Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Playing whack-a-mole

No, this is not about raid healing. ;) I'm talking about gold seller comment spam on my blog. I'm playing a game of whack-a-mole with them, deleting all of their comments that try to direct people towards some gold selling website. This month has been particularly terrible, I'm getting several comment spams every day, and I wonder what I can do about it. I would hate to have to turn comment moderation on, or even turn commenting off, because I think the intelligent discussion of subjects by my readers is at least as valuable as my posts.

I don't understand why these gold sellers are so persistent. I have comment e-mail notification on, so I delete their comments several times a day, they are never up for more than a few hours. Even if they'd manage to get in just before the Google search engine scans my site, they wouldn't get any page rank from Google, because Blogger comments are automatically flagged as , denying them any search engine value.

The latest WoW gold seller is even leaving a sentence each on my posts that indicate he at least read what I was writing. Then he asks people to visit his blog, which contains only one entry which links to the gold selling site. I can't imagine that technique to bring him many visits, and I'm deleting his comments as well as the more direct ones.
Ah...wordpress has Akismet which identifies comments like these as spam until you look them over & decide otherwise.

Blogger not have this type of thing?
Ah. You got this joker too?

At first I thought it was a legit, if badly written, comment. When I checked Akismet I saw two other comments from a different but similar address. So I decided to despam the comment that got through.

It's amazing how much spam I get. Since I started the blog nearly 25000 comment spam messages have been caught. Can you imagine how much that would ruin a blog if it was left?
Reminds me of the amount of spam currently appearing in the LFG channel in WoW. I must report gold sellers 20 times every session.
Gold farmers are starting to get desperate for methods of advertising. A lot of the controls that WoW came up with are starting to be copied by other games. I've heard of recent anti-spame features in City of Heroes, Lord of the Rings, and Tabula Rasa.
I've noticed a bunch of those popping up all over the place.

I hope you've not mistaken me for one, though. I know I tried to comment on a story a couple days ago and it didn't get through.
They do it for the same reason the old LFG channel worked better thant he LFG tool.

Mass marketing works. You annoy the 90 percent that won't buy and get the other 10 percent to spend money. It's easier and cheaper than trying to "target" your marketing efforts.

As long as people will buy gold we'll have stuff like this going on.

My biggest fear is that peoples frustration over this issue will eventually kill the social aspect of the game. We lost the global LFG channel to stop this and now we have it on trade. Any attempt to actually stop these guys usually ends up hurting the player far more than the sellers.
I commend you for your abundance of tolerance... I only lasted a few weeks on Blogger before making the switch to Wordpress. The amount of control WP offers compared to Blogger is insane. Akismet is just icing on the cake.

It would suck for you to switch at such a late stage in the game considering all the SEO you've been generating over the years, which I assume is the only reason you still user Blogger these days...

If you don't care about that though, Wordpress offers a nifty migration feature that can port all your blogger content to your new WP blog.
Interestingly, I'm getting spammed by wow gold sellers on myspace account. The funniest myspace spam message had a 'nude blood elf female' as the sender's profile pic and the message said "cum by mi wow goldz" linking to what I assume was a gold selling site, although I'm not dumb enough to actually follow the link.
Do you have any tools to block comments coming from a particular IP or range of IPs?
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