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Bing's Marketing Strategy Includes Comment Spam?

October 25, 2011
20
Link Building

Lately we’ve been getting the occasional spam comment (according to my spam comment taxonomy, they’re mostly of the “full-on-ass-kissing” variety) that looks like a typical spam comment in almost every way:

  • It expresses some irrelevant but positive sentiment like “Thanks, this post was really helpful to me, keep it up”
  • It’s attributed to a normal-sounding name like “Carrie” or “Dave” (much more effective than something like “Cheap Canadian SEO” which will always get you flagged)
  • The name links back to the spammer’s site

The difference is, instead of linking to a deep page on some spammy domain I’ve never heard of (you know, something like memphis-internet-marketing.biz/link-building-services), they link to the Bing homepage. Yes, http://www.bing.com/. (There’s your link, Bing, big whoop.)

So my question is … really? This is Bing’s SEO strategy? Comment spam? Because if people aren’t using Bing, surely it’s not because they lack domain authority (although, admittedly, they still rank behind Dogpile in a Google search for “search engine”…)

Bing Comment Spam

And surely no-follow comment links aren’t going to push them to the next level of market share. So what is going on here? It would be one thing if someone who happens to work at Bing were leaving substantial comments of some relevance or interest. But they're contentless, and they've been attached to different names.

Has anyone else been getting comment spam from Bing?

Comments

Oct 25, 2011

I find it hard to believe that they'd be that daft.... more likely someone trying to give them a bad name

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

Ha ha -- someone at Google you think? I should have checked the IP.

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

But it seems silly, also, to think leaving comment spam in their name could really hurt their position.

Nov 24, 2012

berry on June 11, 2009 Way to go guys. It is out there now for the world to find. I'm eagerly anctiipating the Let's Talk About SEM, etc SEM Minute theme song. You can borrow my old Casio if needed for the retro beats. Rock on Mike and David!

Jun 26, 2012

haha having the same problem on my blog, I was like what? I first thought well bing could probably do it cuz they have so much money and its so cheap, then i thoguht maybe it''s negative SEO, but yes, testing makes way more sense. Glad you cleared this up! Thanks!

Jan 04, 2012

LOL LOL I am watching this...

Hi Elisa, I've recently been a victim of this sort of spam and it sounds exactly the same. I don't think it's specific to Bing because I've had different comments in the same format from the same IP address but with Facebook, Google and Yahoo as the URLs. I haven't decided what to do yet because it's only started today, I don't suppose you have any tips?

This is NOT Bing, Facebook, Google, etc.  These are spammers testing the water.

This is the same strategy that the spammers we're using back in 2006.

Essentially what they are doing is testing to see if you accept semi-valid/coherent, yet unrelated, comments on your blog.

If they see that the comment has been approved, you can rest assured your comment system will be flooded shortly

Aug 31, 2013

what you explain above the same has happened with me few days ago i could not understand the content written by commentor but if this all is happening due to these big companies its really shamefull 

Elisa Gabbert
Jun 15, 2012

How ridiculous. Just because you approve a comment with a link to Bing doesn't mean you're going to approve a comment with a link to forex-traders or "cheap australian marketing agency"

duane forrester (not verified)
Oct 25, 2011

Elisa - can you show me an example of what you're seeing?

Duane Forrester

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

Unfortunately I deleted the comments before taking a screenshot. If another one comes through I'll update the post with an image.

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

AJ Kohn reported he has seen the same thing. So I'm not crazy/making it up. It's very strange.

duane forrester (not verified)
Oct 25, 2011

Yes, please watch for and capture any examples.  This is not coming from us,obviously.  I've reached out to AJ as well, in hopes he may have examples.

Wonder if this is related to my twitter account being hacked last night... :(

 

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 25, 2011

Sorry to hear you've been hacked! Please let me know if you get to the bottom of it. I'd be happy to update the post.

It is really funny that you even for a moment thought that this might originate from bing somehow. Few weeks ago I had a surge of comment spam all of them with google.com as a website, so should I assume that google is doing comment spam? No of course. If you research the field you would actually see 2 main theories that are quite plausible:

 

1) Mistaken settings in the spam software made by newbies that trigger the spam more as a test or by mistake

2) Building trusted online personas. Personas that have traceable online activity and are later sold and used for social media spam

 

Cheers

Elisa Gabbert
Oct 26, 2011

I NEVER would have thought that Google was doing comment spam ... but it wasn't that much of a stretch for me to imagine someone from Bing was that clueless, really.

Brian Maher (not verified)
Nov 01, 2011

I find it hard to believe Bing is becoming a comment spammer - i am more inclined to think this is some mistake by automated services or spammers. Most of the comments are so badly written ....and often, that I no longer publish any comments 

Wow, that's interesting.  I find it hard to believe that this is the work of Bing.  Not sure who would want to do this on Bing's behalf though.  I'd be interested to hear if it happens again. 

Elisa Gabbert
Nov 02, 2011

I'm keeping an eye out...

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