There is no better way to receive support and interaction from your site visitors than to receive comments on your blog posts. You would be keen to know your readers’ thoughts and their comments are a way to increase your visibility on Google too.
As such, every time you receive an email notifying you that you have a comment posted, you get all excited only to find that spam has been left in the comment box. It could be an ad or just some totally incomprehensible nonsense but either is of no value to you!
So how do you reduce comment spam (and the false excitement)? There are many things you can do or plugins to use; here are 5 of the best ways to reduce comment spam on your blog:
1. Disallow comments on older posts
– Older posts are unlikely to get much attention from readers, so you can consider closing the post to comments to prevent autobots, software of scripts from targeting and posting comment spam on your blog.
There is a feature under your control panel that closes comments on a post automatically after the post has been uploaded after a certain length of time, so you don’t have to do it manually. All you need to do is to set your preferred length of time.
2. Ban spam IP addresses
– You need a plugin such as WP-Ban to help you do this. You need to help the plugin do its job by saving the IP addresses that you have identified as spam. When you receive a comment spam, note the IP address, add it to the blacklisted list and you will never receive spam from that address anymore due to the ban imposed.
However, only ban the IP address if all you ever receive from it is spam and you are certain that no good visitors would ever come from that IP. This is because any visitor coming from that same host name will be blocked and unable to view your blog too!
3. Install spam-protection plugins
– The lazy or those with zero-blogging knowledge would rejoice at this method of using a plugin to eliminate spam for them. All right, to be fair, I am one of those who is lazy and who likes to use these plugins too.
All you need to do is to install the plugin and let it do its work. One popular plugin which almost all of us use is Akismet which comes bundled with WordPress, so you don’t even have to go hunting around for it. Akismet works excellently to prevent spam from being auto-approved but to get to the root of the problem, it is advisable to use another method in combination with Akismet for greater spam reduction.
4. Set some rules
– The above methods would have prevented most spam from getting to your blog but sometimes, a few comment slip through. These are usually those which can be quite specific to the topic of discussion, contains keywords instead of a name in the “commentator’s name” field and has links to a website which is related to the keywords.
So what do you do when you come across a comment that is actually useful but doesn’t have an author that you can trace? The solution pretty much depends on what your rules are. If you think that using keywords instead of a name is “spammy”, leave a note on your blog asking commenters to use their names or an email address, else their comments will be deleted. You could also replace their names with the names in their email addresses or change the names to “Anonymous” if a keyword was used in place of a name.
No one hates spam more than bloggers who have worked hard to create content, only to find an assortment of useless comments on their website and spend precious time going through and deleting them. Getting rid of comment spam is easy as most methods only need to be set up once, so there is no reason for you to put up with comment spam any longer!
What is your best method to reduce comment spams? Share with us in the comment section below.
Image Credit: arndog