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Buy Blog Comments – A Sick New Comment Spam Service Launches

I just had a rather disturbing email from a company advertising a new service called Buy Blog Comments (no follow tags used) promoting a new service offering to leave comment spam on blogs for those wanting to increase their SEO ranking.

The service offers to leave spam comments at a rate of 100 comments for $19.99, 500 comments for $99.99 and 1000 comments for $199.99.

They explain their service like this:

“Blog comments help your site rank better in the SERPs. We hired a few people who go through a list of blogs in a database we set up and pick out blogs that are in your niche. They then read through blog posts and leave a comment that has to do with the blog post they read, that way it wont get deleted. Your backlink will then be on a targeted blog, giving you more weight in the search engines. ”

The person behind the service is a guy called Jon Waraas (Jonwaraas.com) – a guy who owns a company called Developer Hut and a blog network called BuzzBums.

I think it’s one of the worst business ideas I’ve heard for a long time and something that bloggers should stand up against. I know that there are other services and tools that do this type of comment spam but this type of thing only weakens blogging.

I know that some comment spammers have done OK out of the practice but in most cases that I’ve heard about they don’t just leave a few hundred comment spams, they leave tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of them. I’ve also heard from a couple of people who know comment spammers that it’s becoming less and less effective as more bloggers use tools like Akismet and as so many bloggers use no follow tags in their comments sections.

Those buying such a service would also risk some potential downsides if they are caught out. I know I add anyone spamming my blogs to Akismets blacklist and have been known to expose companies who do it. Perhaps it’s time that bloggers stood up a little more aggressive to such blatant attacks?

I’d like to hear from those with a legal background comment on the legality of such a business. I know that of late spammers have been getting taken to court for sending unsolicited emails – I’d be interested to know what the legal standing would be of a company who so openly offers to leave spam comments on someone else’s web property.

Update: Comments have been closed on this post.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. haberler says:

    I guess I’m just curious about the whole thing. Maybe we can put “tags” on comments that have links imbedded in them so the reader can see which comments are advertising something pertinent to the topic and which comments are form uniformed american citizens who spout uneducated opinions. Just a thought.

  2. Chris Stein says:

    Designing a filter would be great, or a script that would change a no-follow to follow after a certain period of time say like 90 days. The spammers are short term thinkers so this might deter those. Long term thinkers and people trying to add valuable info would still follow through

  3. Spam’s direct effects include the consumption of computer and network resources, and the cost in human time and attention of dismissing unwanted messages. Spammers have also subscribed to discussion mailing lists for the purpose of gathering the addresses of posters.

  4. Jack says:

    I know it’s not a good thing but I have turned my comments off on my blog. I was getting about 200 comment spam messages every day. I’m sick of going threw every comment.

  5. Is it really so bad? As it stands, there are 154 comments to this post and even if 150 of them are doctored comments, the result is the same–who really cares? After having to look at all the ads and surveys and feeds, etc., a few errant postings won’t make a blog any worse off. Yes, it is an interesting topic, but I only read about 5 comments before losing interest.

  6. Designing a filter would be great, or a script that would change a no-follow to follow after a certain period of time say like 90 days. The spammers are short term thinkers so this might deter those. Long term thinkers and people trying to add valuable info would still follow through

  7. Ryan Peter says:

    @ Darren

    If the comments WERE totally valid (and I have no reason to believe so, but I’ll explain why below) is the service so bad? What I mean, is if the comments are viable and producing conversation on the original post, then I see nothing wrong with the comments. Do you agree? It’s the same then as you or any of the bloggers who comment on each others blogs, not just to add conversation, but to also network and gain a rep for yourself. I see even less reason to see it as shady if the comments are also pointing to websites that fit the niche well, such as what Jon Waraas promises. Whether he is ethical with his promises (and he has posted here to say that he doesn’t view himself as ethical) is the real question here.

    From a basic theoretical perspective, the service he is offering isn’t so unethical – relevant comments posted on relevant blogs at a fee. Theoretically, he is basically asking people to pay him so that he can do some of their networking for them. That’s not a bad business idea.

    Now, that is not necessarily what he is REALLY offering, but theoretically the idea seems to be fine by me.

    Personally, I don’t see how Jon Waraas can do things at that price. No respectable person will post comments at 19c a comment! Not even if he outsources to India or another country. I doubt he is doing the commenting himself, as well. But if he is outsourcing copywriters to do it for him, he is paying them so little that his ethics would still be under question.

    So, for me, the basic theoretical idea is good, but Jon’s presentation and his package are questionable. As a copywriter, I would happily do comment posting for people provided it fits the above ethics. I’d be interested in seeing if people think the above ethics are actually unethical, or still black hat SEO?

  8. jeremy says:

    when does a blog comment become spam. is it to do with the quantity of comments in a certain period of time or must the commenter read the blog article through its entire length. I normally think of spam as being bulk and undirected, ie, spam email, but if the comment is specific to a blog, and the writer of the comment has at least paid a cursory glance to the text of the article and made a reasonably intelligent post then surely it is a valid comment>?

  9. Wilson says:

    Thats terrible and you are right we bloggers should stand up against things like this

  10. Qrock says:

    That’s pretty horrible, you’d think comment moderation would kill some of this though, or maybe i’m mis-reading.

  11. Chris says:

    It’s a double edged sword really. If this kid Jon waraas and his “boys” actually leave a valuable comment then its valuable. It adds to the discussion. If he want to get paid for adding comments then that’s fine by me, as long as the comments are valuable.
    But most likely the comments are just spam. Like another reader pointed out, if he has to make 500 comments a day then he’s leaving junk comments-spam. This is a real pain in the you-know-what! Moderating that junk takes time.

    So in my opinion it all comes down to value, despite the intentions of spammer.

  12. ultimatum says:

    I’ve done spamming long time ago and from my experience I can tell you that this is a software that will bypass most confirmation codes. Typically, one person would write a general comment that does not touch a single topic specificly but in general summarize something that every blog contains and the spam using proxy servers. Its been done and still keeps going.

    20 bucks for 100 comments is a large number of comments and link backs, there is not a single person that would agree to do that unless its for their own website and then its for free. Just my thought.

  13. fx15 says:

    I know it’s not a good thing but I have turned my comments off on my blog. I was getting about 200 comment spam messages every day. I’m sick of going threw every comment ….

  14. That’s retarded. Someone should shut them down..

  15. iddaa says:

    I could not believe this when I read it.

    If comment spam was not already bad enough, we now have buyblogpomments.com. This is one more reason to use comment moderation and make sure that you have Akismet installed on your blog.

  16. If they read the articles and then write a related comment I can’t see what’s the problem?

  17. ilahiler says:

    That’s retarded. Someone should shut them down..s

  18. Honestly, I like how this is actually an article and has so much response. You all realize you are helping his business ?? Seriously, wake up!

  19. Paradise says:

    Personally, no respectable person will post comments at that price. Comments writen by other people can be related to posts but the quality of the comment will not be good…

  20. Kaszub says:

    Sooner or later, SERPs will show their weak power. I do not understand spamcomments on different subjest articles than the own site itself. Of course, sometimes people do that but to pay money for that…stupidity. I would like to see a person who bought such service.

  21. D PEX says:

    Such services will exist as long as the SEO exists. And a LOT of people will apply to these services for their lack of information. The more protective methods will be found the more methods to crack them will appear. It is an endlees war. But I think there is one “guy” who can change everything or at least something. It is Google with its algorythms. What do you think?

  22. kadinca says:

    Personally, no respectable person will post comments at that price. Comments writen by other people can be related to posts but the quality of the comment will not be good…

  23. Arizona Chef says:

    These types of services are destroying the great new free speech channels that are changing the way big business is forced to listen to us the little guys. I am trying to start a simple ArizonaChef.com site and was told I have to pick a service like Akismet or be caught in a 5000 to 1 ratio of spam to true comments. This is ridiculous, Akismet and services like them need to combine their efforts working together to stop this slim from growing. Its about taking responsibility, especially on the part of GOOGLE who at the time of this writing was accepting GOOGLE Adsense on behalf of for mentioned spammers.

  24. mark.ed says:

    While it’s legal, it will continue. It could be argued that a website owner is actually inviting content to their site when they allow comments.

  25. Ida says:

    I hate spam, so I would never buy that. I just wish real people, not computers, out there would read my news blog. It is called The Ida Express. My life is pretty shit right now, so if anyone out there would like to encourage me a little bit, please read my blog and feel free to disagree with anything I write. I am constantly updating it, I have been really sick with a brain tumor for a long time, so I have a lot of free time at home.

  26. Cathetel says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute, so good luck to him and his enterprise. Just remember that where ever and opportunity exists, somebody will find a way in.

  27. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever see the total death of spamming. They’ll always find a way, its just the way it is. I do though, have faith that with the speed technology moves, they’ll make it extremely difficult and consequential. Bad enough that most give up on spamming cause it just won’t be worth it anymore. At least sufficient enough so they don’t totally ruin things for us legit bloggers.

    Jimmy

  28. firmalar says:

    Umh, this service seems awesome I bought a test order, waiting for the result

  29. firmalar says:

    I could not believe this when I read it.

    If comment spam was not already bad enough, we now have buyblogpomments.com. This is one more reason to use comment moderation and make sure that you have Akismet installed on your blog.

  30. Looks like my Spam Karma 2 plugin is going to face more spams! For those of you trying to fight spam on your blog, I find Spam Karma 2 to be much more effective than Akismet.

  31. Yup.. I’ve already gotten some of these blog spam comments from this company advertising for other companies. And so it starts…

  32. Web design says:

    I am blown over by how upset this guy has got you.

    But you can add me to the list of supporters.

    Added is my Delicious Tag (because I can’t link from a site)

  33. oyunu says:

    Comments going on sale, Dude whats next, Only ppl using it will be totally out of sync of blogging.

    Oyunu

  34. iddaa says:

    That’s retarded. Someone should shut them down !

  35. TRmerkezi says:

    Comments going on sale, Dude whats next, Only ppl using it will be totally out of sync of blogging.

  36. futbol says:

    Yup.. I’ve already gotten some of these blog spam comments from this company advertising for other companies. And so it start

  37. FGC says:

    I love all the people complaining about the service yet we have people with comment post months later with anchor text as their name. Go figure..

  38. tatil says:

    Comments going on sale, Dude whats next, Only ppl using it will be totally out of sync of blogging.

  39. anket says:

    Looks like my Spam Karma 2 plugin is going to face more spams! For those of you trying to fight spam on your blog, I find Spam Karma 2 to be much more effective than Akismet.

  40. I wonder if there is a way to track these spam commentators on our blog. Since these comments are relevant to the topic discussed in the post, we’ll be having a hard time differentiating!

    Somebody needs to put an end to this service!

  41. This is crazy I would rather leave one or two good comments on blogs I read everyday,that has a good page rank so on.

    Crunch Now
    http://www.crunchnow.com

  42. Ok it is wrong to spam and it is not a good idea to leave comments just for the backlink.

    But if the guy tells the truth on his site (he probally isn’t) it would be a bargain.

    From the website:
    We have a database of hundreds of thousands of blogs, mostly of dofollow, that we will post your blog comments on when you purchase. When you order our blog comment experts will find blogs related to your niche, they will than read over the blog post and post a comment on the blog post, with your website and url in the commentators field. That way the comments will stick and you will have a quality backlink on a quality website about your niche. We do not use automated spamming in anyway. Once your comments are done you will get a txt file with all the blog posts with your comments. Its that simple. You cant get that from any other backlink building service!

    I guess if he is telling the truth this service would be much more expensive.

  43. Black Betty says:

    Honesty, I think if a person wants to increase traffic to his/her site, there’s still ways of doing it w/o having to resort to such black hat tactics and/or services. What happened to old-school ways of advertising:

    - posting an ad in the paper
    - making fliers and hiring kids to distribute them in high-traffic areas during rush hour like Ashbury Heights in San Francisco or The Miracle Mile in Chicago).
    - Faxing local businesses
    - Using “word-of-mouth”

    From a legal standpoint, I think it’s border-line criminal for a business to exist who’s sole purpose is to inflate a website’s “ranking.” It’s literally disgusting. Yet again, people like Scott Richter out of the Denver Metro area makes millions from it after, of course, he purged the MSN database and had to settle out for 7 million to Microsoft. Pfft!

  44. Whatever happen to the human element of things? I cannot see any real quality in these comments either but if it were to even the slightest degree it would be huge and have great benefits to its paying subscriber.

  45. anil can says:

    Looks like my Spam Karma 2 plugin is going to face more spams! For those of you trying to fight spam on your blog, I find Spam Karma 2 to be much more effective than Akismet.

  46. komik says:

    Whatever happen to the human element of things? I cannot see any real quality in these comments either but if it were to even the slightest degree it would be huge and have great benefits to its paying subscriber.

  47. shemer says:

    Wow, thanks for this interesting article and I totally agree, I currently use spamwow, which stops those pesty spammers

  48. john says:

    when does a blog comment become spam. is it to do with the quantity of comments in a certain period of time or must the commenter read the blog article through its entire length. I normally think of spam as being bulk and undirected, ie, spam email, but if the comment is specific to a blog, and the writer of the comment has at least paid a cursory glance to the text of the article and made a reasonably intelligent post then surely it is a valid comment>?
    ___________________________
    http://all-about-drugs.com/?article=3
    http://on-line-drugstore.com/

  49. I guess if the blog owner is vigilant to the comments left then it is less of a problem. Comments like “nice post” are a dead give-away.

    The other option is for WordPress and other blog platform developers to develop a plug-in that allows moderators to “no-follow” some comments and “follow” others.

    Maybe they have such a plug-in but I have not seen it yet.

  50. Looks like my Spam Karma 2 plugin is going to face more spams! For those of you trying to fight spam on your blog, I find Spam Karma 2 to be much more effective than Akismet.