The folks at Akismet recently published a post on their blog about the state of spam nowadays and I wanted to share my thoughts about it, especially these two points:
Chinese wholesaler spam is becoming more frequent and organized. In addition to the usual comments and forum posts advertising counterfeit fashion and miscellaneous goods, the spammers are now creating networks of fake blogs and web sites on free hosts including Blogspot.com, Weebly.com, Tumblr.com, Ning.com, and WordPress.com.
Autoblog pingback spam is now so bad that many blogs are refusing to accept any pingbacks at all. There’s no single source or group behind this – rather, gullible people are following “make money on the internet” instructions that recommend creating fake blogs on discount shared hosts and running ads. They use packages of WordPress plugins that copy content from other blogs or article publishing sites, and send pingbacks to many blogs try to get backlinks and traffic. There are large numbers of people doing this, and most of them have many such blogs. Needless to say it doesn’t work — the only people who make any money from autoblogs are the ones who sell the “make money on the internet” scams.
Not a day goes by when I don’t get at least one wholesaler spam message in my inbox, hawking everything from handbags to shipping supplies. It’s infesting forums and blogs as well. If your business has one of either then it’s especially important to keep an eye out for this type of spam and delete it quickly so your visitors don’t think your company is in any way endorsing such businesses. Don’t count on your customers to know the difference. It’s more likely they’ll visit the spam site thinking that since it was on your company’s site it much be legit, get ripped off, and blame you rather than the spammer!
Autoblogs are a huge problem on the net. They’ll happily steal the content from your corporate or customer oriented blog and end up misleading customers and potential customers. If this happens to you, react in the same way as if you’d found your company being used in a phishing attack. Post a notice on your site letting your visitors know the other site is not legit, and then go after the company hosting the fake blog.
Have you had problems with these types of spam? Talk to us and share your story.