Anachan's Corner

One woman's journey through marriage, motherhood, and the classroom…

A Little Spam

Written By: Anachan - Jun• 25•16

When I had my World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The Old Republic blogs, I was greatly interested in my statistics. I knew next to nobody read them, but it was still exciting to keep a list of the countries from which random hits on my blog had come. (“Yes! Someone in Moldova visited my blog! Where’s Moldova . . . ?”) By the time I “retired” from World of Warcraft raiding, I had collected a list of roughly 130 countries for that particular blog, and the fact I had received over 1500 hits on my page about configuring the WoW add-on Vuhdo for use by Restoration Druids was immensely exciting. (People even searched for it!)

So it’s not too surprising that I would be at least somewhat interested in the statistics on this blog, as well, keeping an eye on the few hits each page gets and thinking, “Well, even if they don’t stay and read, there are a few people, at least, who manage to find the place.” While most visitors appear to hit one or two pages, at most, every so often, I can figure out that someone must have hung out on the page and read a bunch of poetry or something like that. But there are some statistics I must look upon with a raised eyebrow.

You see, because I don’t do much blog promotion (“Hey, family, I posted on my blog!”) I don’t expect to see much traffic on it. So in the beginning, I placed no real controls over comments aside from automatic filtering.

Boy, was that a mistake!

At first, nothing happened. I actually had two legitimate comments from my sisters. And then, one day, I received my first comment spam.

People who try to spam blogs try to be clever, including things in their comments which may get past automatic filters, such as, “It really made me think,” or “I like how your site is organized.” But, in the end, their only goal is to get you to either click on the link they’ve posted after their token comment or the link attached to their user ID, and they really have nothing sincere to say about your blog.

I deleted the first one and thought that was that. Of course, it wasn’t.

There must be a “hit list” somewhere for potential websites on which to post spam, because the floodgates were opened. After deleting several, I became annoyed and decided to require all comments to be moderated before they could be posted.

It was a good decision. Over the next few months, I found myself deleting what I considered to be insane numbers of attempted spams from all over the world. (“/sigh . . . Really? I have to skim 200 probable spam comments? Good thing I’ve been practicing my speed reading!”) In the time it takes me to write a post, before I’ve even gone through and edited it the seven or so times which I know I will end up doing, I can expect to have up to half a dozen spam comments appear in my moderation queue. The subjects seem to trend. Sometimes, the majority of the spam will be about travel or web design or herbal remedies; sometimes, Chinese manufacturing or importation. Most recently, the spammers seem to be trying to sell clock parts or flashlights.

So what does this do to my statistics?

Well, it does raise the number of countries from which my blog receives hits. (Fine with me. A hit is a hit is a hit, as far as my country collection goes.) And, while it does blow the statistics of a few pages out of proportion, it is interesting to note that only a few pages’ statistics get blown out of proportion. The spammers seem to attach their spam primarily to three particular posts, which means I can reasonably guess that the statistics on the other pages are probably fairly accurate.

I’ll still keep the occasional eye on my statistics, even though I don’t monetize my blog or do something else which would actually warrant it . . . yet . . . I just hope the spammers continue to follow the three posts they’ve already chosen to target; it will make my life easier.

138 countries, so far.

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