Smithsonian

Do Blog Spam Comments Actually Make Money?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes

John Mecke
6 min readMar 14, 2022

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I have been blogging since 2008. My blog, developmentcorporrate.com, is a modest success. It gets about 50,000 visits a year. I have several articles that rank on page 1 of Google. I have always been curious why I get so many spam comments. My blog is a WordPress site and I use the Akismet plugin to automatically quarantine spam comments. To date, it has caught 18,963 spam comments. I wondered if Do Blog Spam Comments Actually Make Money?

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The History of Internet Spam
  • The Scale of Spam
  • Academic Research on Spam Profitability
  • How Do Spammers Make Money from Blog Comments?
  • How Do Spammers Post Millions of Spam Blog Comments?
  • Examples of DevelopmentCorporate.com Blog Spam Comments

The History of Internet Spam

On 1 May 1978, Gary Thuerk, a go-getting marketing man employed by the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) thought that it would be a good idea to let Arpanet researchers on the west coast know that DEC had successfully incorporated the network’s protocols directly into the company’s DEC-20 and TOPS-20 operating systems So Thuerk located a printed copy of Arpanet email addresses, gave it to a secretary and requested that she dispatch the message using the SNDMSG email program. As pointed out by John Naughton in The Guardian:

The message read, in part:

‘Digital will be giving a product presentation of the newest members of the DECsystem-20 family; the DECsystem-2020, 2020T, 2060, and 2060T. The DECsystem-20 family of computers has evolved from the Tenex operating system and the DECsystem-10 (PDP-10) computer architecture. Both the DECsystem-2060T and 2020T offer full Arpanet support under the Tops-20 operating system … We invite you to come see the 2020 and hear about the DECsystem-20 family at the two product presentations we will be giving in California this month …’

Reactions to the message were pretty negative. For one thing, it contravened Arpanet rules — which stipulated that the network could not be used for commercial purposes. And it was…

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John Mecke

John has over 25 years of experience in leading product management and corporate development organizations for enterprise firms.