Blog comments are a wonderful way to turn blogging into a two-way street, establish better communication with your audience, and witness that you are not sending your ideas into an Internet vacuum (yay!).
While your blog’s comment section typically brings you positive vibes, it can also become a massive source of frustration. Yes, we are referring those ugly spammy comments like “Thanks, great post, and a tons of links to some shady websites”.
So, how do you fight back? Here is a round-up of top tips on how to deal with spam comments.
Understanding the Nature of Spam Comments
Before going into the practicalities, you should understand how and why spam comments appear in the first place.
Typically, spam comments are part of someone’s poor SEO strategy aimed at getting as many links as possible (which isn’t the answer to higher rankings!).
People tend to leave comments with optimized anchor texts to make Google believe that their website should rank higher for it.
Why do they choose to target your blog out?
- It’s popular and your page SEO metrics are rather high (congrats!).
- You have low spam protection and auto-approve all comments.
- It just happened that you’ve written on a relevant topic and your blog URL was captured by their web scraper.
Now, most spam comments are not posted manually, but with a help of special spamming software.
The bad news is – it costs nothing to create hundred of thousands of comments a day.
The good news is – there’s always another software antidote.
How To Protect Your Blog From Spam Comments
Here’s the dilemma – you don’t want to close your comment section and always aim to make it easy for readers to post genuine comments; but you also want to protect yourself from spammers without making the commenting process too complicated (e.g. by adding CAPTCHA).
Here are a few quick tips for that:
Enable comment moderation. You can find and set everything in your WordPress Admin panel > Settings > Discussion.
WordPress offers a few handy options to protect your blog from spammers:
Comment author must have a previously approved comment – enabling this feature allows your permanent readers, who have previously left great comments under the same name/email, to instantly post new comments without pre-moderation.
Comment moderation section allows you to enable moderation for comments containing 1+ link inside. The go-to way is to enable moderation for all comments with links.
Also, you can add a list of words, IP, emails etc. that will instantly send a comment to moderation e.g. bag sale, fake, etc.
Comment Blacklist allows you to clean your moderation queue by creating a blacklist of spammy words, websites and IP addresses. Browse through the past spam comments and add all the IP’s and common spammy words to the box. Here’s a huge list of common spam words you may consider adding as well.
Quick note: there always might be false-positive comments, so make sure to check your comment spam folder once in a while for accidental comments.
Try Akismet – our favorite spam protection service for WordPress, that filters all the comments for you without any additional settings needed!
Back to you: What’s your way to fight with spam comments? Share the tips in the comments!
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