Someone’s Stealing YOUR Top Commentator’s Link!

You know how I know someone’s stealing your Top Commentator’s link? I constantly catch people doing it on my blog and then I do some research to backup up my theory with hard evidence. Well, it seems people have found a loophole to the Top Commentator’s WordPress plugin and they simply benefit from it. Of course, when someone benefits from it another person gets their benefit taken away from them. Let’s work on getting this problem fixed.

How To Steal Someone’s Top Commentator’s Link

This information is only for educational use to build awareness and not intended on promoting hijacking of links.

For the record, I think this is unethical and a very cheap way of stealing someone elses’ work of commenting with their thoughts. But to do it, essentially you would find a name on someone’s “Top Commentator” list and simply comment using the same exact name and just enter in your website information.

Of course, that same person will probably be back to comment again but say it took them 20 comments to make it on the list, all the hijacker has to do is comment once and then they’ll be on the list in no time. Now all the hijacker has to do is just make a new comment after the original commentator makes another one.

Example of A Top Commentator Hijacker (With Proof!)

I’ve seen this done before, by accident and on purpose. You can hijack by accident if someone comments with their generic name. For instance, if I commented with “Jason” or “Jay”, I’m sure I’m not the only ones with that name that could possibly have commented. Though, some people obviously steal and hijack on purpose.

Here’s an example:

As you can see from the screenshot above, it doesn’t look like anything special, right? But why would someone try to rank in search engines for “how to articles” that leads to a health blog? Luckily, I spotted that from a mile away because the person who comments regularly on this blog with the anchor text “how to articles” comes from firehow.com. That would make more sense too… “how to articles” leading to a “how to” website.

Check out the screenshot of the real commentator with that anchor text above:

More Evidence This Person Hijacked Intentionally

So, I actually did some research because this type of thing kind of pisses me off. I mean, someone is taking the easy route and intentionally hurting other people’s hard work.

There’s this website called backtype.com and which you can look up where people are commenting and which website they are linking to. Of course, I checked them out there and it looks like they have been hijacking for quite sometime.

You can check out some of the comments, anchor texts they’ve been stealing and which blogs they have been commenting on here.

Let’s go over a few examples on other sites that support top commentators in which this person has been stealing from.

On Cashtactics, this person managed to comment as “Laptop Carrying Case” which looks like it belongs to Mezzi.com.

On Uberaffiliate, this person managed to comment as “Net Age Web Design” which looks like it belongs to netage.co.za/.

On Feedflare, this person managed to comment as “CB Predator” which looks like it belongs to cbpredatorreview.com/.

On Entrepreneurs-Journey, this person managed to comment as “Nicole Price” which looks like it belongs to Greatpriceshare.com.

On Jonathanvolk, this person managed to comment as “AffiliatePaying” which looks like it belongs to affiliatepaying.com/.

On Tylercruz, this person managed to comment as “SEO Tricks” and I would link to the original commentator but I couldn’t find it.

But you guys get the point, right?

How We Can Work Together To Stop This

I have to give some credit to this person (and any other people who hijack) because they found this loophole and they actually do take time to comment. Unfortunately, what they’re doing is still unethical.

So, what can we do to stop this?

Well, there’s only so much one person can do… but if we worked together then there will be a bigger impact. I already e-mailed this person informing them that I think it’s unethical what they are doing but never received a response. I mean, why would I? But here’s a few things we can do:

Remove Their Link – By simply deleting their comment is a great start so you’re not supporting their unethical link.

Blacklist Their Site On Top Commentator’s Plugin – All you have to do is add their URL to the Top Commentator’s “Filter URLs.” In case you don’t know how to do it, all you have to do is go to plugins – “edit” top commentators – and enter the website in the “filter_urls” section. Here is a screenshot below:

Spread The Word - Spreading the word simply helps fight against spammers and people who basically steal. Write a post about it, inform the blog owner’s that your link is being stolen, etc.

Fix The Loophole In The Plugin? – I personally don’t know how to fix it and have yet to contact the person who created the plugin but I’m not exactly sure if there’s a way to fix the problem. If there is, feel free to help out!

I’m sure there is a lot more we can do to work together to fight against thieves and if you can think of any, feel free to add it my list.

Conclusion

Again, I’m just speaking out on what I think is fair and obviously when people do this, it is equivalent to stealing. Don’t get me wrong, they are all legit comments and that’s probably why no one has really noticed but I’m just supporting the cause to help out.

If you had this done to you and have proof, let me know and I’ll add you to this post and give you a backlink to your website. Of course, please show detailed proof because I’m sure there are some people who will want to try to get a cheap backlink from me.

Hey, I’m just saying… it has happened before! :D

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 Responses to “Someone’s Stealing YOUR Top Commentator’s Link!”

  1. Wow, I guess my naive mind would never think this could happen, but you have proof. It stinks that people do this sort of stuff. Especially when many bloggers are being so generous in allowing comment link benefits.

    Now that I think about it, in another blog I frequent, there was a Top Commenter with my “name” but a different website link. I didn’t think anything about it but after reading this post I strongly suspect it was a hijack.

  2. Jay says:

    Legitimate – It could be a coincidence because other people are always using similar anchor texts. But in this particular situation, it is not a coincidence.

    Jay
    .-= Jay´s last blog ..10 Books About Outsourcing You Should Read =-.

  3. Thanks for the heads up! I do see this an every now and then I go through and delete around 100 comments.

    I like to do searches for IPs that left the comments and delete anyone that has changed their name or their website. I also monitor how often someone comments on the blog. Often you will see someone comment on how great videos are one minute after the other. And I knew that they didn’t watch the vids cause they are usually 30minutes long.

    There’s little hints here and there to find these people!

    Keep up the good work.
    .-= Kris – Cashtactics.net´s last blog ..MySpace and Facebook Blog Commenting (Free Traffic) =-.

  4. That’s a dirty trick! I thought that the email addresses had to match, though. And there is no way to know the person’s email address.
    .-= Patrick Toerner´s last blog ..How to Write Your Ebook in a Week or Less =-.

  5. Dam this is messed up. Its a very simple trick I am amazed more people don’t do it, hopefully this post doesn’t back fire as it teaches you how to do it…

    It is really annoying how many people are out there spamming the web and this just 1 of the 100’s of ways they do it.

    This is why I do not even allow url’s for comments on my site. Much less a list of top commentators. I believe that if your content is good enough it will encourage comments (like datmoney.com). Thing’s like top commentator lists simply encourage spam not real discussions.
    .-= Top WordPress Themes´s last blog ..Anime WordPress Themes =-.

  6. This is actually a very well-known and exploited loophole in the Top Comment plugin. A couple of guys even wrote an ebook about it and profited greatly from this “gray hat” technique.

    Your advice on the filtering is excellent. I didn’t know that existed. But then again I don’t use the plugin. I don’t see its value…especially in light of the fact that it’s easily exploitable.
    .-= Bill @ Best-Exercises.com´s last blog ..The Muscle-Building Troubleshooter =-.

  7. Ryan says:

    I ran into this problem a year or so ago and solved it by updating the Top Commentators plugin. I don’t seem to have the problem any longer on Blueverse.com.
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..Day 16 – Shoemoney System Review =-.

  8. They tried to hi-jack me. That son of…

    lol, thanks for paying attention because I didn’t even notice.
    .-= how to articles´s last blog ..Welcome to How-to’s =-.

  9. Jez says:

    This is really a bad design in the plugin who should group and count comments by combination of name+email+url.
    I am assuming it only count comments by name.
    That is probably an easy fix that you could suggest to the plugin developer.

    The hijacker would only get a count of 1 while the real top commentator would stay unchanged and at the top…
    .-= Jez´s last blog ..A trick to reduce Drawdowns =-.

  10. Jez says:

    Actually, I just visited the plugin page and found this comment in the FAQ describing the options available:

    “Group commentors based on e-mail or user names: This option is added to solve the hijacking problem various blogs have been reporting if commentors are grouped by user names.”

    Sounds like it is exactly the solution to your problem and what I had described above…
    .-= Jez´s last blog ..A trick to reduce Drawdowns =-.

  11. Lorna says:

    Thanks for the information. I currently maintain only the widgetized version of the Top Commentators Plugin, which addresses the loophole you’ve mentioned. This loophole has also been mentioned a few times over the course of a couple of years (and since been addressed in version 0.999a once it was found out).

    Your tips are all very useful. The easiest and most recommended way of avoiding the links being hijacked is to find the one option in the Top Commentators Widget called “(Hijack-proof?) Group commentors based on” and select E-mail, instead of User names. You will then see TWO user names, one is the attempted hijacker’s and the other the original commentator.
    .-= Lorna´s last blog ..I’m scraping my WordPress GEDCOM project =-.

  12. I have this happen to me before and boy did it wake me mad. The keyword wasn’t even relevant to their website, so the juice isn’t even good juice.

  13. Hey Jay, Great post but I really didn’t have any idea that people were doing this let alone that it could be done. I know I will sound very misguided here but what does this spurious act get the people who are doing this? I guess I’m missing something…. but once I find out more about it, I know I will be coming back to thank you for bringing it to at least “MY” attention. I will now at least look out for it.
    .-= jj-momscashblog´s last blog ..The Secrets of Turning Ones Passion into Making Money Online =-.

  14. Melvin says:

    It sucks to have those thieves. I mean commenters usually work hard to get their way up and these bastards go with the shortcut route which pisses me off as well. I caught some of them on my blog as well.
    .-= Melvin´s last blog ..Why Personal Posts Get LOTS of Traffic =-.

  15. used tires says:

    Wow, I had no idea this was even possible. You learn something new everyday. Thanks for the heads-up and explanation.

    Till then,

    Jean

  16. I think you can use the option to make comments count by email so unless they enter the same email and keywords, they wont be able to steal it.

  17. Murlu says:

    Wow, thanks a ton for bringing this to light.

    It definitely comes across as a cheap way to exploit the system, hopefully there are ways besides monitoring the links to stop this from happening.

    I agree with you, we all should be on the lookout for this kind of activity. Real top commentors work hard to make sure they give great feedback so it’s really unfair for them to be hijacked like this.
    .-= Murlu´s last blog ..Finding Your Voice As A Writer =-.

  18. Moon Hussain says:

    Jay,

    Great post. I noticed a few weeks back when a comment was left by someone I “knew” online but they had a link pointing to a spam site. I remember being confused and deleting the link.

    I didn’t put two and two together. I’ll have to re-check my comments. Thanks.
    .-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Fun Friday Round-Up: Best PI/PF Posts of the Week =-.

  19. Sadly I’ve seen this happen many times! Its a shame they even try to do it, in the end they are just going to get caught and banned from the akismet system. And plus… why do they even bother, when the link they will likely receive is just one that is not related to their own website?

    On a side note… there are a few Top Commentator plugins that prevent this on its own.

  20. What’s the top commentators mean? I’ve been using wordpress for a long time but I haven;t use any of the wordpress plug-ins thats why I am not familiar with it.,

  21. @halloween costumes, It’s exactly as the title suggests, its a “top” list of all the commentators. Meaning it just basically says who has commented the most, in order from greatest to least. Pretty simple!

  22. Wow. This happened to me before on Yaro Starak’s blog. I was very confused. I even took the time to write him about it. Didn’t know the loophole was that easy. I hope that they are able to fix this problem. Obviously it was pretty intentional!

  23. Bidet says:

    I never knew you could do that, I thought changing the info would reset the counter but apparently not, thanks for the heads up.

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