I’ve noticed an interesting trend in inscrutable comments lately. These messages tend to be complimentary in a diffuse way, never addressing my site’s specific topicality but instead offering an overall positive assesment like, “I enjoy your articles. The good content is the key. I hope you have countless visitors.” Yes, I hope so too, but what’s your angle?
These comments, and I’ve received a number of them, always come from a site with a name like fabmart, fabgalaxy, or fabcenter, usually with a .info extension. The sites themselves are as inexplicable as the comments, blogs populated by strange snippets of European literature. Neither the comments nor the issuing sites have noticeable ads of any kind. So, though there’s undoubtedly a scam here, it must be a subtle one.
My suspicion is that these comments are Trojan horses of sorts designed to get spammers behind the security of comment moderation. The way comment moderation is set up on 10,000 Birds is that I have to approve every new commenter, but once someone is approved, he or she may comment with impunity (so fire away, friends!) These fabcomments are so innocuous that it seems a shame to mark them as spam. But spam them you should, because when the other shoe drops, these innocent compliments probably won’t seem so harmless.
If you’ve encountered these comments on your own site, let me know. I haven’t uncovered much information about them beyond personal experience.
Do these mysterious comments contain hyperlinks? If so, they may be an attempt at using your blog in a click fraud scheme. They just want people to click the links. That’s why the sites at the other end are nonsensical.
They might also be some kind of trackback spam. Spammers and con artists have gotten quite effective at manipulating the Web for illicit gain.
Very good article… informational for sure… have bookmarked… 🙂
With some comments, I find it difficult to tell whether it is spam or an real comment. The tricky ones will mention something about birds or birdwatching, but the comment will be so vague that I suspect spamming. I never click on the sites they give; I don’t want to end up visiting something I don’t want to see.
A few months ago I set up a web-ring for UK-based natural history history bloggers. Many of the people who try to join the ring who are clearly involved in a similar scam to your ‘fab spammers’.
They leave bland comments like “Hey, great site!”. Their email addresses and blog URLs appear to be randomly generated (e.g. email@example.com). I’ve become fairly good at spotting them, so now they just get deleted. Hopefully, they’ll get bored before I do!
I see these all the time. I assumed that they were designed to get more incoming links to the site to increase their google ranking. Most of the sites are designed to look like real pages, so that someone coming from Google wouldn’t be able to tell that they were fake until they already clicked, and the site would be linked to some sort of pay-per-view ad scheme. Most seem automated, but there are also a lot of (mostly new) bloggers who post these sort of non-comment comments just to get links back to their blogs.