Shame: Comment Spam Spotted from World Vital Records

I’ve written a lot lately about the new activity and information found on World Vital Records, but you won’t be hearing much from me about them for a long time. In fact, until they make a public apology.

It appears that they are using “real people” (I assume) to manually comment spam genealogy blogs with “helpful” tips recommending World Vital Records and their newsletters. I also assume these people are being paid. I’ve now deleted 5 comment spams from them. That is one too many for me.

If your genealogy or family history blog has started getting comments from “friendly folks” who want to “help your genealogy research” by recommending how successful their experience with World Vital Records was, and the comment includes a link to their site and/or their newsletter, it’s comment spam. Delete it immediately.

I’m sure there are plenty of people getting great help from World Vital Records, but I will NOT tolerate comment spam from any person or company, and any company who uses comment spam to promote their site or services…in a word…sucks. I do not want to do business with comment spammers as that perpetuates this low and disgusting method of advertising.

Honestly, comment spam from World Vital Records puts them in league with casinos, drugs, mortgages, sex, porn, and erection longevity schemes.

I don’t get comment spam from people “thrilled with their success” using Ancestry.com or any of the other many online resources I recommend or am familiar with. Maybe the occasional recommendation, but certainly not five in just a few days for the same resource. And not all worded basically the same.

If World Vital Records is honestly not associated with these comment spams, then they had better put a stop to whoever is. If they are, shame, shame, shame.

What is Comment Spam?

For those unfamiliar with blogs, comment spam is the equivalent of email spam. It is unwanted, unnecessary, and frequently disgusting, comments posted on blogs promoting all of the sins and temptations including casinos, penis enlargers, drugs, porn, sex, fetishes, real estate, banks, and the worst of the worst of junk mail and email spam.

Comment spam is typically created by bots, computer programs that crawl the web looking for blogs with comments. Well-structured blogging tools such as have comment spam filters which catch and block most comment spam before it is published. Good comment spam catching tools stop 99% of all comment spam today. Unfortunately, recent news announcements tell of comment spammers hiring the poor and semi-illiterate, often in third world countries, to manually comment spam, arranging words and phrases to potentially bypass comment spam filters. Modern telemarketing scams.

If you have a blog or are visiting a blog and see something that appears to be comment spam, please DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. It pays the comment spammer for every click and every visit. We must stop this scourge on the web now, and the best way is to stop them economically.

If my claim is true, it appears that World Vital Records has hired or is paying folks to comment spam genealogy blogs. This is very, very wrong.

For more information on comment spams, see:

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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7 Responses to Shame: Comment Spam Spotted from World Vital Records

  1. Dana Huff says:

    Wow, thanks, Lorelle. I didn’t catch that as comment spam; it is awfully cleverly disguised, isn’t it? I marked it as spam with Akismet, so hopefully that will help throw a wrench in the works.

  2. Excellent. So you got some, too! It’s really dreadful when a good company goes astray down the comment spam advertising scum path. I was nervous about bringing this up, but 5 comment spams is too many. And a clue.

  3. Hi Lorelle

    I think I know the source of the problem that you are seeing from World Vital Records. Paul Allen (founder of MyFamily and Ansestry.com) teaches an internet marketing class at Brigham Young University. I know because I am one of his students. Paul convinced World Vital Records to give us a chance to run a marketing campaign. The class was split into groups of three students. Each group was given $100 dollars and the resources to create a landing page and try and get people to sign up for their free newsletter and other free stuff.

    A portion of our grade is determined by how well we run our campaigns. But, let me make it very clear that Paul and World Vital Records are not the ones “spamming” you. It is just a bunch of marketing students trying to figure out how to get more traffic to their landing pages (With multiple teams you probably got a comment from several different teams). It will be over in a week when finals are over–if not sooner because I am sure that Paul will mention your blog entry in Thursday’s class and he will give us a lesson on guerrilla marketing without crossing over ethical lines. Overall I think the campaigns have been successful, but some of us have gotten a little competitive desiring to be the best in the class. I would like to apologize for the class and thank you for understanding that this was not World Vital Records fault. Paul Allen has mentored some very successful Internet marketers and I am sure that you understand the risks that he takes on when he runs a project like this with a bunch of University students.

  4. I do hope his coverage of comment spam as an advertising method comes with a slap and slam as it is highly unprofessional and considered the “worst” of the worst in advertising by the public. Doesn’t stop spammers from making billions and consuming over 90% of all Internet bandwidth, according to many recent studies. Education is the only way we have to stop this plague, and honestly, any of you who used this method to attract traffic should get points off and be classified as traffic trolls, another slime on the net.

    I’m sounding harsh because I teach these same programs and work hard to instill high ethical values in my students by teaching copyright law and protection, and how to rise above bad marketing techniques disguised as “guerrilla marketing”.

    Thanks for helping me understand and I’d love feedback on the results.

    I also recommend you add to your required reading How NOT to Comment on Comments and Comments on Comments. 😉

  5. Susan Seymour says:

    A late comment, but not ‘least.’ Today (9-8-09) I was solicited via phone by WVR for a paid subscription, presumably since I had responded to an earlier-in-the-summer free use deal. The person who called quoted chapter and verse of the look-ups I had made on their site. A perusal of their privacy policy makes no mention of this collection, but until now I had no reason to look for it. Needless to say, I will not be subscribing to their service–ever!

  6. Kate says:

    I’m so glad it’s not just me who has been plagued by these e-mails! Every week now I seem to get at least one and I don’t remember ever having even visited their site, except to find the contact address to complain about the e-mails, which has made no difference – in fact I think I get more!

    I just wish I could find a way to stop them.

  7. Pingback: Family History Blogging Resources and Tips | Learning from Lorelle

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