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How to Spot Comment Spam

Comment spam has for many bloggers become a real nuisance. I know I receive comment spam to my blog on a daily basis. But you’ll never see any of it published I can guarantee it. That’s because I know what to look for. If you don’t already know what comment spam is I can give you a fairly simple explanation. Most blogs accept comments from their readers. And most comment sections allow people making a comment to post a link to their own website. This is a totally acceptable practice that rewards the reader for being an active participant of the blog. Comment spam is typically done by people trying to build massive amounts of links at your expense. Personally I think it’s become a real problem. I love publishing real comments by readers of my blog and I don’t mind publishing a single link either. Comment spam though is really annoying. But there are ways to keep it off your blog.

For starters never set your blog to automatically publish comments. That’s what the spammers hope you have done. You should always manually review your comments otherwise your blog will soon be inundated with spam. When manually reviewing your comments in your blog admin section there are things to look for. The most common way to spot spam is by reading the comment. For spam to easily be spread and published the comment needs to be general in nature. Phrases like “nice blog, really helpful resource, I’ve bookmarked this for future reading” and other general comments are a sure sign of spam. People that have read your blog post and want to comment obviously have something to say about the post so they’ll reference it in the comment. Next pay attention to the emails of the commenters. Often you’ll see the same website used but with a different name associated. Something like JohnSmith@mywebsite.com and JohnPaul@mywebsite.com will be used over and over. Another thing to look for is excessive links in the comment. Some do nothing but try and publish the links.

Here is an example of some comment spam I recently received which should give you a good idea of what to look for. I really have to admit it’s rather pleasing to arrive at a relatively unique blog like yours, great job. I look forward to dropping by fairly soon. BTW I’ll be looking out for your next comment then. And here is an example of some badly written comment spam. I’m usually to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

As you can see comment spam is usually fairly easy to spot. It’s of a very general nature so that it can be published anywhere. Of course spotting it is half the battle, now what to do about it? The simplest thing is to delete it. For myself that’s all I bother to do. It usually only takes a couple of minutes of my time to scan the comments and mass delete the spam ones.  Also comment spammers have become fairly sophisticated and they will usually use multiple ISP addresses when submitting which makes it hard to block them. You can block the ISP but before you even do they’re using another. You can also use nofollow attributes for your links to discourage spam but that might discourage real visitors from commenting as well since a link acts as a sort of reward for participation. Finally most blog platforms such as wordpress which I use have plugins that you can install that help block comment spam.

Comments are great for blogs and to further the interaction between readers and the authors so I highly encourage their use. Let’s all just try and keep the spammers out though. If you’ve been thinking about a new website or using search marketing to market your local business or are already using it but haven’t gotten the results you expected give us a call at 615-890-3600 or use the form to email us. Search marketing works when it’s done right.  



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One thought on “How to Spot Comment Spam

  1. Hey, Cash! I’m glad you wrote about this subject. Yes, comment spam is annoying. I try to visit my WordPress site once a week to delete it, because there is so much of it that it can pile up quickly! It’s a shame, really, that some folks just try to take advantage of something they could learn a great deal from.

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