Monday, January 30, 2012

You guys want to see something weird?

Check out this old post of mine. Look at the comments.

You'll note there's lots of spammers coming through. I mean, for me, anyway. I don't get a lot of traffic round these parts, so six spam comments on the same post over the course of a few months is worthy of mention.

Anyway, it makes me wonder what they're up to. At first, I couldn't figure out why they were all flocking to that post in particular, but I'm relatively certain it's because it has "good investment" in the title. It's not a coincidence that most of the links are to sites where you can buy gold, real estate, and the like.* I guess they're trying to leech away some of the torrents of web traffic that arrive at my site by googling "good investments," clicking through to the 53,252th page, and following the link to my site.

But here's what's really strange about these posts: whoever authored them actually took the time to respond to my post!

Okay, a couple seem a little... autogenerated. For instance,
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs) have many benefits compared with conventional vehicles: better fuel economy, lower emissions, lower fuel costs, increased energy security, and more fueling flexibility among others.
is lifted straight off the Department of Energy's website. And the most recent comment -- "I'd like to get the opinion of gold buyers on this. Gold and electric cars are different commodities, but it's an interesting contrast all the same." -- isn't exactly a model of clarity, either. So that one's probably by a robot.

But another one takes a moment to mount a semi-cogent critique of my point:
Plug-in electric vehicles are still pulling electricity generated from a power plant somewhere, be it a coal plant, or natural gas plant, or a nuclear plant..... They will not truly be a sollution" to pollution/CO2 until we can coat the roof, hood and trunk with solar panels, so the cars can generate & store most of their own power while driving or parked in the sunshine!
It doesn't exactly address my post, but whoever wrote this at least took the time to read a couple of paragraphs and put together a handful ideas about them. It's really a rather lot of effort to put into the third spam comment on a months-old post on an ultra-obscure personal blog.

It's baffling. How could this possibly be an effective advertising strategy? The total number of eyes that will see those links -- even after I've posted about them! -- is probably about 25. The total number of clickthroughs is almost certainly going to be zero. Even if the authors are being paid some abysmal hourly wage, there's no way a few of these comments were constructed in less than three or four minutes. Someone out there is paying a lot of money to have their lackeys read my blog and pretend to be interested.

Which, when I think about it, is fine by me. Readers are readers. All are welcome!

*Apparently, anyway. I haven't clicked them and I don't really suggest that you click them either.

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