almost never seem to hit new posts, probably because they are using Google to find the posts in the first place…

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