More on clickbank

September 13th 2007 -

I think I worked out what this clickbank malarkey is about. It is, indeed, spam, but it’s human-generated. They appear to be running some kind of scheme where people can earn money by commenting on people’s weblogs, thus presumably opening up those weblogs to spam once the initial comments have been approved, thus inflating their search engine rankings.

Just a guess, mind you, but it explains the generic and impersonal (yet curiously relevant) comments from random strangers on clickbank IP addresses. For example, a typical one:

“Great Article! Vik”


“I have to agree. This was the best of the series.”

(in response to a post about the last HP book being good)


“Looks like you’re having loads of fun; now maybe you can find some time to sleep.”

Here’s a more cunning one:

“I would really like to learn how to make things out of balloon. I’ve always been interested in how to come up with creative images very quickly. I’d like to see more. Please post more images. Thanks.”

…which I almost approved, except that it comes from clickbank.

The penny kinda dropped when I got this comment from a clickbanker, in response to my previous posts on the topic:

“No, it’s just someone advertising their websites, just like everybody else advertising on the web. Even the owner of this site is advertising his website here. That’s how he continually get viewers such as yourself to come here and read the articles and make comments. So what if you’re advertising a website. That’s what it’s about. Someone took the time to visit your website, now you can “choose” whether you would like to visit their’s, IF it interests you of course. I have a website to advertise also but when I come to these sites, I search through the articles like everybody else, looking for a topic that I’m interested in reading just like everybody else, click on it, read it , post a comment, like everybody else. I have a website that others can choose to check out if they’re interested. If you don’t like advertisements, maybe you should stay off of the internet. And really, I would teach you how to advertise, which posting a website to comments is such a small way for exposure compared to others but I am making over 5 thousand a month by advertising clickbank companies and i started only 2 months ago.”

So, yeah, a spam scam.

Anyway, I’m not sure the technology for resisting spam will keep up with this approach for long. Soon they will be able to conceal that they come from clickbank, and then I’m straight into paranoid mode. Hence: if I don’t know you, and you send a marginally relevant comment, I’m afraid I’m not going to approve it. If it’s a *good* comment, I’ll post it directly in a weblog entry. But not in the comments.

It’s friends-and-relatives-only in the comments from now on.

5 Responses a “More on clickbank”

  1. Lexifab Says:

    Clever. Must get in on this :)

    Also, good advice. Friends and relatives only. Gotcha.

  2. Marco Parigi Says:

    Poor advice – I don’t understand why you don’t use a “bot” filter. The only inconvenience is to have to read and type a word jumble every time to comment. Blogger has one. Doesn’t WordPress?

  3. admin Says:

    They’re not bots. They’re people.

  4. Marco Says:

    Have you performed a turing test on them? These look to be just more advanced “bots”. The ones you quoted are very obviously using automation which would be foiled by word jumble.

  5. admin Says:

    I’m pretty sure they’re people, but people doing repetitive cut & paste. Some of them have made more personal responses (eg. the ones quoted in this post, and a subsequent one). Some of those people may use bots, but it looks also like there’s a “community” of people at clickbank manually doing spam, precisely so that they can get around the word jumble.

Leave a comment!

  • Pages

  • Archives

  • Categories