If you have had a word press blog for more than a few days, then you have probably already started getting comment spam. This article will explain where WordPress comment spam comes from, why it happens, and how to stop it.
What is WordPress comment spam?
If you are like me then you are probably thinking about a not so savory type of canned meat right now, but that is not what were talking about. Comment spam are remarks left on your website that offer no value, are often off topic, and usually contain links to a dis-reputable website.
It can be very confusing for a new blogger to recognize comment spam. Quite often the comment is what sounds like a glowing remarks about the quality of your writing, the thought provoking “points” you made, or some vague un-related question.
Where Does Comment Spam Come From?
Everything online is becoming more and more social. Comments allow your blog to change from being a one-sided conversation to a two way conversation. We call this feature social engagement.
One of the great things about WordPress is that social engagement is built right into your pages through the commenting system. This allows your followers to connect with you and relate to other followers and a controlled fashion.
One of the ways great features is that people leaving comments are also able to add a link back their own website or blog. This is a great thing because it allows you to build a network of followers where people can not only connect on your blog but also with other blog owners.
This elevates the sense of community and increases your social engagement.
Spammers know about this feature and attempt to exploit it solely to get links back to their own websites. This often results in poorly written or “thin” remarks with no real substance.
Two Basic Types of Spammers
The first spammer is a person who wants to get a link back to their website, but who is not invested in authentic participation. They want a link back to their website so they search Google for related websites and then leave comments solely for the purpose of getting the link.
The second type of spammer is actually a script or program written searched the Internet for WordPress blogs where they can leave comments for the purpose of getting a link.
It almost doesn’t matter which type of spammer you are dealing with. The resulting comment spam is pretty much identical.
How Can I Identify Comment Spam?
Here’s a few key tips to help you identify comments spam. First of all look at the name. Spammers will often put keywords like “online marketing” where the name should be. This is a dead giveaway that the comment was left by a spammer.
Another way you can identify spammers is by looking for links in the actual comment itself. While this is no guarantee that the comment is spam, it certainly is a red flag to make you look closer.
Off topic discussions are also another warning flag. If it doesn’t sound like the person read your article then you may be looking at spam.
One type of spam that often confuses most people is the glowing remark. Often these spammers will describe how thought provoking your article was in an incredibly vague way. They may even ask you a question. The question often throws the website owner off track. Don’t allow this. If the comment is not clearly connected to your specific post then it’s probably just another spambot.
Lastly, I would hesitate before approving a “thin” comment like “Great Post” or “Thanks for the excellent article”. These kinds of comments are often thinly disguised spam and offer no real value to your blog anyway. Unless you know that person commenting I would be inclined to move it to the trash.
How Do I Eliminate Comment Spam?
Stopping WordPress comment spam is very easy. All you really need is a little protection. There are some great plug-ins that identify and eliminate most comment spam. Some are free and others are not, but the cost can be easily justified.
A few examples of plug-ins that can be a huge help for you are Akismet, GASP, and Commentluv Premium. Akismet is free for personal use, but not for business use.
GASP is completely free and will eliminate robot spam. Robotic spam is where the bulk of spam comments come from.
Commentluv Premium is a fantastic plugin for promoting quality comments, eliminating spam, and enticing visitors to share your blog on Facebook, Twitter, & Google+.
You’re invited to get instant access to my newest video series The Best WordPress Plugins of 2012 at http://WordPressVideoDemos.com free just for visiting.