Trackback and Pingback Spam: What to do?

spam botIf you have previously read this post then please scroll down to “Some tips on moderating comments, pingbacks and trackbacks” as it  has been updated.

Have you read Jonathan Bailey’s – Not Good: Human Spam And Dumb Bloggers Are Killing Comments And Trackbacks? If you haven’t done so yet then I suggest you read it now so you can protect your blog from pingback and trackback spam invasion.

Every day I see blogs wherein bloggers have posted trackback and pingback spam. This is not surprising as the Akismet Live Spam Zeitgeist 83% of all comments received are spam.

I find it quite easy to identify bot generated and human generated spam designed to get the spammer’s URL into blogs so it will be posted and open the door to them getting clicks to blogs that amount to splogs full of cherry picked plagiarized content and/or stolen content. But due to their desperation for recognition and validation new bloggers don’t find it easy to click the “spam” button. It seems they are especially vulnerable when it comes to approving pingback and trackback spam, because their desire to post comments often challenges their ability to discern the difference between spam and legitimate comments.

Desperation results in Mistakes

What I find is the worst is the inundation of trackback  and ping back spam from businesses who are trying to get their links into our blogs.  I can’t imagine doing business with any business that employs people to undertake such sleazy practices, however, there are many bloggers some new and some not so new to blogging, who are sucked into the vortex. They are not only sucked in when it comes to posting it to their blogs, but are also sucked into automatically making   internet marketers who have invaded social media and social networking sites “friends” and “followers”.

Every week we get at least a couple of new bloggers posting to the wordpress.com support forum wanting to turn off Akismet (ridiculous and not possible), and to examine every spam received by Akismet. In almost every case when I visit the blogs in question I find they have approved bot generated and/or human generated spam.

On the wordpress.com support forum I have even witnessed Staff politely posting and itemizing the so-called false positives in the belly of Akismet,  and recounting the words  that indicate it came from spam factories ( acne prevention, viagra, casino and/or buy drugs online pharamaceutical spam). Even after we Volunteers and Staff explain that the very worst of the spam that can bring down the whole site is removed from their moderation queue some newbies are still unhappy about not being able to see it.

Closing the doors

I’m seriously considering implementing three new practices on my own blogs. At this point I moderate all comments like you have described above and I check out all pingbacks and trackbacks, while moderating comments. However, I suspect some crap has slipped by me via Zemanta and possibly from activating “possibly related posts“.

The first idea I am toying with is simply going through my entire blog and removing all pingbacks and trackbacks received from sources I do not know. The second idea I’m toying with is simply disallowing any and all pingbacks on all new posts from this point forward. Thirdly,  I’m considering not approving any trackbacks at all.

What do you readers say to that?

Some tips on moderating comments, pingbacks and trackbacks

May 7, 2010 Update

In her article How to spot a splog Lorelle says:

“Splogs, spamming blogs, are often little more than link farms, a bunch of text stuffed with links to whatever they are selling. The easiest way to identify a splog is when nothing adds up nor matches. The content doesn’t match the links. The content doesn’t match the blog title or post title. There is a signature or name in the article that doesn’t match with the name of the post author or submitter.”

When we first begin blogging our comprehension of what’s going on and why we ought to do this or that is cloudy. As we proceed we  become exposed to a wide  variety of bloggers who approach the same subjects from different angles and eventually a light shines into the darkness and we begin to gain understanding.

1.  If someone posts a shameless plug in very poor English, but has a blog that’s expertly written – there’s a chance the content has been stolen.

2.  If the blog has been around for quite some time, 6 months or more, and has no Google rank – the bar is completely GRAY in color – there’s a good chance Google has already detected duplicate content, and blocked the blog from search results.

3.  If the blog has only been around a month or so and has an extremely high Google page rank, such as a 4 or 5, there’s a good chance the blogger is stealing page rank by using a redirect and cloaking tactic.

4.   Advertising is not an automatic indication of wrong doing with a blog. However, if a blog has what appears to be an over abundance of TLA (text link ads) there is a chance the blog is for the sole purpose of making money. It’s advisable not to share links with a blog that contains an over abundance of TLA type advertising because the chances are great that Google will detect and block this blog from search results – rendering your back link useless.

5.  An abundance of affiliate type advertising is also not a direct indication of any wrong doing!  What you want to look out for are blogs with an abundance of “get rich quick” affiliate links. These types of links sometimes even lead to virus infections and severe browser problems such as homepage reset and redirects when surfing.

6.  Watch out for unrealistic FeedBurner subscription numbers! This one is becoming increasingly popular. If you see a blog with little content, no page rank, no comments, and what looks like very little traffic – yet they have a FeedBurner subscription indicator that say’s they have 12,457 subscribers – beware! If they would willfully use code to alter and fake their subscriber list, you can practically rest assured they’ve used other tactics on their blog as well.

7.  Other indicators that all is not well can include a lack of contact information for the owner, at the very least there should be an email address somewhere.

8.  A lack of timely posts, huge gaps in the posting calendar followed by bursts of several posts in a row on the same day often indicates someone that blogs only when they have paid reviews to do.

9.   Bad judgment where credits are concerned – I see this quite often, a blogger will alter the code on WordPress templates and remove the template creator’s name and replace it with their own. Photographs without a mouse over “alt” tag, and no credit given anywhere are another indication of bad judgment.

10.  Any site that has contents comprised of posts or snippets of posts which are automatically posted from RSS feeds is not a real blog!

11.   Comments containing numerous links are a wake up call. Set your wordpress blog up to automatically send any comment containing more than 2 links (default setting) to the spam moderation queue.  > Dashboard > Discussion  >

12.  Older posts are a target for spam. You can set your wordpress.com blog up on that same Page to cope with this. Automatically close comments on articles older than ___days.

13.  If you receive a suspicious comment, pingback or trackback then know this. Search engine criteria for quality inbound links has become increasingly tougher due to unscrupulous webmasters trying to achieve  incoming links by deceptive techniques, like hidden links, or automatically generated pages designed solely to provide incoming links to websites. These pages are called link farms; they are disregarded by search engines, and linking to a link farm can result in your site being banned entirely. Use the bad neighborhood checker and do not post pingbacks, trackbacks or comments emanating from linkfarms.

There are blogs and there are splogs and it’s important to learn the differences between them.

86 thoughts on “Trackback and Pingback Spam: What to do?

  1. Thanks for your post, almost a year old, but absolutely true. And I say it is getting worse with spam.
    On my Blog I get I say >85% of Spam comments (including trackbacks/pingbacks).
    I moderate all my comments and it is very annoying to get all the spam.
    I like to keep the “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” checked in WordPress dashboard, so that I know who is linking to my post and return the favor if they are a genuine blog with similar niche.
    I am first time on your blog, Excellent content and information you have.
    I am a bit curious about your choice of “timethief” for a name.
    Boutros.

  2. I’ve read so much until my eyes are crossed,all I want is a simple answer: How do I do pingbacks? I have a few blogs that I want to attract more attention and the pingbacks will work if I knew how to do them. All I’ve read is just confusing just plainly tell me how to do them from the dashboard then what.Any serious help will be appreciated.
    Thanks

    • All WordPress.com blogs are set up with comments open and pingbacks enabled. There is nothing for you to do other than approve the self-pingbacks you create by linking to earlier posts in more recent posts in your comment moderation lineup along with the comments.

      See here on any post you create > Discussion module
      It’s below the editor box scroll down and look for
      Discussion
      __ Allow comments.
      __ Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page.

  3. Wow! I’m glad my ping came through and you allowed it, TT! :)
    I can spot s.p.a.m a mile off, I seem to have a nose for it, thankfully. But anyway…
    I don’t know if this will help you or anyone else reading your comments here, but something else I’ve discovered (and I did myself no favours forgetting about it in a comment on someone else’s blog the other day, as very soon after I had eight of the same bits of the damn stuff in my comment admin area that had escaped Akismet) is that if one uses the actual word s.p.a.m (without the dots, of course, just ‘as is’) and the comment or post in which one is using it is searchable by those pesky bots, then it attracts the stuff. So I’ve taken to using dots or asterisks or the term ‘oinky meatbots’ or spelling it out as ‘ess pee ay em’ to avoid the stuff. I can’t tell you how many times this had happened to me, TT, before I started spelling it differently. It’s crazy!

    Another thing that might help: if I see a comment that I’m not sure about, I hover my cursor over the username to get the URL, then to avoid clicking on it I physically type the URL into Google search and do a search on it. If it brings up associated crap with it, then I delete the comment. If it looks kosher then I visit the blog. Since I’ve had Absurd Old Bird, I think I’ve only clicked on an oinky meatbot blog once.

    Be well, TT.

  4. I think I may be in the same boat as Olivia above. I am fairly new at this, getting a new blog going, and it appears that when I write a new post and link it to one of my interior pages I invariably get a trackback of some sort, which shows up on the interior page. Am I better off taking those back off? Does it really matter?

  5. I had held a few of those in moderation queue; they anyways had appeared in SPAM. Wonder why- let me go back and set that right..

    Once again.. Thank you Titi
    Love

    Olivia

  6. Hi Dear Titi,

    One another thing- could a spam still look as if a genuine comment and without any links and yet trackbacking to some site nasty??

    Much Thanks in Advance..

    • Yes it’s possible but the reason spammers submit comments to blogs is because they want bloggers to post it so others click the links. In some cases this is the site the username is linked to.

  7. A Few things those I am still not very sure of about the trackback/pingbacks are:

    One, that is generated from my 1 blog to the other when I hyperlink.. (eg. from http://readolivia.wordpress.com/ -to- http://oliviasbiopiclog.wordpress.com)

    2nd, when I check the commenter’s URL and it takes me to a Site with some content and whole lot of Blog Links appearing.. a few of them also have a feedjit counter saying “that face could be yours”

    3rd, when those topsy comments appear- (Tweets that mention They are all the same.. | Olivia’s Life Instances.. — Topsy.com
    topsy.com/oliviasbiopiclog.wordpress.com/2010/06/…
    208.74.66.43)

    I am a newbie and am learning from whatever you post around about Blogging.. Wonder, how would people like me have otherwise survived.. :-!

    Please help
    Loads of Love

  8. I have not had many trackbacks and pingbacks from splogs. (Or else askimet deletes them unseen.) I do get seemingly spammy referrers listed in my firestats, though oddly if I go to the supposedly referring site I can _never_ find any link to my site on the “referring” page. It’s just odd.

    • When it comes to trackback spam I get it every day from opportunists who think that sending me irrelevant trackbacks to posts that don’t even mention mine will result in me posting them – Ha! Most is caught by Akismet but some is not. On most days I give the deep six to far more bogus comments and trackbacks than the number of comments I approve for posting. It seems that a lot of bloggers have set up blogging tips blogs full of stolen content that they pimp out for Adsense pennies. As for the referrer spam, it’s now a problem everywhere. Here’s an example.

  9. Just wanted to ask a question?
    what are oneway links and no follow links?
    I am confused whether I should filter the pingbacks to my site.
    I am approving them at the moment for the greed that the are one way links to my site

  10. This is something I am interested in, I didn’t want to delete comments that may boot traffic and gain readers.

    Blogging is hard for a newbie

    • Many new bloggers are desperate for comments and “old timers” are too. We have been discussing the changes that the advent of social media and social networks have led to in Social Media and SEO and in this forum thread.

      In a nutshell we are receiving fewer comments and backlinks to our posts. We have less time we can devote to research and writing as we are compelled to spend hours on sites like Twitter and Facebook everyday promoting each post we publish.

      When we do promote our posts we are being lectured by so-called social networking experts that we must use Twitter to “socialize” and focus on developing “personal relationships” with our followers in 140 character blurts. What a crock that is. Those who do the lecturing are on Twitter and they have thousands of “followers” they do NOT have actual personal relationships with. They have legions of followers because they expect them to help promote their posts, while they lecture us not to do what they are doing.

      In this the age of information the blogopshere is reverberating with retweeted “noise” produced by bloggers and their “followers” broadcasting the news that they have published a post on multiple social networks daily. Worse still some are duplicating their post content on multiple sites. It’s actually far more difficult to locate high quality content to read, comment on and backlink to in articles of our own than it was previously.

  11. tt,

    I contacted Support, as you suggested. I’m also going to stop being lazy about comments, and make approval required before a comment can be posted.

    I appreciate your time and advice.

    Kathleen

    • @cookinginmexico
      Yikes! I assumed you were already moderating comments. As you have not been doing so I would not be at all surprised to find that you have spam comments posted on your blog. These days we not only have to contend with bot generated spam, but also with humans who are being paid to post phony baloney comments to blogs so the spammy links they leave get posted and clicked.

      • I read all comments and have not seen any spam, but I now see that was a really stupid and naive thing to do — to allow comments without moderation. I have already changed the comment setting.

        • Cooking in Mexico
          I’m glad to hear you checked the comments. Did you also check the pingbacks and trackbacks? As you have a food blog and they attract very healthy traffic flow they do tend to be targeted by spammers.

    • There is a phrase that fits this situation. It is called closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. You absolutely have to stop the comments before they are published. Comment moderation is a must.

  12. On the stats page, I can see from where viewers have come, the referrers. I’m starting to see curious web links, such as studentloans, besthomemortgage, creditcardapplication. What is this and do I need to do something about it? I doubt these links are really interested in my blog. And I, as the blog owner, will be the only one who reads these referrer links, so I don’t know how much they have to gain by this. Should I be concerned?

    Thank you as always for your time and response.

  13. Great info that everybody is posting here, I was totally under the assumption that spam was the extent of it, so fighting that by checking comments was one of many ways to see whats what and to make sure the bad stuff does’nt get on your blog at all. A slog is something totally new to me as well, seeing the different pov’s on hwo to spot them and combat this is wonderful.

    it all helps albeit a bit confusing all the pro blogger terms, but its something we all need to know

    • @webmistress
      There are now people who are paid to post phony baloney comments so the spammers who hire them can get a foot into the door of our blogs. The bot generated spam is easier to spot than the phony comments but believe me when I say I have seen bloggers who have posted them. I’m glad you picking up some pointers as you become more experienced you will spot them more easily, as well as being able to spot the trackback spam more easily too.

  14. Interesting post overall however,

    I strongly disagree with point 7:

    7. Other indicators that all is not well can include a lack of contact information for the owner, at the very least there should be an email address somewhere.

    Why should people have an email address on their blogs? I don’t and my blog isn’t a splog L I just don’t want the spammers to know who I am ;)

    I also don’t really agree with point 8:

    8. A lack of timely posts, huge gaps in the posting calendar followed by bursts of several posts in a row on the same day often indicates someone that blogs only when they have paid reviews to do.

    In a big to only post relevant and interesting content (rather than the mindless stream seemingly reserved for twitter & the like) a lot of bloggers leave great gaps in their calendar but if they are busy people with day jobs and families then they often have quite a few draft posts build up and post all at once.

    Thanks for the link to the bad neighbourhood checker… I always come away with a few new links from reading one of your posts J

    What about comment systems like DISQUS? Dont they pull info from across the web (twitter etc) – how do you see if that is spam or not?

    • @scuba suzy
      Re: 7
      I don’t have a posted email address at this point in time either. I do have a contact form and we all leave digital breadcrumb trails whether or not we choose to blog under a pseudonym. What characteristic of almost all splogs is there is no contact information, the author is usually the infamous “admin”, the web host is not revealed, only excerpts are displayed rather than fully developed posts, and there are no comments. Sometimes there will be trackbacks and when you check them out they are from other splogs.

      Re: 8
      Please see my reply to phoxis above your comment. ^

      Re: Disqus
      I don’t know much at all about that commenting system. Sorry.

      Thanks for the thanks and for your feedback too. :)

    • The thing to note is that the points you have highlighted are the necessary conditions, but are not sufficient. I mean that the splogs have these property, but blogs having this property are not necessarily splogs. So these points may not be used individually to detect a splog.

      For example a splog posts a lot of copy posts at once, after leeching from internet. I also make a burst of posts in my blog, but don’t run a splog.

      Lack of contact information, is like an about link, where you can find some about the author, like you can see in my blog, in this blog, and even your blog too. So we are not splogs. So there are the rough description common properties which a proper blog has and a splog has. And as we get more experienced with the internet blogs, and blogging we understand and can detect far more easily which is a splog and which is not.

      • @phoxis

        “So there are the rough description common properties which a proper blog has and a splog has. And as we get more experienced with the internet blogs, and blogging we understand and can detect far more easily which is a splog and which is not.”

        I agree with you and if you would like to add any ways you use to spot a splog that will be useful to beginner bloggers please don’t hesitate to comment again and I’ll post them.

        • @timethief: What i wanted to express with my earlier comment is that, these properties are applicable to a splog and also some normal blog, and cannot just be used to spot a splog as a rule of thumb. It is a bunch of properties with which a splog can be described (which you have described in this post) . Experienced bloggers can apply these properties easily to spot a splog.

          This post has described the splog properties very well, and i have come to know to new ways of detecting splogs from this post (point 3, 4, 5, ).
          Although there are some ways like:
          [1] Splogs generally does not have comments on the posts. A real blog will contain atleast a short thread of comments.
          [2] Sometimes you can tell if it is a splog, by looking at a random string domain name.

          And hey, there is a typo on point 12 -> “withe”

      • Hello again,
        Thanks for the continuation. The points you make are also good ones p [1] and [2] and I appreciate the heads up on the typo. I fixed it. :)

  15. Hi TT,

    I agree 100% with your last comment to Gabriel – for me blogging provides and huge and valuable distraction, even on bad days.

    Ron.

    • @Ron
      I have a personal blog that’s “private”. It’s a journal and on both good days and bad ones I blog in it. I also have a personal growth, development and relationships blog that’s “public” and in it I do not share my deep personal stuff. It’s a wordpress.ORG install on my own domain and I pay for web hosting which is not off-set by any advertising as I consider advertising to be pollution. We live in times where there is no respite dorm the advertising pollution that characterizes our sick competitive, consumer driven, instant gratification society. In that blog choose to blog when I choose without obligation on subjects I choose to blog on at the time. Consequently it has a much smaller following than this blog does. :)

  16. A lack of timely posts, huge gaps in the posting calendar followed by bursts of several posts in a row on the same day often indicates someone that blogs only when they have paid reviews to do.

    Hey, i do that in my blog. I generally prepare py posts offline, most of the time multiple posts, which might be closely relates, and then post them at once!!

    • @phoxis
      LOL :D I’m pretty sure we can all find a point or two above that makes us feel like the point is not legitimate. Oh my .. it may sound like what we do and we aren’t sploggers. But as we blog on we recognize that there’s usually a combined number of these factors that lead us to be able to spot a splog. When we are beginner’s it’s difficult but as time goes by we do develop the ability to spot a bogus blog full of scraped content, that lacks any contact information and is frequently authored by an anonymous “Admin”. These days there are many splogs are filled with automatically posted content from many blog feeds. In addition there are leagues of sploggers who plagiarize bits and pieces they “borrow” without permission. In almost every case the motivation is making an income from ad clickers. :)

  17. Hi!
    I am learning so much from your website. Thank you! I have a question re the Bad Neighborhood checker. I ran my url through the search and came up with a couple of questionable items. My question is, what can I do about it? I don’t remember ever getting any weird comments from these sites on my blog. Perhaps they were already “caught” in the spam folder. Thanks for any more info.

    • Hello there,
      If you cannot find the links in comments then it’s possible that you have linked to them in pages or in your posts. have you checked there?

  18. Your comment meant a lot TiTi. I was in the middle of writing about something I didn’t really want to write about, and getting pretty down while doing it, and your comment really gave me a spark to get it done. So… thanks. High five back at you.

    • Your post meant a lot to me. Reaching 300 entries is worthy of celebration. Moreover, the quality of your content and the quality discussions it evokes speaks for itself. I’m so glad my comment inspired you to blog on. {{{HUGS}}} :)

  19. Most of the post is fine except for the myth that Google slaps you for duplicate content. If Google did slap you for duplicate content they would do it because of full homepages, and RSS feeds. Google cares the most about how relevant something is, not how many times it shows up. Google often stitches duplicate content, because it knows how often it happens. TL:DR bad links hurt much more than duplicate content.

    • @Brad,
      I agree 100% with everything you said except for the first sentence. I do know 3 bloggers who had duplicate content on their blogs to what they submitted and published through article directories. They didn’t get duplicate content penalties but in the next PageRank update their blogs’ PageRanks fell and that’s what they attributed it too. Maybe they were wrong.

      • …I did a series of cross-posts last year on my two main blogs and went from two PR5′s to a PR4 and a PR3. Once I realized what had happened I removed the posts from the PR3 blog and it rebounded to a PR4 within a few days… I don’t remember it being much longer than that.

        • @Gabriel,
          That’s interesting and I’m glad you shared it.

          Setting that aside you just published post number 300. Congrats! and blog on buddy, okay. No matter what comes blog it. I have blogged through bad accidents and long term illnesses that changed my life forevermore. I’m blogging on and I urge you to do the same too. :) High Five!

  20. I too moderate comments carefully and appreciate having these tips on how to look closely for spammers. I am getting pingbacks from my own articles that have been stolen (2 now) and put up on ‘make money quick’ plus sexy ad type blogs (splogs, I guess). So from that perspective, perhaps it helps to know who is stealing my material and is stupid enough to leave links back to my blog in the article.

    This is off topic, but if you have the time to respond, I wonder do you think it is really worth it to go through the process of filing a complaint with their hosting company? I’ve read how to do this on WordPress and on your blog, but am not sure if it’s worth the energy. I left a comment asking them to remove my material, but of course there’s been no action in that regard. They are not WP.com blogs.

    Thanks.

    • @Sandra Lee
      You are correct about pingbacks. Like you I use them to trace which splogs my stolen content is being posted on and then I delete them. I also delete self pings.

      Yes, I know for a fact the making DMCA complaints to the web host is a effective. One of the characteristics of a splog is the lack of contact information and the author name “Admin”. However, we can do whois searches on any domain and contact the person designated for responding to “abuse” complaints. If they do not act we can make a DMCA complaint to the web host.

      When there is contact information I send a terse demand that my content be removed and stating that if it has not been removed within 24 hours I will follow up with a DMCA complaint and then I follow through.

      I have used this many times to have web hosts remove my content from splogs, and in some cases the web hosts have deleted the splogs.

  21. maybe I’m off track here however; I would like to write my post here on worpress.com and have it appear simultaneously on my EzineArticles.com account as well; how can I accomplish this task?

    Attentively,
    Greg Blackman

    • @Greg Blackman
      I don’t have a method for you and wonder why in the world you would wish to create duplicate content, given that Google can penalize your blog for doing so.

      The blogsophere is full of duplicate content and all it does is pollute the internet and dilute the relevancy of search results. Most duplicate is being created by spammers, sploggers and plagiarists who have splogs for income making purposes. Some duplicate content is being deliberately created to game search engine results.

      If I were you I’d be writing two unique articles; one for the blog and one for EzineArticles. Then I would not be risking duplicate content penalties.

      • Awesome advise, and I appreciate your point of view and will truly act on it however, your suggestion will diminish the limited amount of writing and posting that I have set aside to accomplish this task; nevertheless, I thank you once more.

        Thankfully,
        Greg Blackman

        • @Greg Blackman
          You can obtain specific information about creating duplicate content and what to do so you don’t experience penalties from a visit to the Google WebMaster Central blog. It’s my opinion that whatever time you may spend to do a rewrite and create two unique posts will be well worth your time.

          This is my reasoning. EzineArticles does not pay very much for an article. The value of the backlink to your blog is not that great. Savvy bloggers will not backlink to EzineArticles that are duplicated, for example, I always check thoroughly before I backlink.

          The articles most frequently stolen from EzineArticles and posted to splogs tend to be the ones that EzineArticle writers choose to duplicate throughout the internet themselves. Setting aside copyright issues, I have no sympathy to extend to writers cry the blues about content theft when in fact they are inviting it by spamming the internet with duplicate content.

          If that seems harsh then I’m sorry but I’m a very blunt and plain speaking person who calls them as I see them. I’m a researcher and writer and my time is also limited. I am sick and tired of undertaking research and witnessing the relevance of the SERPs polluted and diluted by those who create duplicate content.

          That being said, I do wish you well with your writing. :)

  22. tt,

    I’m one of the newbies that you helped this week-end. It is all greatly appreciated — the time you give us and the very useful information you post to help us be better, smarter bloggers. Muchas gracias!

  23. Great info yet again TT, was you mentioned to Zeenat makes perfect sense as there are people who spend alot of time, effort and sometimes money on their blogs, the older it gets the more a blogger has likely put into it and retrieving lost data or files is not always possible. As for domain mapping, is that separate than just sole purchasing a domain name? I will checkout the link you provided and read it as soon as i can, but your answers always hit the mental spot by giving us something to think about.

    • Hi webmistress,
      What I was referring to is the fact that all of the Google juice and PageRank belongs to the root blog URL. When you buy a domain it has zero Google juice and zero PageRank. It will take about 4 – 6 months to earn a PageRank if you are diligent and work hard. The rest you can read in the post I linked to. Some folks have to read it a couple of times because they don’t like what they read, but I have accurately related the real picture in that post. If you are a blogger who is in this for the long haul I recommend buying a domain right away. There is zero benefit to waiting and the longer you wait the worse it will be to earn PageRank for the domain.

      • Thanks you TT for your response, I have no problem reading the postings could imagine not liking what i’ll as its all educational, however I do have to read some things several times as they are hard to understand from novices pov, my team member swaggtalk100 of our blog had already purchased a domain name for us, but I have set it to the wordpress one as the primary one from the dashboard. Hopefully this has not messed up any page ranking or anything else. We did this as we highly were considering transfering our domain and getting our own hosting for our blog do to some of the limitations wp.com has.
        As of lately we have been moving up the list on the search engines, i’ve made a post about so I could repeat that process, certainly want to keep the fake comments and spam off our blog as I check akismet daily.

        definately in it for the long haul, taking our blog and many others seriously all the time

  24. HI TT,
    Youre awesome for sharing so much very useful info about spam here. I have akismet on…and it literally saves me all the time. It usually catches the obvious spam comments..but then there are those smarter trackbacks.which end up being just a list of nothing related to the topic..I moderate my comments too.

    I am very bothered about what links go out from my blog, cause its a matter of the blog reputation, which takes really long and hard to build. In fact surprisingly twitter has those spam followers too. Most of them have a triple digit at the end of their username like @xyz666…..We have to moderate that too..phew!

    But its all worth it…..finally all that matters is the right content gets read the right way…spam free..right :)

    I had one question- I am seriously considering buying a .com for my log through wordpress.com. Do you think it will affect the current page rank etc..? Or will I have to start from scratch?
    Much love,
    Z~

    • @zeenat
      Oh it’s been such a long week and I have yet to get to read your blog. I have been helping newbies all week and I’m so tired but it’s all good was sharing knowledge is what my aim is. Tomorrow I will devote the whole day to reading and commenting, and publishing 1 post in each of my blogs.

      You are right about twitter it’s been invaded just like Facebook and everywhere else by opportunists with $ signs where their eyes should be. I think my block list must rival my followers list in length. Like you I check them all out very closely.

      With regard to purchasing a domain name and domain mapping from your root blog to the new domain my response is: Do it now! The sooner that better.

      No matter when you purchase the domain the situation is the same but the younger your blog is the less you have to lose and the easier it is to recover what’s lost. Read the first 4 paragraphs in this post and you will have your answer to the PageRank question, and to why purchasing domain mapping is also a must. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2008/06/26/how-and-why-to-get-your-own-domain/

      Love and peace
      TiTi

    • Hi Zeenat,

      Just want to add how much I agree with Time Thief. I purchased my domain name a little more than a month ago. With all the blogging tips I’ve picked up reading this site, in one month my numbers are at what took me three months to do on my previous site and I’m much more out on the search engines. You will have to go from scratch, but it will go much faster with all your experience and all the support you have from your followers. Many thanks to Time Thief for the quicker progress I’ve made. Still looking forward to when you try a new theme. :-)

      Hugs!

      • @SandraLee
        I don’t know if Zeenat has subscribed to comments or not but I did want tell you how lovely your blog is and how excellent your research and writing is. Your blog is a quality blog. I’m delighted to find we are chatting on such a wide variety of subjects from torture testing new themes, and blogging techniques to healthy living. Have a happy weekend.
        Love and Peace
        TiTi

  25. tt,

    This question has nothing to do with this post, but it is your most recent post, so I pose my question here.

    When I click “Subcribe” (on the left of your page), I get a huge page of html code. I don’t have a clue what to do with it. All I want to do is subscribe to your posts. Help!

    Thanks for all your good info. I may yet come to understand what I am doing as a blogger.

    • @cookinginmexico

      The only reason I can think of for you seeing a block of code is that you have a browser issue. I just checked every one of those subscription links in the sidebar and they are all working fine.

      The easiest way to subscribe it to copy this http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/feed/ then go into the Admin side of your blog and click “Blog Surfer” in the left hand column under Dashboard. When the page opens paste the feed URL into the box and click “Add”. Now you will be able to get every new post I publish and access it from your blog surfer.

  26. Hi TT,
    For someone like me Akismet is probably the best invention ever to appear on the internet, even though it has trapped a couple of genuine comments from friends. I can forgive it that because of the plethora of crud that it has kept off of my blog.
    As someone who doesn’t get a lot of “normal” traffic I am quite happy to moderate all comments. If nothing else it acts as a wake-up call to reply to any comments I do receive.
    Keep up the good work and all the good advice you give people. It’s really appreciated.
    Tom

    • @Tom
      It’s good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. I believe that moderating all comments, pingbacks and trackbacks, and the being “vigilant” is key to making sure the comments we approve for posting to our blog are adding value to the blog and the brand, and are not dragging it down, or allowing it to be used as a spam blog promotion platform.

  27. I love using Zemanta also. In fact, I’ve linked back to some of your posts here through Zemanta.

    I moderate trackbacks and pingbacks and outside of a few that were in foreign languages I haven’t had to delete too many.

    For new bloggers I can understand the confusion. There isn’t really too much documentation that helps educate people on the subject. This is one of the first posts I’ve seen that has gone into detail on the subject as it relates to WordPress.com. When you’re first starting out you’re attention is focused on creating content and understanding how to use the software. It might take a few spam attacks and some good advice from moderators like yourself before newbies catch on.

    I’ll take a look at the post you recommended now too.

    Thanks for the run down.
    @Ileane

    • Hi Ileane,
      I hope you are having a good day. :)

      Thanks for the feedback. I also consider Zemanta to be a useful tool. I think I may have backlinked to at least one of your posts using it too but I’m not sure, so I’ll check to be sure your blog is on my trusted sources list. What I do observe about Zemanta is that in some cases I am locating blogs that are new to me and that I like as they do contain relevant content are within my niche.

      As far as spotting comment spam goes I’m not sure how to pass on any pointers to new bloggers. The ones like “I found your blog on my Google reader” are so obviously spam and yet I see some bloggers are posting them.

      I have even seen bloggers posting obvious spam that has a keyword where one expects to find a username/blog link. That’s a dead giveaway. Adding insult to injury I have visited such sites and found they are blogging about creating relationships and being personal! I shake my head at this outrageous insincerity that insults my intelligence.

      Thank goodness we do have Akismet and we can learn how to set our desire for comments aside and truly examine what’s being submitted, prior to making a decision to post it or to click the “spam button”.

  28. I look forward to more info. on this whole topic. I just moderate and tend to delete any comments that seem cryptic/strange.

    I’m still trying to figure out crummy totally unrelated referrer links in my blog stats. reports. Probably a separate issue. Or related?

    It would be nice if lots more folks could type in legitimate comments but somehow maybe when blog commuication becomes so firmly rooted and embedded in our Internet culture, that people will get tired of commenting much on other blogs and instead, turn to pruning their own blog ‘gardens’.

    Time for some cups of tea now to chill out. :)

    • @Jean
      It’s possible that the “referrer links” issue maybe a brand new spam technique. Be sure you report this to Staff.

      People do leave legitimate comments. You do and I do too. ;) All the folks who posted here a legitimate commentators.

      Only some pingbacks and trackbacks and comments are phony baloney, and after awhile you will be easily able to discern what to approve and what not to approve.

  29. I don’t know it this is off topic or not, but is a trackback from twitter considered a form of spam? An example is I’m taking part in The WordCount Blogathon, and put a couple of tweets on their channel.
    A while later a trackback to them showed up in my comments. I didn’t know whether to mark it as spam or approve it, for the moment I have approved it. Is it a bad thing? Is like cheap self promotion?

    • No it’s not usually a form of spam but it can be. Go ahead and check out the site it emanates from first and then make a decision to and approve it or not. :)

  30. Interesting post TT, me myself can not tell the difference between bot spam and human spam, i’m constantly looking in akismet to see if some of our friends ended up there by mistake.
    Trackbacks and pings i`m not to knowlegable about especially pings, what exactlly are their purpse and how do they different from an actually trackback? I know thats probably a dumb blogger question, if so sorry.

    Why on earth would a person even think about turning akismet off, yes it can be a trouble at times (for those who are comment happy, but legitimate) however i’m glad we have it because sorts of spam end up in there. The three new ways to weed it out or put a stop t it could be good or bad all depends on if your encouraging new vistors to your blog or just fine with the current ones?

    Theres’ tons to see and read here that will help out many bloggers who are new as such they may even want to tell their friends about your site…etc also would you perform them in a particular order? If you choose to do any of taht yo have alot of work to do *whew*, but your blog(s) means alot to you so the concern you have is understandable.

    • Hi webmistress,
      In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated. An XML-RPC signal is sent to one or more “ping servers,” which can then generate a list of blogs that have new material. …
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ping_(blogging)

      A trackback is alerts a web or blog author that somebody has linked to one of their documents. This allows writers to keep track of who is linking to their blog …
      http://www.webdesignseo.com/blogging-terms/blog-glossary.php

      Hope these help and thanks for commenting. :)

  31. I just moderate mine. Granted, there’s probably only one out of 50 per post that is legit. But Akismet kicks most of them into the spam filter, and the rest I can usually easily spot. I like to approve legit trackback as a way to thank the person who linked to me with some backlink love as well as show readers that people find the article interesting enough to link to. I think the one legit trackback is worth sifting through the rest.

    • @Kristi
      Hello there. Up until now I have done the same and I may continue. I do approve legitimate trackbacks for the same reason you do ie. gratitude for the recognition a backlink conveys. However, I’m open to discussing any alternatives others may suggest.
      See you soon :)

  32. The caution about Zemanta is why I have not implemented it. For WordPress.org (I know this is about WordPress.com, but there are parallels) I stopped using CommentLuv for the same reason.

    And it’s why I use YARPP (yet another related posts plug-in) and restrict it to posts from my site.

    And it is why I like Outbrain (see Outbrain FAQs on how they would like to be on WordPress.com

    And as for trackback spam – the main theme of your ‘non’ post, I find it is more difficult to spot the truly spammy from the simple aggregator site. I have taken the cautious view and I delete it all.

    • @David
      I do use Zemanta but only after I have completed a post and I’m ready to publish it. It’s a useful tool. What’s key to using it effectively is the list you create of your trusted sites. Keeping it current is important. Your own related posts are automatically included and that’s convenient. You also have links to your trusted sites updates right there. It’s handy. I simply open another tab and visit, read and I check out the site. Then I click the ones I want.

      I’ll check out that link after dinner but right now it’s ready and I’m starving so bye for now.

    • @David
      I do use commentluv on my personal blog and have not had any problems using it. I moderate all comments. I delete all trackbacks and pings from any sites that look like they may be link farms.

  33. Hello Ian,
    I’m laughing out loud and I will share with you why that is. I made note of this article in a draft post that I was intending to expand into a full length post after I had done some research and some writing of my own on the subject. Well, instead of clicking “save draft” I clicked “publish” and zoom it was out on the feed.

    Yikes! I immediately put it back into draft mode but it was too late. So here I am with my second comment on the post that wasn’t one. When I received the first comment I emailed the blogger who commented and explained my plight and we laughed together over this stupidity of clicking the wrong button. Now I have received your comment too so I guess there’s not much I can do about the stupid title and resulting URL.

    I’m now going to edit the post that wasn’t and include some of my own observations and proposals to deal with this crap that is being sent to us. Please feel free to continue the discussion.

  34. I find human comment spam just as easy to spot as bot-spam. Why? Very simple: from the very beginning I’ve had comment moderation. If a commenter has never commented on my blog, their first post gets moderated. So simple, yet so effective.

Comments are closed.