How to Stop Spam in Comments – AntiSpam Tips for Bloggers

Every blogger and a lot of website owners like comments. As someone wrote “comments are blood of blogs”. Without them blog looks like empty house or dead city. We all love comments. But we like them only when they are from real people, not from spambots.

 

And there is a connection – the more popular blog is, the more spam comments it will get.

 

In this post I will try to show you how to stop SPAM in comments, most popular antispam software for bloggers and some funny examples of spammy comments.

 

How to stop SPAM

 

If you like this post – share your love by tweeting, liking or give + ;)

Okay, first of all – how you can operate with comments?

  1. You can accept all of comments – Google and your readers will hate you, spammers will love you…
  2. You can don’t accept comments below your posts – I don’t like it, blog should live…
  3. You can check all of your comments manually – it’s never ending job. Instead of doing it you can write a guest post for NPI…
  4. You can install and configure anti spam software for your blog. It takes only some minutes, but it saves you tons of work

 

After choosing 4th answer (did you choose another one?)  we must decide, which software we can use. There are a lot of free and paid commenting systems we can use on WordPress, but I’ll concentrate only on most popular systems.

 

1. Facebook Comments

Some of blogs use FB system for commenting. I don’t like it because I’m not the host of the comments (Facebook is the host). FB changed a lot of things recently – for example landing page disappeared. Do you want to lose all of your comments?

 

2. AKISMET

AKISMET was the system I was using for a long time (on Polish market I still use it for some of my small niche sites).

But AKISMET isn’t perfect. Sometimes it treats real comments as a spam, and sometimes treats SPAM like normal comments.

What’s more, some weeks ago I made about 100 comments on a lot of blogs in two days.

After it AKISMET ‘s spamfilter qualified my comments as a spam. I don’t know if they have blacklist or something similar, but on blogs where AKISMET was in use, my comments go to spam folder, without any information. Luckily after contacting with their support, problem was resolved.

 

3. Comment Luv free version with G.A.S.P.

CommentLuv free version is the commenting system I used prior to paid version. It has some features, which other systems don’t have.

For example:

  • It gives to commentators possibility to choose from their 10 recent posts to link back to own blog (it use RSS for this purpose)
  • You can set who can choose from 10 last posts – only registered members, nobody, everybody
  • You can set dofollows or nofollows for comments
  • With another plugin, Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin, it protect you against spammers (there is a checkbox hidden from SPAM bots)

comment

4. Comment Luv Premium Version

It’s paid version of this tool. It has all of the features from free version and lots more. For example, in CommentLuv Premium you have:

  • Integrated GASP
  • Integrated Twitter link
  • You can ask your commentators to pay for some “link juice” (you will get more posts to choose from)  via Tweeting
  • Top Commentator Widget

It’s not free, but it’s worth to buy it – you can try it in comments below ;)

 

5. Disqus Comments

Some of my friends use Disqus. I don’t use it because it doesn’t give a prize for commentators – backlinks.

 

6. Triberr Comments

I like Triberr because it’s the best social tool I use, but commenting system is not my favourite. Triberr, similarly to Disqus, doesn’t reward commentators with backlinks to their websites.

 

7. Own AntiSpam System

If you are software programmer, you can stop SPAM by modifying code of your WP, for example by modifying   ‘.htaccess’ file. If you don’t know how to do it, you can find free guide about it below this link – it’s site of my friend Sandeep Kumar

 

8. Other Commenting Systems

I don’t know them – so I can’t introduce it to you

 

All of above mentioned systems can stop automatic SPAM made by SPAM bots (it’s about 95-99% of SPAM). But we still have manual, human spammers (in last two weeks I got ~40 handmade spam comments).

spammy comment

How I manage with them? – I put them into trash or spam folder :)

And how I separate the wheat from the chaff? Read carefully, below I reveal my tricks.

 

How to check if your comments are or aren’t SPAM

  • Gravatar

First of all I’m looking for photo/image from Gravatar. Comments from my friends are accepted almost automatically

  • Name

If name of commentator is filled up with keywords, I’m looking for another signs of SPAM

  • Using  author name in a comment

When someone use name of the author in the comment, I’m almost sure that it’s real comment

  • Coca Cola test

I perform „Coca Cola” test. It means, when I’m not sure if something is SPAM or not, I imagine that the comment is placed below post about Coca Cola. When the comment is too general, it will fail this test ;)

 

Below you can find some examples of those types of spam comments:

Spammy comments

 

But sometime spam commentators try to be even smarter:

“good post about… (and here is a title of your post)”

 Nice comment with great value…

 

There is only one more issue to discuss about SPAM – should we accept automatically comments from people who made some real comments before?

Some bloggers accept it, some bloggers don’t accept it.

 

Why I don’t accept comments automatically?

There are two main reasons.

1)      I want to know who participate in commenting and I don’t want to lose some comments (as you know, I’m answering on almost all of comments on NPI)

2)      Commenting systems in most cases check email, name and website to identify the commentator. But sometimes, if spammer knows some emails of your friends, he/she can pretend to be someone else and post spammy links inside the comment.

 

Okay, I wrote everything I want about SPAM in comments, now it’s your turn.

So, please share your experience with comments and anti spam software you use on your blog(s).

Comments

  1. Lee says

    Hi chris
    Very informative post for me my blog is in its early stages so at the moment to many comments aren’t a problem. Was just trying to sort it out so that I could sort out the spam and get rid of them from the start so,hopefully when things pick up I amm already on top of things.

    So for great heads up thanks lee
    Lee recommend you to read:Bucket List IdeasMy Profile

  2. jaquelin says

    Hi Chris,

    Spam commentators are not adding any value to your website but they want to taking the link juice for your website. So you should prevent such spammer. Thanks for sharing nice tips!

    Regards
    jaquelin
    Bosch Dishwasher Reviews
    jaquelin recommend you to read:Bosch Dishwasher TroubleshootingMy Profile

  3. Sara Fargoons says

    Hi Chris,

    Spam will always be a problem. However, a well-designed site that has taken into consideration the common spamming techniques will be able to avoid most spam. The techniques we’ve explored here should help site owners effectively to battle comment spam. Ultimately, the Webmaster needs to adapt his/her techniques to deal with spam on an ongoing basis. The secret to success, then, is continual monitoring and adaptation to spammer’s changing tactics.

    Regards
    Sara Fargoons
    Multi Purpose Tool

  4. says

    Hi Chris,
    There is definitely a flurry of spam comments these days. Often times you will get around 8 spam comments out of 10. The thing is, as you mentioned, spam commentators are trying to get smarter as they try to use a generalized comment which can fit regardless of the topic your post has. I use the free version of CommentLuv for my commenting system, which I believe attracts spam commentators. This is the very reason why I personally do manual approval of comments. If the comment is totally unrelated to the post, I trash it.
    Johanna recommend you to read:The New iPhone 5My Profile

  5. Earl says

    We deal with spam comments a lot. Since I have some time on my hands, I just manually filter them out.

    Current spam comments still deliver the same message as the examples you cited, but they are appear to be “spun.” This is an example:

    “That is this kind of wonderful resource that you will be delivering so you provide it with apart for free.”

    Other less obvious spam comments can be caught by being a grammar nazi. Sometimes words get jumbled letters. For instance, “comments” is written as “cmmoents.”

    Anyway, thanks for the tips. Should come in handy if we start getting bulk spam. haha

    • says


      Twitter:
      Hi Nizam, great that you like it. This field is in discussion settings (wp-admin/options-discussion.php), section: Jetpack Subscriptions Settings (probably it doesn’t work without Jetpack plugin).

  6. says


    Twitter:
    Hey Chris,

    Ah, that nasty hour letter word.. Spam! I hate spam.

    This was really a very thorough post on this yucky topic but my favorite for fighting spam is CommentLuv Premium. Yes, I did use the free version before Andy graced us with the paid version and I do agree, he continues to improve this plug-in to help us all fight this ongoing problem.

    I’m happy to say I don’t get as much spam as some would. But when they thank the “admin” for the post I don’t care how good their comment was it goes straight to trash. Admin? Do I have admin on any of my posts and can you not see my name all over my blog?

    I use to use Akismet but it would throw some legitimate comments into spam so I quickly quit using that one.

    I personally don’t like the other commenting systems but to each his own right.

    The Coca Cola test, how funny is that. I just check for gravatar, good comment and linking to a good blog. If one or none are in place then it’s trash to me. My blog is about building relationships and if you can’t take the time to follow my rules then you can’t play with the rest of us.

    Again, great post Chris so thank you for this one.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recommend you to read:Why You Need Google AuthorshipMy Profile

  7. says

    Haha.. Nice one.. The coca cola test is something funny one yet that can be used to find whether people really read the articles and comment or they just do it! Nice article. Publishing comments after author’s approval would also do!

  8. says


    Twitter:
    Hi Chris…..

    First of all….a very big congratulation for writing such a informative and problem solving article…..

    Spam Comments are really nightmare for bloggers….we can’t stop them but yes we can reduce them surely…..

    You have covered all the aspect of spam comments…..Type of comments, all possible solution etc…….its really a complete article about ‘Spam Comments’.

    Last but not the least – A big thanks to mentioning my name and solution here………
    Sandeep Kumar recommend you to read:Google Penguin is depositing more dollars in Google Bank AccountMy Profile

  9. says


    Twitter:
    Great post Chris!

    Spam is SO annoying, especially when they include links that are totally unrelated to the post. I myself use Akismet on my site, which seems to be doing a great job since I installed it.

    As someone that uses Disqus, I found your comments about it interesting. You said that you don’t like it because it doesn’t give you a ‘reward’ (i.e. link) for commenting. I’m interested to know whether this puts you (or anyone else reading this) off commenting on a site. Are you less inclined to leave a comment on a Disqus using site than another?
    Matt Smith recommend you to read:Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins Of 2012My Profile

    • says


      Twitter:
      Hi Matt,
      thanks for stopping by. As I wrote, I use Akismet on some of my niche sites – but sometimes normal comments land in SPAM. About your question – I comment only on some blogs with Disqus (yours, Adsense Flippers and maybe two more…).
      There are two main reasons for that:
      1) only few people who comment on my blog have disqus installed on their blogs
      2) there is no back traffic from the comment
      You can try to change your commenting system for one month and (IMHO) you will see difference ;)
      BR, Chris

  10. Abdallah Al-Hakim says

    I agree with you that comments are the ‘blood of blogs’ and are sometimes even more informative than the blog itself especially when a conversation is started. Most of the blogs that I comment on at a regular basis are quite self-regulated by the community and I hardly see any spam. To me that is the best way to manage your blog in the long run.

    Your tips are useful – my only caveat is that I am slightly annoyed when my comment awaits approval and takes too long. This really disrupts the flow of conversation on a blog and will probably reduce my chances of visiting again.

  11. says

    Yes Chris, you are correct at your point. Getting more and more comments from spam-bots is nothing appreciable. Comments should only be approved if it is meaningful. Just a simple “Thanks” or “Great post” like comments usually turned out to be a spam. So, it needs to be checked before approval.

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