Friday, February 11, 2011

Comments and linking on my blogs

I've been getting a lot of spam lately, but what took the cake was a link request I got via my contact form yesterday.  The person who wrote to me pretended to be a teacher who was using my wedding website in class, and had a link suggestion from a student.  Something about it seemed fishy, so I did my homework.

1) The person's email address had a domain name in it that was clearly NOT an official school website.  Upon perusal, it appeared to be a link exchange type of site.

2) The WHOIS information for the above site showed that the site was registered to someone with a different name than the person who wrote to me, and to an address in a different state, so it wasn't a teacher running an education website on the side.

3) My contact forms always give me the IP address of whoever is contacting me, so I looked up the location and found that the "teacher" was writing to me from an entirely different state from where they claimed to teach.

4) Finally, I contacted the school to follow up on the person's story, and discovered that there was no teacher there by that name.  I know this was a bit extreme, but because there was potentially a kid's hurt feelings hanging in the balance, I wanted to be sure it was a falsehood before I told the "teacher" where they could put their link.

Before you comment on one of my blogs or ask me for a link, please know that I monitor all of this pretty closely.  Some of my seldom-updated blogs get a lot of comment spam, so I have to approve comments on those blogs before they are posted.  Why any spammer thinks I will approve the nonsense comments I get is beyond me.  I have also started deleting comments that clearly have nothing to do with the post, even if they are anonymous and contain no links — I suspect they are from spammers, testing me to see whether I still approve comments on those blogs.

My other blogs are set up to post comments without my approval, but they notify me of every comment, so rest assured if yours is spam it will not last long!

Also know that if you email me, my contact forms record your IP address.  I can and will check up on your story, so if you are asking me for a link, be honest about it and don't feed me a B.S. story.  If I feel my readers will benefit from your link, I will add it.  If not, I won't, no matter what your story.  And if I catch you lying to me, I won't do business with you at all.

You would think this kind of thing would be common sense — and common blog etiquette — but it just goes to show to what lengths some folks are willing to go in order to gain a link!

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