"Nice Blog" Spam Is Recently Becoming More Obscure, In Content And Style

In 2009, we discovered an odd style of spam comments which, from all appearances, served no purpose.
I recently came across your blog, and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
When discovered, Google Search suggested that over 22,000,000 copies of these comments had been successfully installed, on various blogs and websites.

A couple years ago, I suggested a possible reason for the spam - and later showed how Google+, and various Blogger security measures, were making the spam less useful.

Last month, we began to see suggestions, from some blog owners, that this "nice blog" spam was morphing, into more obscurely phrased and structured styles.
A lot of spam comments are being published on my blog. This problem started a few weeks ago - though previously, Google almost always put them in my Spam Folder.
Upon examination of examples of the spam comments, we see the same spam style as observed in 2009 - yet more imaginatively phrased.

Today, I spent a couple hours, and scanned through the comments queues on this blog. Both the Awaiting, and Spam, folders yielded some interesting specimens.
This topic is very educational and it took my interest. Hope it will always be alive! And provide productive information to many others.
and
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumble upon every day. It's always interesting to read articles from other writers and practice a little something from other sites.
These were the comment bodies of just two examples which I located - and these resemble others identified by various other blog owners.

The bodies of the comments examined, this week, will sometimes contain embedded links, while other examples will have external links - and some comments seem to contain no links at all, to any payload. The only thing consistent about the comments is their vague and apparently pointless nature.

The comments are both large in volume, and varied in content and structure. Both patience and persistence, from every blog owner moderating the spam, is required. The spam filters must be trained, to recognise the new content and structures - and this will require more effort, from everybody seeing the spam.

Since various reports about the spam have been seen recently, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we added a rollup discussion there, where we are requesting minimally organised details about the comments being observed.
  • Are you moderating before, or after publishing?
  • What's the average amount of time the spam comment sits in "Awaiting" or "Published", before being moved to "Spam"?
  • How often do you check "Awaiting" and "Published", looking for more spam comments?
  • How often do you check "Spam", looking for non spam comments?
  • How many spam comments do you typically dispatch, in each batch?
  • Looking objectively in your personal "Awaiting", "Published", and "Spam" folders, what number of this style of comments do you typically see in each, without your intervention?
  • When did you first observe this threat, in your comment folders?
As always, please help here by answering as carefully and completely as possible - and please only post relevant replies. Do not turn the rollup discussion into a chat room.

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Comments

Kate Sherwood said…
I moderate all my comments. I don't require a captcha phrase, but I do moderate before publishing.

They seem to be caught well and go to spam folder and not awaiting folder.

They go in cycles. Sometimes I go a while without any and then I will get a couple (2-5) of the same type every day.

I don't spend a lot of time on them since most of them are caught and go straight to my spam box and because I moderate before publishing.

Most of them seem to have awkward phrasing or word usage--as if written by a foreigner.
Traxy said…
I tend to find that if there isn't a URL linked in the comment, or at least mentioned, the name of the person posting the content will always be a link. On legitimate comments, it will be a link to the Blogger profile - if it's spam, it will be a link to some kind of spammy site. For the blog I normally post on, the bogus comments are easy to spot, simply because people who have ACTUALLY read the posts wouldn't be posting the comments they do. ;)

I get emails for every comment posted, and posts older than 7 days are moderated. It's usually the older posts that get spammed, but not heavily. It's more of a problem if CAPTCHA isn't turned on, though.
Thanks for letting me know that I am doing the right thing. I too have received these comments and noticed they talk in circles. As someone else indicated they arrive from time to time but the give- away is that they make no sense.

I make the effort to moderate all my comments which cuts down on them getting through. However, I do appreciate your bringing this to everyone's attention as it seems to have cut down on the spam getting through.
Lauren anderson said…
I make the effort to moderate all my comments which cuts down on them getting through. However, I do appreciate your bringing this to everyone's attention as it seems to have cut down on the spam getting through.