Blog Comments: What’s Spam vs Real
It’s not uncommon to sign in to your blog dashboard and see a plethora of new comments, especially if you’re updating on a regular basis. And for the most part, this is a good thing, right? People are finding your blog and reading your content. Hooray! You’ve created something the world loves… or is at least taking notice of. But in the age in which we live, not all comments are coming from credible sources, and you have to be careful about which comments are published onto your blog. Read on for some helpful hints on how to differentiate a spam comment versus a legitimate comment on your blog.
Is that spam?
If you’re relatively new to blogging, you might start to see some comments on your posts that may have you scratching your head. Take the below image for example:
On the surface, the comment looks pretty congratulatory. This commenter found your article to have some interesting points, plus, “ps nice internet site.” Hey there’s a feather in your cap! But wait a minute… “Nice internet site…”??? That sounds odd, even though there was a compliment paid. Better check the credentials of the commenter.
The name could be legitimate, sure. But then digging a bit deeper you notice the link under which the comment was published. And the gmail address is pretty generic and could be suspect. If you dare to even open that Tumblr link (we did because this was a comment left on our blog at SEO Inc.) you will notice the site seems to be a repository of junk information and seemingly no direction. Not to mention it literally has nothing to do with the content we posted and therefore, a link to this commenter’s outside site is probably not going to benefit SEO Inc. in any way.
How Do I Stop the Spam?
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to monitor the Internet and who will be leaving comments on your blog posts. However, many blog dashboards come equipped with the ultra-handy addition of being able to moderate comments prior to them going live. Here’s what you do:
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
- Find the option on the lefthand control panel for “Settings.”
- Click “Settings” so the sub-menu drops down.
- Highlight and click “Discussion”
- Check the box about halfway down the page that says “Comment must be manually approved.”
- And check any and all other boxes you feel might help combat some spam from getting to your stories.
That’s it. Now you can keep churning out the awesome content free of any fear that some spammers might be littering your comment sections with links, irrelevant ramblings, and potentially harmful things now living on your site.
When in Doubt…
Should there ever be a gray area that you just cannot decide whether a comment is legit or spam, it’s best to err on the side of spam. The Internet can be a weird place full of bots and people creating bots with weirdly odd ulterior motives. I mean, who knows why the above commenter wanted his link to live on this particular blog post? There must have been a reason. But luckily you will never have to find out, because you have better things to do. And you have your comment moderation settings turned on. Right?
Blog to Glory!