WordPress Comment Spam

Many of our clients are using the WordPress platform as a content management system (CMS). If you’re new to WordPress websites and the social interaction they offer, there are a few things to know about Comments. The ability for visitors to comment on your website — whether that’s a blog post or web pages themselves — can add great value to your site and build community there. Of course content, especially fresh content, is also essential to successful SEO.

The downside to open comments is that spammers try to hijack your pages by creating “comment spam.” They may be spamming your website for a number of reasons; however, links from your site are typically what they’re after. Just like email programs have spam filtering, the WordPress platform has it’s own filtering system. Akismet is one plugin that comes standard with WordPress to eliminate spam, and it does a pretty good job of culling legitimate comments from junk.

Of course, the goal is to only approve comments that are contributing value to your discussion. One common thread through all Comment Spam is that it will have a website link, known as a backlink, associated with it. Below are some tips to help you quickly spot the spam in your site.

  1. The name (next to the profile photo, or no-photo graphic) is not a name at all. It’s often a keyword phrase for their business. Examples might include: “Large tote bags,” “Freelance writer,” “Backpacker travel insurance,” etc.
  2. The comment is generic, like, “Loved this post…”
  3. The comment is overly complimentary, like, “Advantageously, the article is actually the greatest on this notable topic.”
  4. The comments contain unnatural language and typos. (This is usually because they are spamming from India or the Philippines.)
  5. The comment is off topic or just plain gibberish, like, “Being with you is like walking on a quite clear morning.”

Again, as a general rule, only approve thoughtful comments that add value. If it doesn’t pass that basic test it should end up in your trash or spam box.

Until you get a substantial audience to your blog, you will not see many legitimate comments (most of these will be comment spam). Don’t get discouraged — just let the spam software do it’s job. It is almost always right. Ignore the spam comments and focus your attention on approving and replying to valuable commentary.

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