Keeping Spam Off Your WordPress Site
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I can not guarantee success for your WordPress website. I can not guarantee traffic. I can not guarantee you will make any money with your WordPress site. However, I can guarantee you will get spam comments. Not long after you start adding content, and even before you add content sometimes, you will begin to receive spam comments.
There is software out there that does nothing but search out blogs to comment on. Once you have been discovered the spam will begin rolling in. How can you spot a spam comment?
1. Brand names and Medications – Anytime you get a comment that mentions popular medications (think Viagra) or brand names in either the Name field or the actual post – most times it is spam. If there is a link that is titled by a med or brand name then you can be assured it is Spam.
2. Foreign Language – Foreign language doesn’t always mean Spam but it is a warning sign. Again this is especially true if you notice a foreign word (not name) in the name field. If you are writing a completely English blog but you are getting Polish comments it doesn’t add up. A real life example is I was getting badly written comments with what I thoguht was a Polish name. When I checked out the “name” in Google Translate it was roughly the Polish term for Search Engine Optimization. A popular keyword no doubt, when i realized that I knew I was being duped.
3. Lousy Comments – Again this isn’t a definite sign, but it can be a good warning. If you are getting comments that are irrelevant and poorly written..check the URL that the commenter added. If it is something to do with ecommerce, medication etc.. then it is probably a spam comment. Lousy comments includes ones like “Great article” “Good post” etc… Sometimes the comment won’t make sense at all – like it was meant for another post. This is definite SPAM.
Even if you can spot SPAM though how do you fight back? Well I suggest 2 ways:
One, you better activate Askimet. It comes with the WordPress installation and does a great job blocking spam comments. It has a huge database and it will run checks against your comments to figure out if it is SPAM or not. It isn’t 100% effective but it does help a ton. It is also kind of intelligent. It will learn when you correct it (ie. it marks a message SPAM that isn’t.)
Secondly you can look at some of the other comment plugins available. DISQUS is a popular one and it will add a lot of flexibility to your comment moderation. It won’t put an end to spam but it will cut it down a significant amount.
The more you use WordPress the better you will be at spotting SPAM comments. Plugins can help you in the battle, but most important will be your savy-ness is spotting SPAM comments. Good luck and I hope all your comments are positive!