Ha. Just got another message from a client who has been the victim of several comment spam campaigns:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <some hapless business>
Date: Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 6:18 AM
Subject: Unnatural inbound links coming from your domain, 2nd request
To: <my client>
Please take this comment down immediately. Also, if you would confirm your compliance with this 2nd request, we would be most appreciative.
So of course, my client is very concerned about this, and looking for action. What's my response? Serves them right!
See, my site and many of my clients have a constant battle fighting this comment spam. This business owner at some point hired an "SEO Expert" who went out trying to "build links" by posting spam comments everywhere they possibly could.
Commentary is an important part of the web, and having high quality dialog and comments on site is incredibly valueable. Spam comments totally detract from that, and are a total scourge.
What this request is all about is somebody who engaged in destructive practices is getting penalized by Google. I say, "serves 'em right!" They should be penalized for this. Let 'em hang out a while longer suffering from the consequences of very poor decisions.
Of course, we're not going to let the spam comments linger -- they do reflect badly on our own brand. I do my best to make it hard for spammers to comment, while promoting dialog with people who have something to add to the conversation, and remove spam comments whenever I can.
And leaving the spam comments up longer, when a site is being penalized, really doesn't affect the actual spammer who posted the spam -- but it does penalize the people who PAID for the spam to be done in the first place.
So here's the lesson: when it comes to SEO, be very, very careful to understand what you're paying for, and make sure it's for activities that are not going to harm your brand down the road.