I am so freaking sick of spam.
For the past few days, I’ve been experiencing several “error establishing a database connection” when trying to view this blog or log in. I submitted support tickets to A Small Orange, my hosting company. Each time, the blog was back online in a matter of minutes, but we couldn’t find the cause of the issue.
I had the answer this morning:
It looks like your site is being hit hundreds of times by bot.
And this was causing the server to crash. Great.
I’m fighting spam every day. Most spam comments are blocked by Akismet (617,456 to date!) but a few creep through and I have to delete them manually. They are easy to spot: off topic, full of links and generic statements, etc. Typical crap goes like this:
My brother recommended I might like this web site.
He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
You cann’t imagine simply how much time Ihad spent for
this information! Thanks!
And this is after implementing a manual spam filter: commenters have to check the “Confirm you are NOT a spammer” box. I refuse to use captcha methods, as I find them very hard to decipher (friends on Blogger, please, stop using them!).
I receive blog-related spam in my mailbox too. “Guest posts” offers, for instance, such as this one fresh from this morning:
I’m Eric Dunnes looking forward to do some guest posting on your site, where I could share some more information for your site which I found very informative and the theme of your site is very impressive which can help you built more Traffic to your site. I have been writing articles and publishing them as a guest post.
My guest post articles are unique and usually of about 400-500 words with high quality English and contents.
Let me know if you’re interested and give your suggestions on it. And feel free to shoot me a mail.
I am not really interested in guest posts since I am not filling with blog with generic content. Oh, and his writing is awful.
But let’s assume I have nothing to say (you wish…) and yet want to provide readers with content. If I had replied, I would have received a badly written 350-word article on a generic topic. And of course, the article would have contained a few links to “relevant resources”—that’s the whole point of offering guest post services. That’s right, most of the time, “guest post” is a code word for “free spammy article”.
I know that because back in my naïve and innocent blogger days, I actually replied to one of these emails. Hey, I work in communications. I can be sympathetic to writers looking for an audience. I agreed to publish his article under his byline.
“No, I’d rather you to publish it under your name,” he replied.
This didn’t make sense. I mean, if you are contacting other bloggers to offer them your articles, you are doing so because you want exposure, right?
I understood it wasn’t the case when I received the article. It sucked. It was about French food, if I remember correctly. But mostly, it linked to several somewhat irrelevant websites, like a cookware specialist and a “buy booze online” dealer.
I hit “delete”.
I also get many emails from SEO “specialists”, like this one:
To the owner of correresmidestino.com
My name is Colin and I was very intrigued by correresmidestino.com Great content! I can tell that you are a major leader in your feild or will become it soon 🙂
I am reaching out to you today because I really respect what you are trying to create and would love to see if I can be of any service to you. The company I work for is one of most reputable social media boosting companies delivering results to thousands of clients for over 3 years now and I personally have helped my clients gain massive tractions that resulted in consumers, business popularity and sales.
Our company uses manual and ethical methods to acquire real fans and followers, each targeted towards your specific demographic (choose between US or Global). We have developed proprietary methods to boosting social media and we never send fake accounts to your profile like so many other companies do in our industry do. We stand behind our work and continually provide great results for our customers.
To prove that I am serious, I want to send you 100 Real Global Fans to your Facebook page to test-drive our powerful and result-driven services.
Simply reply back to this email with the Facebook page URL you would like us to send the fans to and within 48 hours you will have your fans and see the power of our system, free of charge!
If you have any questions at all reply to this email or give me a call on the number below and I will get back to you ASAP.
If this does not interest you, I am sorry to have bothered you through your contact page. This will be a one-time email only. Have a good day!
Okay, at least he is polite. Note the nice (and extremely vague and misspelled) praise, like “Great content! I can tell that you are a major leader in your feild or will become it soon :)”
I mean, this is from a SEO specialist. A SEO specialist telling me I will be a leader in my field. Like, soon.
What’s my field, already?
Oh never mind. Because I’m not going to buy fans, followers and readers.
Hell, I can’t even take him up to his nice offer: “reply back to this email with the Facebook page URL you would like us to send the fans”… Damn, I don’t have a Facebook page!
More seriously, I don’t see the point of all that crap.
I’m no angel. I do display ads and occasionally partner with services or products when it is worth it because yes, running a blog does cost money (hosting fees, mostly). I make sure it’s relevant and unobtrusive. At least, I try.
But I have to a draw a line somewhere. Fake subscribers, fake authors, fake readers… what’s the point of blogging, then?
Do you receive such “offers” as well? How do you fight spam?