Sunday, March 10, 2013

How to Control Blog Comment Spam

SpamRunning a blog is a stressful yet rewarding process that allows writers to share their opinions, engage in conversation and perhaps even earn a bit of income if they apply themselves to the task. What a writer does not need occurring is any more stress than the natural task of writing brings to the table, and one of the most common forms of irritation is comment spam. If you are running a blog and wish to insulate it from constant onslaughts of comment spam, then continue reading to find out how you can implement techniques to help safeguard your blog’s functionality and reputation.
Comment Spam Is Terrible
What exactly quantifies as comment spam? Usually, it refers to messages posted on blogs by people who are seeking to gain backlinks and in the process, enhance their own sites’ fortunes by piggybacking off of your blog. Some bloggers will leave these comments on their blogs in the hopes that it creates a false impression of activity, leading to more activity from real posters. Unfortunately, comment spam can harm your search engine rankings, may demonstrate to readers that you do not take comment moderation seriously and ultimately can be distracting to those who wish to genuinely comment.
Identifying Comment Spam
Some may have difficulty discerning the difference between a spam comment and a legitimate comment, depending on the circumstance. In many cases, comment spam is obvious: it either does not pertain to the subject at hand, is poorly worded or has a terrible “lead” in to the site that is being promoted by the comment. By inspecting whether or not the comment uses real contact information, has keywords in it (used as an SEO tactic by many spammers when pinging search engines) or appears to be one of many varying comments from the same person promoting different sites, then chances are it is comment spam.
Anti-Spam Measures
Most bloggers use WordPress these days for both their blogging and general website maintenance. If you have WordPress, there are quite a few built-in settings that can be utilized to prevent comment spam, such as comment moderation/approval, trackback disabling and hiding comments that are past a certain age. There are a variety of plugins that can be used as well, giving administrators the ability to automatically direct comments perceived as spam directly into a spam folder for later review. Even if you are not using WordPress, there are several standalone options available to any blogger to help weed through spam comments as they arise.
While there is no full-proof way to completely prevent spam comments from appearing on your blog (short of disabling comments altogether), you can be smart and proactive in knowing what to look for and how to remove it. As a blogger, you must keep a vigilant eye out for each and every new comment posted; you do not want spam pinging search engines from your site that could ultimately destroy your search engine rankings. By following this basic advice, you will negate the vast majority of damage that potential comment spammers can cause while also preventing them from gaining an advantage at your expense.

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