Nothing personal: an interview with a “link” (and blog) spammer for The Register

Since the people who try to spam this site are doing it for money, I thought it would make sense to turn the question around and get one of them to tell me how it’s done, why it’s done, and whether it’s going away.

Read the results at The Register (which for reasons known more to themselves than me have called it a “link spamer” interview, but if they correct it then that’ll break the link…).

Interesting to find that those who actually do it think (by proxy) that Robert Scoble is wrong in his rosy outlook about “nofollow” links solving the blog spam problem.

Will the initiative by Google, Yahoo and MSN, to honour “don’t follow” links defeat Sam [the link spammer] and his ilk? “I don’t think it’ll have much effect in the short, medium or long term. The search engines caused the problem” – we didn’t quite follow this bit of logic, but Sam continued – “and they’re doing this to placate the community. It won’t work because most blogs and forms are set up with the best intentions, but when people find hard graft has to go into it they’re left to rot. To use this, they’ll all have to be updated. The majority won’t be. And there’ll just be trackback spamming.”

In fact I’ve already had a trackback from a site of, um, search engine optimisers, at, which sort of tells its own story. Sort of. The trackback pointed to the wrong post, but I’ll fiddle with my system to make it show up. (Update: OK, the fiddling is done, as Michael Jackson would say. Damn! That’s me off the jury.)


  1. Actually charles, Threadwatch is full of all kinds of people that make a living on the www – spammers amongst them. Don’t think i get away with it though, i was both trackback spammed and had a “drive by” by some arse selling diamond saw blades this morning :)

  2. Yes, I got a whole load of trackback spam this morning – an hour’s hit, 43 attempts, and all about p*ker. Ah well. We’ll improve our software to beat trackback spamming and they’ll concentrate (or be effective) on the smaller ones.

    Meanwhile I’m building up the most enormous list of open proxies in the US and Europe. Simply by being here and getting them logged with each attempted spam.

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