If you happen to be the proud owner of a popular blog, you have certainly encountered the vilest part of moderating a blog. Yes, you have guessed it right; I am talking about spam attack. I know how tiring it is to go through each spam comment and then pressing the delete button to get rid of it.
It takes a freakishly long time and sadly enough, there is no way to escape. As long as you are pursuing your dream to become a hotshot blogger, you have to face this nagging problem time and again. To make your task easy, here we are going to give you some tips that may help you identify the problem:
Types of Spams:
Before you go into details as to how to prevent comment spamming, allow me to introduce you with some technical terms that can help you understand the nature of the spamming.
Comment is definitely the most predominant form of spamming. Spammers use automated software or tools to post comments on your blog posts that contain links back to their websites. By doing this, they manage to get links back to their websites.
Pingback gets created automatically when someone links to your blog post from his website. Since bloggers are much in the habit of giving back the favor by offering similar Pingback from their blogs, this method is now being widely adopted by spammer to earn links easily.
Now you might be wondering why you need to waste your time raging a war against the spamming techniques. Of course, there are some valid reason as to why you should invest your valuable time battling blog spamming.
If your blog post is stuffed with comment spams, it creates a bad impression about your blog in general. Your visitors might have a feeling that the blog is lacking moderation and therefore, they should be wasting their time reading the post which seems littered with spam galore.
Google is now waging a war against the bad links. And that means, you should be a part of it and this can be done by making your blog spam free.
Imagine a situation where your readers are going though the comments posted against your blog post and found that most of them are not directly related to the theme of the post.
Majority of them somehow happen to be related to Viagra. So, visitors are most likely to lose faith in you and your blog. I hope this is something that you will certainly not like to see happen.
It is tough to differentiate a spam comment from a genuine comment because in majority of cases, the spam comment is so well written that you may tempt to pass it as approved. Some blog owners read all the comments carefully to figure out whether the person has actually read the post or not. If they find that the comment is related to the post and if it appears that the comment talks about things discussed in the post, they approve it instantaneously.
Whereas some people just check the link included in the comment field and if they find it irrelevant, they just send them to trash without even looking at the comment. But both these techniques are flawed and therefore, here I am going to give some more tips that you should also take note of while identifying a spam comment:
- If the link added to the comment is too bad or irrelevant to that post, just delete them.
- If you find that the person is not using a real name rather using keywords, you should flag them as spam because it does affect the look and feel of the blog. For say, you should not approve a comment with the Author Name as “Breast Enlargement” even if the comment is well written. I hope it makes sense right?
- Does the comment sound too generic? I mean read the comment loudly and try to figure out whether the comment can be applied to any other post irrespective of the theme. Another great way you can dispel your doubt whether or not a comment is genuine is by Googling the comment. If you find hundreds of similar comments posted on other blogs, Bingo! You have nabbed a spammer.
- Look at the email address. Does it look familiar or does it look out of the world? I love Russian and Chinese people, but honestly speaking I have come across spooky email addresses and majority of them belong to these two countries.
So now you have learnt how to identify comment spam. The next job is to root out the evil. Let us see some of the methods of stopping spam.
Third party commenting System:
This is now widely accepted by the majority of bloggers and without any shred of doubts, we can safely say that it is a handy tool. Here are some popular third party commenting systems – Livefyre, Disqus, Facebook Connect etc. Though these tools may help you reduce the amount of spamming, they are not good enough to eliminate the issue completely. Moreover, there are two possible pitfalls of third party commenting system –
1. They increase the page – loading time of the website
2. They make commenting systems users unfriendly
So, it is your take.
It will take an absurd amount of time if you start moderating comments one by one. Rather try these tips to simplify the moderation process:
This will reward those who are posting genuine comments. This will save your time and effort greatly to differentiate from genuine people to spammers. This will act a rewarding program for those who are taking pain to read the entire posts and post a thoughtful comment or two.
Turn off Trackbacks:
Trackbacks spam is certainly those few spamming techniques that can make you go nuts. However, before you turn off the trackbacks, you need to figure out whether they are adding any value to your website or not. If you find that these trackbacks are not adding any value, just turn them off ( do not get emotionally attached to them).
Turn off Comments after a Week:
Those who are after links, always try to find out blog posts with high PR. Since your blog posts accrue Page Rank after a few weeks, it makes sense if you can turn off the comments after a week or two. It will thwart the attempt of those people who want just to have back links from the comments.
About the Author:
Michael Evans is passionate about search industry and web design. He is currently associated with MotoCMS where you can find wide range of Flash templates to choose from.