Spammers, You Flatter Me

Some of what I write attracts criticism, and even the occasional hateful comment. It’s nice to see compliments every now and then. What’s not nice is that these days the vast majority of my admirers are spammers. Scrolling through my blog’s collected spam I see the following:

– Excellent site, added to favorites!!
– This is a great site. Not everyone has to agree but I sure do. Can’t wait for some more posts.Keep it real.
– Best site I see. Thanks.
– Your site is very cognitive. I think you will have good future.:)
– So interesting site, thanks!
– HI! I love this place!
– I’m really impressed!
– Your home page its great
– Great website! Bookmarked! I am impressed at your work!
– I like your site

So if you’ve got a blog, my advice to you is: beware the flatterers.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Fishing for complements!? Go on then…

    Great site! Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Wanbro,

    Let’s see… Either my plan is working, or you, sir, are a SPAMMER!

  3. Zhuanjia Says: May 11, 2006 at 10:00 am

    I’d like to start a trend for unflattering spam. So your site is not very “cognitive” and I don’t think you’ve got much of a future.

  4. You seem to have forgotten all your readers that want nothing more than to offer you every prescriptiond drug ever made.

  5. Wanbro, that hardly adds up to 90 degrees.

  6. 好极了!

  7. I used to get these a lot too, back in the days when I used movable type. Obviously spam, because no one could like me that much . Always good for a laugh though

  8. Zhuanjia,

    I’ll try to be more cognitive in the future.

  9. Shaun,

    Yeah, and sometimes they combine the two, as in:

    “I love this site! If you want ______, go to…”

  10. pketh,

    Well, I’m using WordPress with Akismet, which is very good at catching spam and rarely marks non-spam as spam. (It thinks zhwj is a spammer, for some reason, though.) Still, I have 100 new spam comments about every 2 days.

  11. Great site!

  12. It’s very perceptive, then. I’ve just been establishing a benign reputation so I can come out with “buzz” and other viral marketing spam.

  13. Hey John, what’s the point of spam like this? I mean, I get the spam trying to sell me penil enhancement products… but I don’t get the “Great site” spam… is it link spam for higher Google search ratings?

    Since I added the little “type the number/letter” thingy to my comments, I’ve had absolutely no spam.. but I only get a moderate amount of visits…so….

  14. Ryan,

    Those “benign” comments usually include a link to a site trying to sell you something. The link isn’t in the comment itself. Click on their name and you’ll end up on their site.

  15. Super cool site! If you want to see more examples of inane flattery or viagra ads try…

  16. Wierd how they still do it – Must just be in the hope somebody clicks the link in the name and then buys a product. no follow tags are used on all new blogs now, so SE will ignore comment spam.

  17. It’s probably just a script that somebody runs. Something that crawls blog links and submits random comments automatically. I highly doubt there is somebody actively typing comments into each blog entry. Unless……are there any blog-comment-spamming-sweatshops running China?

  18. I was just going to blog about the exact same thing tonight, but you beat me to it. Now it would look lame if I posted it. Great post!

  19. Zhuanjia Says: May 12, 2006 at 9:09 am

    It would be interesting to know if Chinese language blogs get inundated with this kind of “love your site now try this site” comment spam. Presumably it is to build up the spammers Google ranking based on the number of people linking to their site. Does the same mechanism work for Baidu?

  20. Comment spamming a blog using a newer version of WordPress is useless in upping your Google rating. WordPress adds rel=”nofollow” to all links in comments. Well behaved spiders like Google’s should ignore those links. Not sure if Baidu’s spider follows the rules.

  21. Matthew Says: May 12, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    I really like your site, even though I hardly ever comment…

  22. Yeah.. I’m so used to those that I accidentally deleted a legitimate comment on my blog because it said “Exactly what I’m looking for, thanks.” and had a link back to his blog whose url looked suspicious, and my trigger finger hit delete. When I took a look at his site, it was just another developer blog like mine and didn’t even have ads or anything. Now I let my spam filter delete comments it thinks is spam since even I have false positives doing it manually.

  23. Well, I actually hate the site but love the bikini girls.

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