How to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog – My experiences and policies regarding it

This blog is supposed to be on YouTubing tips. Well, it in fact is; 90% of the posts are based on YouTube tips and tricks. But other than that there are a few things I have to share with the world. Otherwise, I guess I might actually deprive common people of some exquisite new information and experiences I just happened to encounter. That’s why today I’m going to write and publish a post on how to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog.

I guarantee you that this article is exclusive in that it covers latest scenario and what you actually may have to go through while attempting to stop spam on your blog. There are definitely good articles on this topic from famous and popular blogs. But I’m afraid that they may not be updated and thus are kind of misleading to the readers. If you try to follow them to every single word, you might actually get yourself in jeopardy.

how to fight spam comments on WordPress blog
Spam comments come in hundreds, don’t they?

Let me give you an example: they may be suggesting you to use a particular plugin; but when you decide to install that, you may not find it at all. May be the name of the plugin has changed or it is no longer available. Whatever it is, I say ‘Stick with me on this post to the end and I will show you how I finally got rid of all the spam comments on my blog once and for all’.

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Spammers turned on me the day I started my blog

It’s not only my experience, but also other bloggers’ experience as well that they become victim of spam commenting virtually from the very first day of blogging. The fact is that the more popular your blog becomes, the more it is likely to be spammed.

When I first saw that many people/parties were commenting on my posts, I became happy as I thought my blog was getting popular day by day. But within a short time, I found that most of the comments were ‘average’ ones. That means, these comments could be submitted on any post on any blog; they were not specific to my posts/blog.

Also these ‘average’ comments had links to weird sites. I realized that these comments were submitted NOT because the readers(!) found interest in my posts, but they basically wanted to gather traffic on their sites. Because anyone clicking on their names would be directed to those apparently unsafe links. (This blogpost is on How to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog)

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I was in a dilemma with these comments

Since the comments had built-in links, they could not only steal my traffic/audience, but also could lead people to unknown and dangerous sites. So I wanted to NOT approve these comments. But I was still bound to approve them more or less, because I came to know that the number of approved comments indicate the popularity and standpoint of a blog.

Then I thought about getting rid of the links. At a point, I started doing that; I approved the comments after deleting the links. That way I was preventing my audience from visiting unsafe links. Still I wasn’t happy about the comments because they were being submitted every now and then. It felt like I would have to spend a significant amount of my time in dealing with these comments. In short, they became a constant threat to the peace of my mind.

Also in most of the cases, the comments didn’t have appropriate names for the posters. Whereas a comment poster’s name could be ‘John Smith’, many of these comments had weird phrases like ‘Health & Fitness’, ‘Legal Advice’ in the name section. It was obvious that even if these were real people, they were not interested in my posts or blog; they were simply interested in posting comments and attempting to increase traffic to their creepy blogs.

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Comment is submitted but post wasn’t viewed

I was still trying to remain happy thinking that the number of approved comments on my blog was increasing day by day; this should get my blog in a better global ranking. But I was wrong, these comments without links were doing neither good nor bad to my blog. I was just stuck in a loophole, that’s all. Had these approved comments contained harmful links, they would certainly cause harm to my blog’s ranking.

I came to learn about this through another blog of mine. I experimentally approved a lot of comments on that blog and I didn’t get rid of any links. Clearly, 95% of those comments were no way associated with the posts of the blog. Within two or three days of time, I found that views on my blog sharply declined. So finally I learned my lesson. From that moment on, I was thinking about getting rid of spam comments once and for all.

That’s when I did a little research on how to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog. I found a few nice posts: some of them were from famous blogs and others were from NOT so famous ones. I decided to read the post from the most popular blog and really liked it a lot. But while I started to implement that on my blog, I faced a lot of problems. (This blogpost is on How to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog)

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A post from a ‘popular’ blog just misled me

A few plugins were suggested on that post. I decided to install apparently ‘the most reliable’ plugin. But it complicated matters much more than I could withstand, so I got rid of it. Then I tried to install the ‘second reliable’ plugin, but it was not found at all. May be its name was changed after the publishing of that post, or it was deleted. Whatever the case might be, I was unable to install it. Then I tried the third plugin; it worked and I found it very useful.

This was actually a captcha plugin (Securimage-WP). It makes sure that only humans are able to post comments; this is exactly what I needed. You guys now might be asking me ‘Why are you blaming a nice blog that helped you find the particular plugin you were looking for?’ Well, I’m not exactly blaming it! I just want to stress that even the most popular blog or post could mislead and embarrass you.

For example, the blog I just mentioned here embarrassed me one more time. It had a post on ‘honeypot’ technology. I’m grateful to it because I learned about this nice technology from this blog. But when I decided the install the ‘honeypot’ plugin suggested by the blog, I just didn’t find it at all. I was disappointed once again. These are the reasons why I’m writing this post today on how to fight spam comments on a WordPress blog. Because I can claim that whatever information and strategy I’m offering here are updated and latest.

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I also learned to use Aksimet to fight spam comments

For a long time, I’ve been hearing that Akismet helps you fight spam comments on your WordPress blog. But I was never able to use the plugin in this regard. This is because every time I advanced to use the ‘Aksimet’ plugin to detect and fight spam comments, an API key was sought for. And when I visited the associated site to get API, it asked for money. Frankly, I’m yet NOT in a position to spend money for plugins. So I simply used to quit on that site.

But recently I carefully observed ‘the money’ thing. I saw that it said ‘Name your price’. Previously I thought I had to pay at least a small amount. Although I was able to spend an amount of $5 to fight spam comments on my blog, I just didn’t have a credit card or any others standard means to pay that. So that stayed as ‘a bone in my throat’ up until now. Finally the creativity in me grew to try sliding the knob to its leftmost end. And I was successful! I finally discovered that I didn’t actually have to pay anything to use the ‘Akismet’ plugin help me fight spam comments.

Then I started using the plugin to detect spam comments out of the pending ones. I believe ‘Akismet’ properly does its job, though I’m not sure how it works. My reason for this is that if this didn’t work properly, why would millions of bloggers use it? Also as far as I’m concerned, Akismet is a built-in plugin provided by WordPress ‘Standard’ team. Frankly, I know nothing about this team, who they are and also how WordPress developing works! Anyway, I’m sure I will get to know about that later.

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A few tips to detect spam comments

Akismet is probably not capable of detecting spam comments submitted by real humans. I’ve done a little research on that and came to learn a few things which I’m going to share with you guys now. I’m going to address you in such a manner that you’re also a blogger same as me.

If somebody submits a comment that has the person’s name as ‘Health & fitness’ or ‘Law & legal’, you should not allow it. Because the person who posted this comment didn’t like your post or blog. They simply did this with a view to gather traffic on certain blogs they’re assigned to. Also chances are, phrases like these look like they have nothing to do with your blog or contents. If you’re a tech blogger (same as me), there should NOT possibly be any comment on your posts which claim to relate to health and fitness or even ‘law and legal’. Frankly, this is simply absurd.

Also before approving a comment, take a sharp look at the email address provided. If the email address seems to be fake, then don’t approve the comment. Because the ‘comment poster’ is not here to engage with your post and audience community, they’re here to spam only. Be careful about people who provide multiple email addresses on different comments. Also don’t approve comments by people who tend to post a number of comments in a very short span of time. That’s all for today, I’ll be giving you more tips on blogging later.

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