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An interesting campaign by comments

Like most bloggers, I get spam comments – boring and annoying but that’s the way it is. Luckily, I have plugins so don’t often see all the spam that comes in.

Occasionally I do glance through what has been filtered as spam to check things are on track. Recently, a found a number of comments in the spam filter that were a bit different.

Using comments to get a message spreadannouncing through blog comments

Leaving comments in a blog can of course be one way to share your message, and attract traffic back to your site to really explain what is important to you.

But this is the first time I have seen someone set up bulk comments (and I assume it was automated so probably has been sent to many blogs) in order to make their point of view heard.

This isn’t a commercial message, either (although their site could be monetised of course) so it really stood out to me.

Imagine if do-it-in-a-dress, World Vision, Kiva, Greenpeace or any other charity or community group used this tactic – see why I thought this was unusual?

Sharing negative messages

The comments I noticed were criticisms of a writing site

The commenter’s name was even entered as derogative terms against that service so they were definitely keen to ruin the company’s name.

I didn’t click on the link provided as I have no desire to read a diatribe against another service, plus I don’t trust links in spammy comments!

Personally, I have not looked at the named site but I have heard of it. I know some people have found it useful for finding writing projects while the details I have heard concern me and others (the pay rate is apparently ridiculously low so clients can’t assume they  are getting quality results and it is not respecting the writers’ time and effort).

I don’t like what I know about that service and similar ones but I have never heard they are dishonest about the pay rates so each to their own.

I agree that the uninformed may be influenced by such sites to work for well under reasonable pay rates because they don’t know any different. It is fair to let new writer’s understand the industry.

It isn’t right to spam the internet with claims of scam and fraud about another company.

So what’s the middle ground?

How can you share a warning with people without crossing legal boundaries and without damaging your own reputation?

4 Responses to An interesting campaign by comments

  • darkmeiji says:

    In the first place, if it is a spam comment posted in an unrelated site, then the people reading on that site will probably be not interested on the content of the spam comment. And if it is a spam comment, then it has the appearance that is unreliable. It is also not ethical and shows a disrespect to the owner of the site to flood a site with comments that have no relevance to the topic being discussed. If one really want to discredit another person, product or site, he should post it to the relevant site or, if possible, to the actual site involved, or make his own blog. At least, the readers would at least be the correct audience.

    • tashword says:

      True, if you wanted to run a campaign that way, doing it on the actual site and related sites would have a much greater impact than on random sites you could grab hold of. But spammers don’t seem to care about relevance – they play it as a numbers game (if I get in front of enough people, some of it will stick).

  • GaryG says:

    It sounds like a typical negative seo campaign to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person behind this is actually a competitor rather than a disgruntled customer. Angry customers will badmouth you on review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, or if they’re really angry, they’ll report you to the Better Business Bureau or its counterparts. Competitors will try to harm your SERPs — which is exactly what’s happening here.

    • tashword says:

      That’s true, it probably is a competitor. Very petty behaviour to my mind – I’d prefer to spend time offering value than making someone else look bad so I might look better.

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