How To Detect & Block Blog Comment SPAM
While working with clients I’ve come across many blog comments that they “approved” that were actually “spam” comments. Spam comments are often left by automated robots but they can also be left by humans who are just looking to promote their own business or get a link back to their website/blog.
Spam Can Hurt Your Blog
Spam blocking software keeps track of the IP addresses and/or email addresses that are flagged as spam creators…they basically put them on a blacklist. If you approve multiple comments from known spam creators, it can hurt your blog and your blog’s reputation. It is therefore important to know how to spot a spam comment and also to install a spam blocking plug-in.
How To Recognize A Spam Comment
When you are looking through your blog comments, look for the following tell tale signs of a spam comment:
- more than 1 pending comment from the same IP address
- in the “name field”, the commenter entered their business name, a bunch of keywords or just random letters…instead of their actual name
- there are links in the comment
- the comment is very generic or vague…it doesn’t say anything specific about the post or even the topic of the post
- the grammar is extremely poor
- the comment is about a topic completely unrelated to the blog post
Here is an example of a “spam” comment that initially someone might think is a “valid” comment:
Comment: I just could not go away your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person provide on your visitors? Is gonna be back continuously in order to check up on new posts
Topic of the post: How To Create An Organized Home Office Where You Can Be Productive
Name of commenter: alexa chung mulberry bag
Why This is a SPAM Comment: Not only is the grammar very poor in the above example, but the comment also matches red flag #2 and #4 above.
Paying attention to the above warning signs, and flagging comments as spam when appropriate, will help protect the reputation of your blog and keep the published comments relevant.
Two Spam Blocking WordPress Plug-Ins To Consider
There are numerous WordPress plug-ins that can be used to help detect and block spam. The most popular plug-in seems to be Akismet. I’ve used Akismet on my own blogs for years and have been very satisfied with its performance.
According to Akismet:
For many people, Akismet will greatly reduce or even completely eliminate the comment and trackback spam you get on your site. If one does happen to get through, simply mark it as “spam” on the moderation screen and Akismet will learn from the mistakes.
Akismet now requires that you purchase an API Key in order to use the plug-in on a commercial blog. If that isn’t something you want to do, I suggest you check out G.A.S.P. (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin). I read some reviews about G.A.S.P. on the internet recently and then installed it on a few of my client’s blogs. It is performing very well and saving me a lot of time! (No more email notifications of comments that are actually spam and fewer comments to sift through when I login to WordPress.)
I hope the above tips help you reduce the amount of spam comments that your blog gets, and more importantly, that it helps you recognize spam comments and flag them appropriately!