Three Uses For Spam Comments

Everybody gets email spam. Bloggers also get comment spam and trackback spam (lucky us). This blog receives a few dozen spam comments a day (most are caught by Akismet).

What most people don’t realize is comment spam can actually be useful. Here’s how (note: includes some unethical stuff) –

  • Fresh proxies. Typically spammers use a proxy when trying to get the viagra ads on your blog. One could scan the IP from which the comment was made, check the common proxy ports, and build up a nice database of anonymous proxies.
  • Tolerant hosting providers. Check the links in comments and find out where spammers host their sites. Now you’ve got a place to host your own questionable sites. Alternatively, you could write a script to automatically mail spam complaints to the hosting providers and get the spammers sites taken down.
  • Tolerant affiliate programs. See what products the spammers are promoting. Now you could promote them yourself, or get the affiliate ID from the link or website and complain to the affiliate company to get the spammer’s account terminated (though this would probably be inefficient).

What can I say? I’ve been reading too much blackhat techniques lately 😛

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