Avatar impersonators & Ann Smarty

I run a do follow blog for a reason. It seems like the right thing to do to recognize those regular contributors that have made the blog a success. I require 5 or more posts before the no follow tag is removed and I screen every comment.

But it creates a lot of work. Every limo service & locksmith in the world seems to make an effort to leave inane comments not realizing that I would need to approve 5 for it to be of any value. In the end, I delete probably ~10 unapproved comments every day to try and keep things working smoothly here.

Worth it? I am not sure but I enjoy the conversation and really want to encourage the real thing.

I received the following comment earlier today and I thought, cool…the Ann Smarty has stopped by.. It struck me as odd that she would leave a somewhat plagarized comment…but her gravatar looked right and I was in a rush so I approved it.

  1. Yes, the Google “way” of solving all problems via algo does not work very well when this spam is obvious, painful and contrary to ground truth. In the past they have only removed very high profile cases and all else sits and awaits time for the system to be “innoculated”.The delay, which can seem like 2 lifetimes to a struggling SMB, is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

    Comment by Ann| link building services (1 comments) — January 5, 2010 @ 5:00 am |Edit This

I contacted Ann, and of course she didn’t write the comment. It turns out it isn’t the Ann Smarty at all but rather a Phillipine laborer impersonating Ann, using her gravatar to make it look convincing and trying to create links for “Lease an SEO” in Nebraska. Ah, the benefits of global outsourcing.

Oh, and be on the watch out for comment impersonators using her (and mine as well) avatar looking to get a cheap link.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Avatar impersonators & Ann Smarty by

10 thoughts on “Avatar impersonators & Ann Smarty”

  1. This crap amazes me. I also run my blogs do follow. If someone will actually post relevant comments, they’ll get the link. It’s really not that much work, and for my personal blog at least, it’s a fairly old site with lots of link juice.

    But no, they have to take the lazy route. As a result, they get nothing. I run Akismet and moderate comments. So no spam gets through.

    All they need to do is add a little value, and they’ll get at least that much value back.

  2. @Brian

    No it isn’t that hard yet folks seem to think that leaving BS will somehow suffice.

    It amazed me as well (by its creativity), which was why I highlighted it.

  3. LOL…..that one is soooooooo shifty. The comment was reasonable….

    Now that guy looks like an @ss. and to think he could have been “voluble and astute”. What a pity

  4. @Earlpearl

    It was very shifty…nothing I would have ever thought of…

    Mike

    Just a note, not that many get labeled as “voluble and astute”

  5. Ok, this is real me now LOL

    Mike, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you for making this issue public. I shudder at the thought how many other bloggers received a comment from Ann | link building and thought I was spamming…

  6. @Ann

    What no avatar?

    I find this kind of low life behavior despicable…but I was totally unawares of the possibility. I am curious have you been “impersonated” before? Have others?

  7. This is a new one to me. Just when I thought I’d seen every kind of comment spam…

    Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel and just leaving “SEO” to idiots like this? Sometimes I just want to run my own sites and pretend this entire industry doesn’t exist. I’m not predicting the death of SEO or anything stupid like that (yes, I think that’s an ignorant thing to say, which is only often said by smart people for the purpose of creating controversy and getting links for… you guessed it, SEO purposes) but I AM saying that when you can make six-figures working on your own websites the motivation to argue with clients over why crap like comment spamming isn’t a good idea starts to slip away.

  8. Sometimes being popular isn’t a good thing! If somebody impersonates me (not that they ever will lol), I would be very pissed, and might seek lawsuit.

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