3 Effective Ways to Reduce Comment Spam in WordPress
I usually get emails from new bloggers asking me how to protect an WordPress blog from spam. Though link building is slowly becoming an ineffective strategy when it comes to SEO, most website administrators and SEO companies simply won’t stop blatantly spamming links in literally every website that they come across. Spam comments not only create a bad impression about your blog to your visitors, they also indicate that the security of your WordPress blog sucks. If you use the default WordPress commenting system, comments are loaded normally, means search engines can read and index them when they crawl through your posts. Thus, irrelevant fishy comments are also bad for the SEO of your website. You can fight spam on your WordPress blog implementing three smart techniques that I’ll explain in this post.
Akismet is by far the best thing ever for tackling comment spam in WordPress. It comes pre-installed with WordPress and is developed by Automattic, Inc. , the driving force behind WordPress.com. Most newbies however forget setting up Akismet, thus they don’t actually use it! What you have to do ensure that Akismet functions on your blog is opening the Akismet settings from your blog’s plugins page and signing up for an API Key. You can sign up for a ‘personal’ API Key for free on its website. Once you’ve created an API Key, you just need to input the key in the ‘Akismet API Key’ box in Akismet settings and it should start working.
Once you’re done setting up Akismet, there are practically very less chances of someone spamming your blog posts again. 😉
#2 Cookies for Comments:
Cookies for Comments is so awesome that I used to keep my mouth shut about it. The less the people knew about it, the more secured would my blog be against comment spam. Essentially, this plugin helps detect bots and stops them from commenting spam on your blog, removing the need for a captcha plugin. When a page of your blog is opened by a web browser, the plugin forces a cookie. If it’s a bot that opened the page, it won’t have the cookie while posting comments, and then the plugin will come into play, incredibly marking the comment as spam automatically. The plugin can also (optionally) check how long it took a user to enter a comment. A well thought out comment can’t be written in so less time, right? If the comment is entered almost at the same time as a user opens the post, it’s probably posted by a bot. If you want additional protection, this advanced plugin is a must for your blog.
#3 ‘Nofollow’ Links in Comments:
Now that WordPress automatically sets links in the ‘website’ section of comments ‘nofollow’, you don’t have to worry about passing PageRank to irrelevant websites. But, what if someone posts a fishy link within an otherwise normal comment? It’s not set as ‘nofollow’ by default. It’s bad from both PageRank and SEO perspective.
There’s a little plugin called Ultimate Nofollow that gives you an option, among many, to set all links in comments as ‘nofollow’. So, even if some human link builder writes a relevant comment but includes an irrelevant link in the comment, you don’t have to worry all that much about it. Apart from stopping the transfer of PageRank, the ‘nofollow’ attribute also tells Search Engines – “We’ve got nothing to do with this link”.
The plugin also allows you to mark links as ‘nofollow’ by simply clicking a checkbox when you insert a new link while writing a new post.
You can protect your WordPress blog against comment spamming till an incredibly high extent implementing these strategies. Produce new content in peace, forget spam. 🙂
Do you know about any other method to prevent WordPress comment spamming other than these?