It is commonplace that blogs are used for comment spam - some would consider it a valid and respectable technique for search engine optimisation (or SEO, in geek-speak). This is basically where you try to drum up links to your website by posting a whole bunch of comments on various other (more respectable) websites or blogs in the hope that search engines like Google will start ranking your website more highly.
I normally delete such comment spam as soon as I see them as they are usually for things like cheap, illegal, and probably counterfeit Viagra, Cialis, Horny Goat Weed, Rose Hip Oil, or Sniffing Glue etcetera. In this case, though, not only did I find the comment transiently amusing, but after having some time to think about it I found the fact that it was so effective for this website quite offensive.
Let me explain to you how this works:
- Let us say you are the author of a particularly informative and well-respected blog, who shall remain nameless.
- One day you receive a comment on one of your blog posts along the lines of "Hey great post! Here is a gratuitously ego-stroking comment just to see whether or not you are paying attention to the comments posted on your blog."
- You might see a few of these trickle in, and before you know it, you are flooded by more comments: "Hey great post! Here is another gratuitously ego-stroking comment so that your first instinct is to approve this comment and secondly you don't notice the segue to another website that is connected to your blog by the most tenuous of links, such as this fantastic web page at http://fredbrunel.com/journal/2007/10/comment-spam-explained/
- If you pay attention, you might notice that the comment on your blogpost might look remarkably similar to comments on another web page, or another blog, or that other blog you never read. You might then stumble across more websites with the same comment, even ones that you might normally respect.
Furthermore, you are highly likely to discover that the target website is full of fraudulent bullshit designed to fleece unsuspecting, desperate and vulnerable people of their hard-earned cash. For example, Helpcure.com says:
THIS IS HOLISTIC TREATMENT ! WHAT IS THIS?
THIS IS A COMBINATION OF A BIO MAGNETIC CARD WITH BIO MAGNETIC TAPE ON THE CARD- (OR BIO MAGNETIC TABLETS ALSO CAN BE USED) THIS WILL CREATE NEGATIVE CHARGE IN CD4 CELLS- TO PUSH VIRUS OUT THROUGH BIO MAGNETIC FORCE AND HERBALS TO ENHANCE IMMUNITY -TO PROTECT YOU FURTHER. NO SIDE EFFECTS AND NO PROBLEMS.
Are you nuts???? You are seriously asserting that a credit card will push viral particles out of my body through magnetic force? You bet this is holistic therapy, because I can tell you which hole you can swipe your card through.
If you have HIV (or indeed any illness) please do not fall for this load of codswallop. Just listen to your immunologist and infectious diseases physician. Read the FDA tips on how to spot a health fraud. Discuss any change in treatment with your specialist before lauching into anything. Use your brain and a modicum of commonsense.
If only I could get 1000 other blogs to link here with comment about the truth of HELPCURE.COM, then maybe the Number 1 Search Entry for "HELPCURE + HIV" will say "Helpcure.Com is a fraud". So once more for the benefit of the Google spiderbots: HELPCURE.COM IS A FRAUDULENT SCAM.