When comment spam is good for your traffic
For months I've been surprised, and somehow a bit concerned, to seethis obscure entry on printers cartridges come very high in my stats. Actually it's been in the top ten visited pages for nine months, and I hadn't a clue why, until the following comment came in today:
i want to be a gay porn star..
what can i do?!?!please help me!
At first, it seemed strange (although quite funny) that my blog would be the best place to ask for such advice, moreover on this specific entry. Then I took a look at the entry again, only to realize that its first comment was a huge comment spam with tons of interesting keywords such as, you bet: gay, porn and star among others that were not exclusively limited to human sexuality (don't look for it, I've deleted it). Now I think I know why the traffic, but also why lots of visitors keep entering quite stunning search phrases in my search box.
Aside from the fun, there is one lesson here. The ref="nofollow" trick will have a detrimental effect on the PageRank of spammers, however if they succeed in placing their keywords on a site that has a reasonably interesting PR (mine floats between 6 and 7), then this site will come up in Google and alike. And that, apparently, does attract eyeballs. Hence the importance of cleaning up after spammers on your own sites, in addition to keeping their rankings low in search engines.