My “Beware Of Dog” Don’t Spam Me Sign

I’m always surprised at the stupidity of people who link spam on my blog. Let’s see. I write about search. I’m somewhat savvy to what link spam is. I regularly talk with the head of Google’s web spam fighting team, Matt Cutts. You really want to be spamming my blog? Seriously? You’re an idiot, if you do.

So last night, I added what I consider to be a “Beware Of Dog” sign. Next to the comment form, there’s now this message:

Thinking of dropping your link spam? Consider this. Seriously, STOP & READ. The guy who runs Google’s spam fighting team? I know him pretty well. In fact, it’s sort of a joke between us to see what’s the latest absurd link drop I can share. So if you want your site to be a poster child on his idiots wall — and probably to encounter a Google penalty — go ahead, drop your link. It’s nofollow anyway, plus I do have built-in spam fighting and what gets past that usually gets nabbed in a few minutes to a few hours. So you got to ask yourself. Are you feeling lucky?

Now to be clear, I have no special powers to get Matt to do anything against someone that spams here. I do indeed occasionally share with him some of the really stupid spam things I see. My Conversation With An Idiot Link Broker is one example of this. My view is straight-forward. If you’re so incredibly dumb to be spamming someone who writes about search, on his personal blog much less on his work blog, I feel I’m contributing to evolution by sending your cruddy spam attempt up the Google food chain.

Whether Matt or Google does anything about it is another thing entirely. But it makes me feel better, and I know we both get the occasional laugh about it.

Now to shed some more light on the spam situation, I get probably around 50 or more spam drops per day. Virtually all of this is nabbed by Spam Karma. The automated spam, I don’t bother reporting. I don’t even see it, unless I go looking in my logs. Instead, it’s the creative spam that attracts my attention.

In a post yesterday, I got this comment:

Thanks for the post; it has proven to be exactly what I needed.

Yes, my post about the Balboa Boardwalk I’m sure was exactly what this person named “Custom Essays” really wanted.

Other examples are people who take a comment from a post, do a slight rewrite to make it seem in context with the post, but still insert a spam drop along the way.

These isolated cases, I’m fairly sure there’s some human being who is actually using the form, spending a little time to assess the situation. So I’m hoping the Beware Of Dog sign might deter them.

Wish you had a line direct into Google to create your own Beware Of Dog sign? You do. Here. I’ll write one up for you:

WARNING! If you spam this blog, we’ll report your link drop to Google, which may result in your site being penalized or dropped from search listings. Are you really sure you want to take that risk?

That link leads to the official Google spam reporting tool. Anyone can use it. Try it yourself, if you want to feel better, perhaps empowered in some way.

Now, I’m not naive. This isn’t going to stop spam on the blog, any more than a Beware Of Dog sign might prevent a home from being robbed. But it’s another deterrent, easy to implement, so why not?

What about people who might spam your blog to try and get other sites in trouble? You know, they drop someone else’s link?

You know, that’s not that common. Any spam drop I’ve looked at, it’s pretty clear the site getting the link ain’t that hot. There’s always exceptions, and I think people can have a pretty good sense of what should be reported or not. And if they get that wrong, it’s not like Google’s going to instantly wipe someone out without looking for clues themselves.