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I've been seeing some odd comment spam on one of my sites. Odd because there are no links posted. Just, "Wow, that's a really celevr way of thinking about it!" or similar. Note the typo. The messages change but they almost always seem to have a typo. I'm wondering if that may be on purpose, perhaps as a way of tracking successful comments or some such (like subtly and uniquely altering several copies of a classified document to pinpoint who a leaker was).

I've noticed that often one of the fields will be left empty, inluding the comment body. This suggests to me that this is a bot that's testing for honeypot fields.

Anyway, the baffling thing about these is that there are never any links posted. I can't figure out what the point of this would be. Any ideas?

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What makes you think it's not really just a bad speller who thinks it is a clever idea? Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence :-) –  paxdiablo Jun 9 '11 at 2:33
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 9 '11 at 2:44

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5 Answers

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Are you sure they're not leaving links in the author field? 99% of blog spam comments that I get have the spam link for the author and a seemingly innocuous message for the body.

It could also be that if you have a non-standard comment system bots are finding it but not filling out the fields correctly because, for example, one of the IDs is different.

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Thanks all. Sorry i haven't been back but i had weird issues logging back in here and finally gave up. –  user7519 Mar 23 '12 at 22:15
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You may be seeing the initial stage of a spammer. Spammers sometimes try to build reputation by making seemingly harmless posts increasing their post count, reputation, geek score, how ever trust is gained in the particular format. Then after building a reputation they make subtle posts about a particular product, brand, or other spam link.

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They are testing to see if your site's set up to require moderator approval of comments.

If a comment with their uniquely spelt word appears on your page immediately after submission, they know there's no human moderator approving comments from new contributors, which makes the site more vulnerable to spam.

Also, the default WordPress behaviour for comments from new contributors is that they require moderator approval. If you approve their (seemingly harmless) first comment, subsequent link-ridden comments they submit will be automatically approved.

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Spammer's bots testing to see if you've got any kind of comment moderation system in place. If yes, you probably won't hear anything more from them... if no, wait for the spam link invasion, or better still, activate said moderation.

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This seems to be when there is a link to a website in the user's profile. Posting a message usually includes a link to their profile. Their profile has a link to their website. People won't follow the chain but search engine crawlers will, and the thinking is that they'll see lots of links to that website from all kinds of other sites so it much be really popular and put it at the top of their results.

No idea if that actually works, but I believe that is the thinking behind it

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