Lunchtime Musings: Typhoid Marys of Comment Spam?


A random question that Google doesn’t immediately know the answer to…

Based on my casual observations, there’s a pretty clear relationship between incoming links and an increase in comment spam. While Akismet does an excellent job of making it an issue that I can basically ignore, the comment spam count definitely seems to increase on days that other blogs link to seamonkeyrodeo. No real surprise there.

What I’m wondering is whether the increase in comment spam is proportional to the traffic the linking site drives, or the two are independent variables. My gut says that the two are independent: I’ve seen big traffic spikes with minimal increase in comment spam, as well as the other way around.

It’s an interesting question, though: will links from certain blogs drive a disproportional amount of comment spam to you, relative to the traffic they bring? If so, what sites and why?

Do comment spammers troll some blogs more than others, making them “Typhoid Marys” to linked sites, or does it just change day-to-day based on what the spammers bots have been doing recently? Do blogs that get a lot of comment spam drive a lot of comment spam? Blogs on particular topics? Am I imagining a correlation where there’s actually just coincidence?

If you know of any information on this topic, or have done any research yourself, comment or drop me a note.