When you install a fresh copy of wordpress, the most popular blogging platform in the world, you´ll automatically get two plugins:
- Hello Dolly,a small demo plugin, that can be deleted safely.
- and Akismet, a cloud-based protection against spam comments.
Obviously, lots of people want to put links to various weird things on your blog, so they use bots that spray more or less strange comments all over the blogosphere. Akismet does a good job on stopping most of these comments from being published on your blog.
But not all spam is that obvious to an unaided eye. Here and there, the comment will look just nice. It may just carry a couple of generic words about what a great site you´ve got. And no links. So what´s the issue? Hmm. Most of these generically nice comments use another thing: check the URL of the blog author. It´s very possible that it points to some very strange page on the internet that you´d prefer not to publish (nor follow).
However, recently I´ve seen that some of these generically nice comments pass the check of Akismet, and wordpress ask me to verify them. So what does a spammer gain from saying a couple of nice words about a blog, without even including any links???
Yes, this got me thinking for a while.
But I think I know what this is about:
Most blogs have a setting, where comments will go public immediately, if the comment author already has written an approved comment before. So, if you approve this comment "Hello, what a nice site you´ve got here!" Then the same spambot will be back a couple of days later, and this time, it will publish tons of garbage on your blog, and it will immediately become visible to all your visitors.
OK! This is just a theory. But I don´t want to prove it by trying. There´s enough spam around anyway.