A few days ago I noted that this blog is under a severe spam attack series. Still true, and the spam has increased.
Looking at the spam, the top spammers look really odd. For years internet pornography and sex talk sites dominated spam, but after the arrest of some top spammers in those fields, it dropped off dramatically.
Today? Here is a list of six top spammers I’ve got, hitting me with more than 100 spam posts per hour, combined:
- Quirk Volkswagen, in Manchester, New Hampsire; one of the ip addresses used is 184.108.40.206
- San Diego Aston-Martin (maybe I should be flattered?), including this ip address: 220.127.116.11
- OnlyExotic.com, including 18.104.22.168 — a seller of exotic automobiles
- Paul Cerame Kia in Florissant, Missouri, from 22.214.171.124
- getforeverrecovery.com, apparently a privately-run detoxification and rehabilitation facility, 126.96.36.199
- Keller Grover, LLP, a California law firm, including 188.8.131.52
Were I less familiar with spam, I’d think each of these organizations is near bankruptcy, and each is desperately trying to get enough traffic to keep the doors open. But after years, I’ve discovered that the most desperate generally cannot afford to waste time spamming.
I’d almost wager that these organizations and companies hired some public relations group to “place” their ads across the internet and get hits on the ads. And I’d almost wager they are unaware of what their hirelings are doing. A lot of the spam links directly to promotional videos on YouTube. Yes, it’s against YouTube policies to use spam video links.
What do you think customers of these companies would think, if they knew? Do you think they get significant business from a thousand comments on Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub?
Yes, I’ve protested to these people at their comments sections and by e-mail.
Update: Heh. Not 12 hours later, someone sent me this link, where Quirk VW said:
Our dealership maintains a strict “no-spam” policy. Subscribers to our e-mail services (or any other feature/service found on our Web site) will not receive unsolicited e-mail messages from us.
That’s my problem: I didn’t send them any e-mail!
Meanwhile, at Whipped Cream Difficulties, the same complaint, about some of the same spammers.
I should explain further.
I had discussions with the online advertising guy for Keller Grover LLP. He assumed I was getting ads from Google at first, but when I explained to him they showed up in comments, he spent some time looking at what I sent him, and he confirmed it’s spam, but of a particularly pernicious nature.
Google tracks the placement of links on blogs, like this one. If it looks like a commercial entity is spamming, Google suspends the tracking, which means that the people getting paid to do the advertising look stupid to good businesses who hire them, and it means the ad campaigns can’t be tracked. When a company gets a successful campaign, sometimes the competitors hire people to put what look like legitimate ads in inappropriate places, so Google will suspend the legitimate advertisers.
Keller Grover had to prove to Google that they were NOT spamming — tough to do when their name is all over the stuff. The guy was successful to a high degree, because Keller Grover’s ads are gone.
Others are not.
It’s pernicious from this end because, while I can block certain words, most of the words they use are legitimate to a number of discussions, so blocking sends good posts to the spam pile. It’s difficult to block URLs or ip addresses, because they change so often.
I’m still getting spam from some rehab facility and a few other groups — more than 1,000 a day. In that pile of spam I usually find one or two legitimate comments, usually from people I want to hear from.
Google doesn’t place ads in comments.
It’s Negative SEO, an attack on the advertisers by competitors, and it’s a pain in the butt.
Hi there! I came across your blog and wanted to provide you with some friendly insight. Its not that these companies are targeting your blog directly. They are using what is call Google Display Network and Retargeting. The placements is being made by Google, not the companies themselves. Have you ever noticed that when you go to a website, or buy something online, all of the sudden you start seeing their ads following you? That is retargeting. Its a strategy, not an attack.
[…] aforementioned spam issue. Turns out we’re not the only ones getting this same spam influx: this guy is getting it, too, and he links to another site. As the spam tidal wave rolled in, I realized that this was a massive […]
At least I didn’t make your list ;)
A quick google search indicates that Quirk Volkswagen is spamming everybody.
ok now that was just kind of inviting trouble wasn’t it? (throws salt over shoulder and knocks on wood)
I never get spam but nobody visits my blog so that is hardly surprising hahahaha
Are you getting this same spam?
I’d have to struggle to pay for the oil changes, but if they send the Aston-Martin, I’ll buy the internet site name and let them spam to their hearts’ content. Wouldn’t we all?
A new way to look at product placement. Too funny. =) I agree, they -should- send you an Aston-Martin.