Spam is getting cleverer. I deleted some spam from the forums yesterday, and about 100 spam comments this morning form the blog. The thing is, they are becoming more and more cunning. They are contextual spams, that do a passable job of imitating genuine comments from people, albeit confused people with English as their second language.
For example, on my blog post about PC power consumption I got this:
“I don’t have concrete figures, but they should be using very little power with no load attached”
I suspect that the blogspam AI has scanned that post, then gone through a huge database of sentences that contain similar words to words which show up in my post (such as power, load, figures) and pasted in a sample sentence from what is obviously a different, but relevant conversation. All very clever. But two things strike me as not very clever:
1) If you are trying this super advanced AI-spam, try not posting 100 comments in 1 day from the same username on different topics. Thats kind of a big huge giveaway isn’t it?
2) This is a shit way to make money. Do you really think that if you spam a million blogs with pointless comments, enough idiots will follow links in the posters signature to convert to paying customers that make it worthwhile? Do you actually think google are stupid enough to push up your search engine rankings because you get 1,000,000 backlinks from totally irrelevant blogs?
The spammers seem to think that if they send enough spam, and get enough traffic, they will get rich. I think that’s an incredibly naive and scatter-gun approach. I earn enough money, but I don’t get a lot of traffic. The reason my traffic converts into enough sales to pay my bills is because I get relevant traffic. Traffic from people who play PC games, preferably strategy games, ideally (at the moment) sci-fi fans or political gaming fans.
If I look at traffic from ‘stumbleupon’ the site that semi-randomly sends visitors to something roughly in a category they enjoy, it converts at a rate of about $0.01 per visitor. If I get traffic from a PC strategy gaming website the return is up to sixty times higher. Quality not quantity. The 1,000 true fans, and all that. My tip for the people behind new AI spam is to go write some decent AI software for something useful such as natural language processing for customer service support enquiries. You will earn more money and feel better :D