Since I blog on a regular basis, I get the pleasure of seeing spam on a regular basis*. Spam comments I actually don’t see very much as WordPress filter seems to do a fine job of weeding out the various penile enhancements and other advertisements from my comment queue. Spam likes, however, are another matter.
You know a spam like when you see one, right? These are likes from bloggers that regularly show up on your posts, but if you took a look at the originating blogs, you see that they are a) invariably selling something and b) blogging on topics that could have no possible intersect with what you’re writing about at all. The worst of these types of blog very explicitly flog a product — “Make Money by Blogging!” — and don’t even feature any original content written by the persons trying to sell you stuff. In short, you know that these people didn’t read your posts and so couldn’t possibly have any basis for liking them.
So why do they do it? I suppose that first, the cost of doing so is very cheap. Second, the benefit, although slight, may be nonzero. Perhaps flattered by their likes of your content, you’ll visit their blogs and either out of genuine interest or a quid pro quo exchange, will also like one their posts and maybe even follow their blogs. Even if you don’t buy their products, this following will serve to make their blogs look more legitimate and suck in other souls.
Why shouldn’t they do it? Spam liking, just like other forms of spamming, undermines the legitimacy of the business. The better spammer blogs actually do have products that are not pure scams in themselves. They may be a blog meant to feature a new author’s self-published works which, although heavy on self-promotion, is still legitimate. Once you stumble onto such a blog and realize that they “liked” your blog only to lure you onto their terrain, however, you lose respect for the author’s literary effort. You feel too cheated to be either in a buying or fair judging mood.
Moreover, blatant disregard for other people’s distaste for one’s spamming schemes will eventually invite a market response. If enough people complain about spam likes, WordPress will eventually make moderating likes an option. Don’t be so obnoxious, and one’s spamming days may last for longer.
Lastly, may I just make a personal plea for the spam likes to Books, Libs, Scripts to stop?** I truly dislike the spamming of my blog, but solitude for my personal feelings aside, I’m a very poor prospect. I don’t “like” content unless I actually do like them, and I don’t do “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” kinds of follows. I also read close to zero fiction, so if you’ve published a literary fiction tome of some kind, then your work may be lovely, but I can tell you right now that I’m not interested.
And although this is not said enough, for those who actually like my blog, thanks a bunch! It must not be easy liking a prickly soul like Books, Libs, Scripts’.
*: That was me being sarcastic. Not enough acknowledged in this blog post will be the fact that I sincerely like blogging and many of my fellow bloggers.
**: I realize I’m doing something truly counterproductive here as those who are spam bloggers are obviously not going to read this.