Comment spam is a cheap technique used to get backlinks or traffic from your blog. Sometimes, it is even used for the purpose of advertisement. It is a problem faced by almost everyone who has a blog.
Comment spams can be really annoying. You are excited when you are notified that someone has commented on your blog. You feel valued and see the comment as a sign that people are actually reading and assessing your blog. However, the joy is short lived. You soon find the comment to be nothing more a stupid spamming technique.
Sometimes, the comment spams are very easy to identify while at occasions, the spammer may try to act a little bit smarter in an attempt to appear authentic. Whatever be the case, these spams are not just annoying but actually harm your blog in multiple ways.
The good news however is that this is a problem we can effectively deal with. The infographic below by How to Start a Blog Online teaches you techniques that really work to stop comment spam on your WordPress blog.
Below we have summarized the key points from the infographic.
Effects of Comment Spam on Your Blog
- Google will rank you lower in its results if it senses you are have bad links in your site.
- It will give negative impression to users as they notice you are overlooking moderation and maintenance of your blog.
- Readers will lose trust in you if they happen to land on inappropriate sites by clicking on links in your blog.
Signs of a Comment Spam
- The comment is made with keywords in the name field.
- The comment is too all over the place.
- The comment contains irrelevant or too many links.
- The comment is made with a fake email address.
- The comment is self-promotional and unrelated to your blog post.
- The comment links to questionable sites.
Ways to Stop Comment Spam
1. Use CAPTCHA.
With the use of CAPTCHA, you can detect whether the user is a human or a bot.
2. Activate Akismet.
Akismet comes pre-installed with all the installations of WordPress. All you need to is to activate the plugin and get API key.
3. Ban spammers by their IP.
Spammers can be denied access to your blog based on their IP addresses.
4. Disable trackbacks.
Trackbacks from other blogs that appear whenever they link to your posts can be disabled.
5. Turn off comments on old posts.
Since legitimate comments usually come only for new posts, comments on old posts can be disabled.
6. Use honeypot protection.
Honeypot protection puts a hidden field in comment form that is ignored by humans but filled by bots, thus blocking the bots.
7. Remove URL field in comment form.
When you do this, the users won’t be able to fill the URL of their site when they comment on your blog.
8. Hold comments for moderation.
You can manually approve comments if your blog doesn’t receive too many natural comments.
9. Disable anonymous commenting.
You can only allow registered users to leave their comments.
10. Completely disable comments.
This is the ultimate weapon that will surely help you get rid of comment spams.
Featured photo credit: Word Cloud from WordPress Comment Spam by Bryan Kerr via c2.staticflickr.com