Most spam is pretty easily spotted, but I’ve noticed two trends in spam comments I’ve been getting recently that I find really intriguing:
1. Instead of linking directly to the offending website, they link to a profile on a forum somewhere, and the only information on that forum is their spam website. That seems like a lot of effort to go to, especially since the click-throughs must drop precipitously due to this extra step, but… hey, I’m not the astro-turfing jerk here.
2. Most “intelligent” spam comments say something generically nice about the post. You know, “great information, thanks!” or “I found this through Google, it’s a very interesting post” or whatever. The grammar and punctuation are usually just a little bit off, and obviously the track-back information is totally sketchy. But I’ve gotten a whole bunch of comments recently that point out something wrong with the design of the site. Either my site won’t work in Internet Explorer, or there’s something wrong with my navigation menu, or whatever.
This is so clever. Most of my web projects probably would’ve taken 20% less time if I didn’t have to worry about IE integration. Probably 40% less time, if we drop IE 6 from the mix. So when I saw those comments saying something on my site was broken, I freaked out–a totally irrational response, since this site is hosted on an off-the-shelf theme. The downside is that once I realized what was going on, I deleted those comments with that much more gleefulness.