Web Standards

Smart Spam Really isn’t that smart

As you can see from the Akismet counter in my sidebar this blog generates an insane amount of spam (the count started in February 2008). For the most part it is the standard crap you always get but lately I’ve started spotting what could only be described as “Smart Spam” – comments clearly generated based on the contents of the pages within this site that almost seem legit. Almost, but not completely.

Case in point: During my daily spam filter read this one caught my eye because it was so bizarre:

make your site legal…

Avoid legal trouble, make your website compliant with the law. It will save you from serious problems. The best part…you can do it in under 60 minutes….

Now clearly my site is legal so the comment is somewhat misdirected. But what I find amusing is the actual wording because it shows how this particular spam bot works. Obviously it spidered my blog and found the word “compliant” somewhere (undoubtedly in an article about standards compliant code) and misinterpreted it to be a reference to the rule of law rather than the rule of the W3C. But the really amusing part is that if you just change a few key words the comment actually starts making sense for web designers:

make your site standards based

Avoid validation trouble, make your website compliant with web standards. It will save you from serious problems. The best part…you can do it in under 60 minutes….

Much better, no?

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a staff author at LinkedIn Learning and specializing in WordPress and web design and development and an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular speaker and educator on all things design, web standards and open source. As the owner and Web Head at Pink & Yellow Media, a boutique style digital media company in Burnaby, BC, Canada, he has created WordPress-based web solutions for multi-national companies, political parties, banks, and small businesses and bloggers alike. He also contributes to the local WordPress community by organizing Meetups and WordCamps.