Who doesn’t appreciate a nice compliment or pat on the back or the occasional stroke of our ego. Even for a girl that likes to be behind the scenes, I still enjoy when others express sincere appreciation for the things I do. But no one likes the kiss up who is only interested in their own gain.
Here recently I almost got sucked in by a seemingly genuine comment that was really just discreetly guised spam. Here’s what it said,
Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
Please let me know. Thanks
Looks innocent enough right (never mind that I don’t really know what a zynga group is) but the comment appeals to my desire to provide useful and thoughtful content. As luck would have it my spam fighting plugin is smarter than I am and was holding this comment in a little holding cell along with a few others. You see Arthur Keneyd was quite busy finding all sorts of goodness on the blog and leaving pleasant sounding comments in the hopes of littering my site with his spammy links. So what gave him away? These three things below.
3 Ways to Spot Spam Comments
- Off Topic: Comments do not relate to the topic of your blog post. I’m not sure why my Friday Five post would be something his room-mate would be chatting on and on about.
- Same Name but Multiple Email Addresses: there’s a different email address for each one of the comments although it links back to the same website.
- Type of Site: One of things I like about WordPress is that I can hover over the website address of the commenters to see a snapshot of the webpage they are linking to in their comments. If the site looks questionable or shows a 404 error as it does in this case, I send the comment to spam or trash.
For a blogger, spam is just part of the territory. Since making the switch from Blogger to WordPress, I noticed that I do have an increase in spam but here are my tactics for fighting back.
1. Plug-ins: Currently I’m using Akismet and Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin to combat spam. I just started using Growmap recently and I’m not really sure I like the addition of the check box. Does that little check box annoy you? Previously I was using FV Anti-spam but it I found I had few false positives with that one. Lately I’m getting the most spam showing up in my feedback folder from my contact form and I don’t like that extra step of having to send things to spam folder and then to the trash. Anyone know a workaround for that?
2. Discussions Settings: I have checked that before a comment appears public on my site the comment author must have a previously approved comment and I also hold any comment that has more than 2 links in it so that I can manually approve it. Additionally, I have entered certain words in the comment black list box.
Here’s my recommendations for my Blogger users. I’m not a fan of captcha or word verification besides it can be very hard to complete when commenting on blogs from tablets and other mobile devices.
Change your comments settings to the following:
Who can comment: registered users only (this will prevent anonymous users from commenting)
Comment moderation: unless you get lots of comments I would only turn comment moderation on sometimes for posts older than 14 days (or some other number that makes sense for you)
How do you moderate your comments? What plugins do you use to fight spam?