Making the Most of Your Comment Spam

The Akismet comment spam filter plugin, which runs on both Sciencetext and Sciencebase has just passed the 100,000 trapped spam mark for those two sites combined. Doesn’t that strike you as an awful lot of wasted effort on the part of the comment spammers? So many spams, thinly sliced and discarded automatically!

But, wouldn’t it be good if one could make use of all that spam instead of simply throwing it away. At one time, when I was a correspondent for New Scientist, the early days of spam used to provide endless amusement and fodder for the backpage. But, writing witty anecdotes around the concept of lager breasts (sic) is just so passe these days. So, what else might that spam be used for. A blackhat SEO person might think to themselves: All those keyword-laden spams, being posted to specific posts, what if a pattern could be discerned in the apparent randomness of spam ads for ringtones, ED drugs, or those apocalyptic lager breasts.

What if someone were to find that pattern and use it to create pages within a website that would actually be useful and informative and simultaneously attractive to the search engine spiders? Such pages would not only draw traffic but also potentially boost a site’s rank for particularly lucrative keywords? What if…?

SEOBlackhat had a wonderful classification for all the various types of comment spammer out there, which we have adapted somewhat from their original list:

The Suck-up (Wow! Great site, I’ll be back again soon visitng), the Foreigner (Wow! Site great is looking, now thanks are we coming back visitng)

The Tourette Terror (Wow! Site, Ringtones, Rx Casinos, Pumps, Dominatrix Visitng!!!!!)

The Compulsive Gambler (Wow! Great casino site, free Texas Holdem Visitng soon, FREE first punt),

The Porn Queen Web Cammer (Wow! Great site come and see me naked with 20 guys, triple penetration action, Visitng soon)

The Combatant (Wow! Yer site is just total shite, I’ll kill you if we eva meet, not visitng eva again!),

The Crazed Drug Addict (Wow! Great site for finding Rx, Viagra, hydrocodine, phentermine, discount phentermine, visitng again for Rx), the Insecure Guy (Wow! I found latest penis enlargement pump patch herbal pills and lager breasts”, the Headbanger (Wow! visitng ghtyriq qwerty gytuei hhghhg)

And, last but not least the Mad Scientist (Wow! I just discovered an entirely new form of physics and meta quantum mechanics, way to solve all the world’s problems but not cold fusion better, Einstein and Newton were like totally wrong, quantum plutonium no need for wind farms solar we all will die not without moving to a new planet light years quickly now, give me a grant, visitng soon as again, kindly do the needful!)

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.