Save Time by Keeping Your WordPress Blog Spam Free

by Tamal Anwar on Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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spam comments in wordpressSelf hosted wordpress blogs are the easy targets for spammers dropping link bombs and spam comments. Now if you are blogging for a while with wordpress you will know what I am talking about.

A SPAM is like a junk mail that has no value. Mainly people spam forums and blog comments to get a link back (free publicity) to their site of interest.

Sometimes people hire low quality link builders and they drop irrelevant comments. Now we expect that the internet should be a clean place but it is not. Without knowing how to deal and prevent spam comments you will be making your blog look bad in the eyes of your readers.

Here is an example of a spam comment,

Example SPAM Comment

Mainly spam comments/discussions are,

  • Irrelevant, not related with your topic
  • Don’t know the author/blog/article topic
  • Overly thankful/generic (Nice post!)
  • Don’t have a custom avatar
  • Has links/keyword in their name
  • Repetitive/drops lots of comments within short period of time
  • Related to Viagra/Insurance/Credit Cards/Loans/Casino
  • And the list goes on…

Now if you do not take a stand, you will be losing your credibility. And most of all spam comments will give you a hard time trying to get rid of them.

Here I will outline the tips that will save you time dealing with comment spam,

1. Activate Akismet Plugin

Akismet by wordpress comes built in. All you have to do is to activate the plugin. Now the next step is to create a wordpress.com account and get your key to activate it. I have no idea why they require you to use a key. But anyways after activating, Akismet will do its job and filter the comments.

Set the option to delete spam comments when they are 1 month old, so that the spam comments don’t grow behind your server.

2. Setup Comment Moderation

Enable comment moderation in: WordPress > Settings > Discussions menu. This means when people leave a comment you have to approve it. This will make sure that spammers don’t appear on your blog automatically. Also set this option that says “A comment author must have an approved comment”

comment_moderation

By doing this you are giving access to the real people who previously commented and have been approved. So that the regular commentators get approved on auto, while the first time commentators will be moderated.

3. Don’t Make Your Comments Do-Follow

For them who are not SEO geeks here, do-follow/no-follow is a term for links. When a link is set to “no-follow” that link will not supply any SEO link juice. By default comments are no-follow on all blog platforms. There is a reason why. In the past few years bloggers started to use custom plugins to make their blogs dofollow. This promotes commentators. The same way this attracts a lot of spam. The spammers will just target your blogs for link love and also submit your blog in comment directories or list. So if you have heard from some folks that you should make your comments do-follow, DON’T!

4. Engage People but Do Not Give Incentives for Comments

A blog post will genuinely attract comments. Reply to them and you will gain more comments, it will happen naturally. But there are ways to give incentives, like the CommenLuv plugin, the Top Commentator sidebar widget. These incentives attract spammers and people who are here just for the link love. When people are benefited, they will leave a comment. When people don’t agree with your point, they will leave a comment. Some people will leave a comment just to show their support.

5. Edit Comments & Don’t Allow Keywords in Them

Some people put keywords like “Chicago Carpet Cleaning” in the name field. Instead there should be a name of a person. In that case edit the name and change it to that person’s name or something generic. When you do this, you are discouraging keywords and showing other people that you want people to use their name only. This will help you turn off your spammers. You can accept the brand names, a personal identity or if you really want to accept keywords, accept form people who are trusted folks.

6. Block IP’s

When you realize that someone is trying to spam with different ID’s and emails but having the same IP address, you can block their IP from commenting. This will help you get rid of that particular spammer.

7. Use a Non WordPress Comments System

Non wordpress comment systems are third party comment options. They just discourage links and other spam. When there is no way to link to a website, or the comment is not indexed in google, it will turn away spammers. Such comment options are Facebook comments & Disqus.

Read: How to add Disqus in your blog
Also Read: How to add Facebook comments in your blog

8. Turn off Comments Automatically

If you have a very popular blog and you are getting lots of discussion, then you can set your blog to disable comments automatically after a month or so. To achieve this, go to WordPress > Discussion and set this option.

close comments automatically

Additionally check your spam filter if it accidentally put some real commentators behind the bars. I hope you enjoyed this article. Please DO LEAVE A COMMENT

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  • http://roadtoblogging.com Istiak Rayhan

    I am using GASP plugin. It is more effective than Akismat. sometimes Akismat considers genuine comments as spam.

    • Tamal Anwar

      I never used anything out of the box, but I do like that Akismet gets the work done. Yes sometimes it pushed the real comments in spam, and that’s very disturbing.

  • Aditi

    Hey,
    You have just highlighted some of the best tips as ever. I like the fourth point that you have suggested. Giving comments on your post do depends on your readers and this should not be made compulsory by giving them different promotions. All other tips are also very vital and should be followed in order to save your blog from spam. Thanks for the share!!

    • Tamal Anwar

      Gentlemen! We have a live example of a clever spam comment!

      Name is Aditi (Indian) but the face of a white lady. The URL was SEO-Writers-India

      The spam filter caught it depending on other spam acts on different blogs. Also as you can see how cleverly this comment is written and full of praise.

  • Ibrahim Kamrul Shafin

    Yes, I faced the same problem and still facing. Spammers comment continuously to gain some link backs. I have seen many bloggers (newbie) who just approve the comments and keep it there. They believe that, ‘you have a great blog, great design….blah…’

    Thanks for the share. I think securing a little time to manually approve the good comments is enough to defend spammers. But, perhaps, the owners of popular blogs will not find it enough :)

    Spammers, beware :)

    Bottom Line: No comments is better than Spam Comments.

    Thanks.
    Shafin,

    • Tamal Anwar

      Absolutely correct bro!

  • EKo

    yes, i also got junk comment…

    So now i got the wayout..

    cheers,
    EKo

  • Steve Fitzpatrick

    This is an awesome post. I’ve come here from your reply to me in the warrior forum and this post has helped me rid my blog of spam comments!!

    I want genuine comments on my blog and I want to engage with my readers to help my blog grow so I do not want to disable comments altogether.

    Thanks man I’ve booked marked this blog and I’ll be sure to come back to see how else you can help me get my business going.

    Steve.

    • Tamal Anwar

      You are welcome Steve! My blog is full of useful articles and hopefully I can help you more ways than one from now on. Let’s connect on WF and FB or other.

      For getting genuine comments, just write great pieces of information, genuinely share great info and people will love to leave comments. Just like you did today :D