Lets Celebrate, We Received Our 1 Millionth Spam Comment

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 29, 2011
Updated • Mar 15, 2015

Blog spam, in the form of manual or automatic comments, trackbacks or pingbacks, has always been a problem for bloggers. It is just to lucrative to run a software that spams links all around in the hope that some will stick and benefit the site that they link to.

List of blogs that do not verify comments are traded on Internet marketing forums, services and websites. Webmasters fight a constant battle against spam. When I started Ghacks six years ago it was a small site, and I was able to verify all comments, trackbacks and pingbacks manually.

But a lot has changed since then. More and more tools that automate the commenting have been created, to the point that everyone can use them without problems. All that is needed is a big list of blogs that accept comments and that's it.

Advanced spammers use proxy lists, virtual private networks, unique comments with variables (for instance the author's name included or variations of phrases and words) and more to improve the chance that comments are accepted on spammed sites.

Ghacks today receives more than 900 spam comments per day. That still may not sound as much considering that other blogs may very well receive tens of thousands of comments per day. I moved from manually checking every comment to only checking comments sporadically, mainly because of time constraints.

Ghacks has received its 1 Millionth spam comment in this month, another blog milestone. Akismet did not record spam from the very beginning which means that the actual figure may indeed be a lot higher than the one reported. The one million mark has been reached in the last three years.

I have tried a lot to reduce the amount of spam but have not found one reliable option to block spam before it reaches the blog. Tried a lot but nothing worked, or interfered with regular commenters who started reporting troubles.

Next to the one million spam comments are more than 79k legit comments, a ratio of 1:12.6 which I think is incredible.

Are you a webmaster? How do you cope with spam?


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  1. AlB said on January 31, 2011 at 5:28 am

    I use Anti Spam Bee on my much smaller blog, and it seems to work well.

  2. Trotter said on January 30, 2011 at 3:45 am

    We are in the process of testing a possible fix for the site I help run. We are adding some script tot he template that will check the incoming IP address (as scrounged out by a custom script that digs down to the actual IP) against a flat file we will upload that will contain the IP ranges of quite a few countries. If all goes well the script will remove the “Register” button and replace it with a message to contact the admin (me) if they want to sign up to the site (required to post threads or responses). Keep your fingers crossed. ;)

  3. Shawn W. said on January 30, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I frequent this site a lot. This may be the first time I’ve posted. I agree on the spam…I can’t tolerate it in the can either. TG for the automated stuff :) (to discourage/deal with the spam).

    I love the articles btw. & congrats….I guess. Least you caught the pesky text.

    …btw, what you going to do with my email addy?

  4. SomeGuy said on January 30, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Using mod_rewrite .htaccess to block/redirect ip ranges of proxy servers will reduce comment spam tenfold.

  5. Ed said on January 30, 2011 at 12:00 am

    hey i left a post in jest about purchasing inexpensive ɐɹbɐıʌ and it didn’t show up


    i hope i didn’t blacklist myself


  6. Rarst said on January 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Incoming spam at my blog is 200+/day. Not that little comparing to yours 900, I wish my traffic that proportional. ;)

    I use my own custom-build plugin to filter. It uses multiple factors, but two major ideas behind it – looking for groups of spam (for example promoting specific site or coming from specific server) and filtering retroactively (comments are not only tested on submit, but checked periodically against newer data).

    I should really get few more functions done and release that plugin publicly at last…

  7. Reggie said on January 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Please let me reiterate my congratulations. Stupendous achievement. However, it is a very sad reflection on the (cyber) world. Let’s hope that one day we can find a way to stop spam period so we don’t have to celebrate the 2 million mark for ghacks.

  8. MartinJB said on January 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Congrats on that bizarre milestone – keep up the great work – I get your RSS feed and find many useful tips and reviews in it.

  9. Tom said on January 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm


    Congrats on that milestone and just wanted to add another legit comment. I found this website a few years ago and come here daily. I love the variety of topics and the many good tips and programs I picked up.
    I have a commercial website myself but without blog, so I am waiting for others to provide more tips on how to cope with Spam. Just wanted to let you know how much I value your site.


    1. Martin said on January 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Tom thanks for the comment, appreciate it.

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