Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Blogging Bluz

Have you noticed a dramatic change in your blog stats?  I know I have, so I’m wondering if it’s a widespread thing, or if this site has finally passed its freshness date.

Last week, I noticed a roughly 50% drop-off in site traffic, which has since remained constant.  Because my number of “returning visits” has remained constant, I’m guessing that Google has made an adjustment in its search algorithm.  I read somewhere that Google was devaluing blogs in search results, so maybe that’s it.

I know I’ve complained about getting a bunch of hits from “image stealers,” before, but now that they’re gone, I have to say I kind of miss them.  Their numbers pumped me up with a sense of accomplishment, even though it was mainly a mirage.  You know the equation… Hits = People love me = I’m fabulous.  Cut the hits in half and now I feel like wearing all black and writing bad poetry.

And speaking of bad poetry, am I the only one that’s getting hammered with spam comments?  You know what I’m talking about… you get an comment email from “Anonymous,” that’s filled with poorly written praise, with the link to some obscure website attached.  But when you check your post to delete the comment, it’s not there, nor does the poster show up on my StatCounter meter.  Back before this strain of garbage began flooding in, they used to show up on my StatCounter as originating from the Pacific Islands or Southeast Asia.

It shows up in the internal Blogger Stats though.  You see those 5 “Most Popular Posts from Last 30 Days” on the right side?  Those posts appear there because they are the ones that have been spammed the most.  When my “Hives” post was there, it was legitimate, but spam targets have since overtaken it.  And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

I know that I could cut the level of spam comments if I install one of those comment Captcha thingies, where you have to manually enter some jibberish words and numbers before you can post a comment.  But I hate those fucking things.  Since I started this blog, almost 4 years ago, I wanted to keep commenting easy for you, and figured I’d just handle any subsequent spam myself.  You’re welcome.  But OK, I’m not totally altruistic here… I also didn’t want to deal with the Captcha entry myself, when I answer each of your comments.

On the bright side, I am occasionally entertained by the farcical nature of these ridiculous comments.  They really are like bad poetry.

“What a ѕtuff of un-ambiguіty and pгeservеness οf
prеcіous know-how concerning unexpectеd emotions.
My webpage (bogus same day loan link)”

That’s practically a haiku, right there.  And I had no idea that my post about flipping the bird at Super Bowl halftime last year generated such “unexpected emotions.”  The same post generated this doozy as well.

“Definitely imagine thаt which you said.
Yοuг fаvoгite justification seеmеd to be at the net the simplest fаctor to
bе аwaгe οf.  I ѕаy to you,
definitely get irked while
other folks сοnѕidеr issues thаt they plainly do not reаlіze about.
You mаnaged to hit the nаil uρon the
tоp and οutlined out thе entiге thing wіth
no nеed sіde-effeсts , folks can takе a signal.
Thank yοu
Also visit my site – (another bogus loan site)”

I think that one may have been written by that South Carolina beauty pageant contestant.  This next one has an even higher nonsense factor:

"Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in
accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your
blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access constantly rapidly.
my webpage – (shady tobacco site)”

I’m so glad that he “achievements me access constantly rapidly.”  I hate it when my achievements are inaccessibly slow.

“Hi there! Your post rocks at the same time as becoming a respectable superb understand!

I can’t truly aid but admire your blog website, your site is adorable and good
My partner and I stumbled over here diverse internet site and believed I ought to check points out.

I like what I see so i'm just following you. Appear ahead to exploring your internet page but again.
Look into my weblog:: (sham iPhone giveaway site)”

I always wanted my blog to become a “respectable superb understand!”  He made my day. 

“I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following.
unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same
nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.
Here is my page (I don’t know what the hell kind of bullshit site this was)”

That one seemed to be a product of an experiment using a dictionary and a dartboard.

I can’t imagine that anyone has ever gotten a positive result out of sending this garbage, but I suppose someone must bite every once in a while, or else they wouldn't do it.

So, do you get this kind of garbage too?  Do the Captcha doohickies really prevent this stuff?  And more importantly, have you notice a change in the number of search hits you’re getting?

Or have I become the most respectedly of dishonor weblogs, fish?


Anonymous said...

My very first comment on my site, about three posts in was spam: "You are a very talented and accomplished blogger" it said. Hahaha.
I installed askimet and it filtered out 100% of the spam. Captcha is the worst though!! Don't know if there's a good alternative for blogger.

bluzdude said...

Who knew Spam could see into your future?

Steph said...

I'm SO suffering with this identical spam overload, it's effing killing me!

I too got rid of the captcha crap a while back as my commenters were complaining that they were "suffering so"... the only thing I've done to make it stop at least posting on my blog is comment moderation. I don't like to do that in general as I am open to criticism as I am a big girl and can take people's crap. Now I'm still sifting through it privately, but at least my poor followers (all 3 of them) aren't getting alerts left and right when 62 more spammy comments show up after theirs.

What's a blogger to do?

So, just to recap, thanks for writing about this new problem we seem to be jointly having. I love the fact that you actually posted some of them, and since I actually make fun of crappy resumes on my blog, I might consider following suit and posting some of my own private, delectably horrid messages as you are right... a dictionary and a dartboard.

Keep forging ahead bluzdude!
-Resume Roaster Steph

bluzdude said...

Well, you know what they say... If you can't laugh at yourself... Make fun of other people.

Carry on!

Facie said...

My stats have stayed roughly the same as of late (higher on or in the few days after I post), other than a rare crazy day. I am guessing I have gotten less than a dozen spam comments. Here was my most recent:
"Captivating. Brilliant. You moved me. Grant us a lot more! Please. My web blog :: visit The following webpage"

I like to think that I AM brilliant, captivating, and can move people, so I left it there. :-) Regardless, I don't want to deal with the captcha thing either. I have such trouble at some (non-blogging) sites.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

I've read a few articles in past months about a general decline in blogging overall, especially in favor of other social media like the Twit. Crap, does this mean we'll have to whittle down all our ravings and rants into 140 characters?

The Inquisitor said...

Just thought I'd log in from Arizona. Because I'm here to help. You're welcome!

Deb K said...

I have nothing useful to add since I don't blog. I just wanted to do my part to increase your legitimate stats.

mary ann said...

Somewhere, a group of chimpanzees, orangutangs or gorillas are commenting on your blogs. They have ben known to use a dartboard.

bluzdude said...

The think that puzzles me is that the spam comments are almost never actually left on the blog… I just get the email. I guess I’m kind of relieved that I don’t have to manually go back and delete them all, but it’s a 2-edged sword. I also like to pretend that a spam comment screams when I delete it.

bluzdude said...

I like to think of Twitter as a nice blogging supplement, as opposed to a replacement, kind of like a chatroom that’s open to everyone in the world.

I could never be restrained to 140 characters indefinitely. But it does nicely reflect America’s limited attention span and penchant for sound-byte news.

bluzdude said...

All take all the help I can get.

bluzdude said...

You’re counted just by visiting… you don’t even have to comment. Of course, I certainly appreciate it when you do.

bluzdude said...

I bet it’s those apes I saw on the news that they’ve taught to use an iPad. Website:

I bet they write better than some of your old Freshman English students.

Jessica R. said...

Spam comments are always so strange. On Wordpress I use something called Akismet. It works on the back end eliminates spam without using Captcha. Not sure if it's available for Blogger?

Valerie said...

I'm glad it's not just me. I was beginning to think that the anonymous was leaving me some kind of weird codes that I was supposed to decipher. Good thing I didn't spend hours sitting at a train station holding a watermelon because some secret code told me to... Yep. Thank goodness indeed...



bluzdude said...

That's what Winopants said to use. I'll have to check and see if it works for Blogger.

bluzdude said...

You're right! What if it really is some secret code with special instructions for me? I could be missing out on something important.

Anonymous said...

It's not just you. I think it's pervasive. All over, hits are going down. Is blogging a dying breed? Time will tell.

I love how you can tell that someone in another country basically typed some phrase into a translator, and that is what they came up with. "I can't aid but . . ." should be "I can't HELP but . . ." etc.

And yes, I've been getting a ton more spam, but it's blocked by Askimet. Every once in a while I troll around in my spam folder and find some gems. Just today, in fact, I did a post about one. :)

Anonymous said...

My stats dropped. I figured it was just because of my spotty posting. I'm okay with it if they are just blocking out the spammers and riff-raff.

I'm getting spam comments on really old posts. Like this one:

Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case

I want to perform that at a poetry slam.

bluzdude said...

I looked up Akismet and it’s only available on Wordpress, so I’m SOL on that one. There are other anti-comment-spam devices but they work in concert with separate comment systems that you also have to install, and I’m not confident enough in my computer geekery to attempt that. Remember, I’m only 2 steps away from a Brother Word Processor.

And yeah, you can always tell the foreign spam by the lack of correct idiom.

The thing with the stat drop off is that it was instant. One day I’m sailing along at one level, the very next day I’m at half of that, where it’s stayed ever since. That’s got to be a mechanical change.

bluzdude said...

I don’t think the dropoff is because we suddenly suck. The hits I’m missing now are regular Google searches, mostly for pictures. I used to bitch about those anyway, comparing them to empty calories. And now, of course, I miss them. (The spam is still showing up just fine.)

My StatCounter also shows when my post is one of the top results of the search. I used to have several posts that were regularly in the Top Ten on a subject, (like the Hives post) and now they’re not. So that leads me to believe that they’ve adjusted their search return formulas. I still get hits, but the searchers must have to burrow further into the returned results.