WordPress plugin Askimet does a great job of catching spam catching over fifteen thousand comments since I installed it.

It allows me to keep comments open to all, saves me the time of administering the spam and spares my blushes from x-rated comments that many spammers use.

However, it’s not perfect. I’ve noticed a wave of what I’m calling ‘vanity spam’ – seemingly complimentary comments, such as ‘Wow… true insight. I didn’t know that… thank you for that.’ At first glance, these seem harmless, if a little naive, and worthy additions to the page.

On closer inspection these usually include a spam url in the website field for comments, despite the ‘no follow’ tag. The thinking is that if you automate these in their millions, then statistically enough people will click through and all at no real cost to the spammer. A familiar problem.

And if they are praising the blogger and the post, then there’s more of a chance that bloggers (an activity which may involve a touch of, ahem, vanity), will leave them in.

Askimet is doing a better job at catching these, but the problem is that these have started building up (I’ve left them on this post on wii cricket as an example) and I now have to spend time each day clearing these out.

As I’ve said before spam will find a way, and maybe blogging is getting the vanity spam it occasionally deserves!