How to accidentally write a popular blog post

write a popular blog postI accidentally wrote a blog post that receives more than a million page views every year. For proof, type “delete mail” into Google. My post How to delete ALL mail messages from iPhone/iPad in one step is #1 of the 127+ million results.

How to accidentally write a popular blog post? Actually, I’ve accidentally written several popular posts, and I’ve finally figured out what happened. Want to know what I’ve learned, so you can deliberately write popular posts? Read on!

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There are 213 comments in your spam queue right now

213 spam comments

Comments in your spam queue

It’s usually nice to be noticed. But when the attention is coming from blog content spammers, you may feel a little differently. The rapid growth of pageviews of this blog (on track for ~4.5M views in 2014) has coincided with an ever-increasing volume of comment spam, those irritating blog comments that promise you $79/hour working from home!, Dior fashions at low prices!, and the best lawyer in Podunk!

Currently I’m receiving over 250 comments like these a day, so I’m happy to pay Akismet $60/year for their Pro Blogger service that almost perfectly throws them into a spam folder. I say “almost perfectly”, because Akismet doesn’t handle a rarer form of comment spam, trackback spam. Trackback spam add links to your content onto a page spammers want people to visit. Trackbacks can be useful to see who is linking to your content, so I don’t want to ignore every trackback link. Unfortunately this means that you have to look at every trackback and manually move spam comments to the spam queue, an irritating multi-step procedure in WordPress. I started seeing increasing quantities of trackback spam over the last few months, so I’ve added a plugin Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker that seems to be doing a good job automatically moving trackback spam to the spam queue.

One more observation. Bloggers like me have to spend time and money keeping this crud off their posts. But there’s another victim of these sleazy attempts to plaster low-quality SEO slime over the internet. I notice lots of spam links to small obscure businesses. I wonder how many of them are being fleeced by jerks who promise to increase traffic to their website. And the business owners never know that the fleecer is spraying comment spam to make those stats rise.