Every so often I come across a topic that really just pisses me off. Spam is one of those topics, because I hate spam. I loathe spammers, because they are the scum of the blogosphere. There is almost nothing that irritates me more than having to log on to my many niche websites on Monday morning, and have to delete several hundred spam messages. Clearly, these people can’t think that this works, can they? Anyone in their right mind can see that these comments, questions and emails are spam, only meant to get a quick link back to their useless content.
Anyway, there are a few different things that you can do in order to fix this problem. Because the Content Medic deals strictly with making your website awesome. Let’s concentrate on how to set up your WordPress site so that it is optimized for less spam attacks.
Welcome to the Anti-Spam Show:
Before we hash out how to fix this issue, let’s first talk about what they’re trying to accomplish by spamming you to begin with. First off, let me say that it isn’t just you. No offense, but you’re not all that special. Not to these spammers, anyway. They don’t really care who they spam, and likely, you are just one of hundreds, or thousands, of websites getting hit each day.
Their main goal in life, besides causing you massive headaches, is to get back links to their own websites. This is a form of black hat SEO. The goal is to have as many links pointing at their website as possible. But it was because of fools like this that caused Google to change their algorithm in the first place. Hence, comment back links don’t carry as much weight as they used too.
Some bloggers, who don’t know any better, don’t want to be bothered with their comments, and set them to auto approve. When they do this, the spam comments are automatically approved as well. This is great for these spammers, and that is what they’re hoping for.
However, anyone who takes their blogging seriously, won’t just allow any comments to slip through the cracks. If you’re serious, you read each comment to see which ones are real, and then approve, or deny them, from there. That is what I do, and what I recommend that you do as well.
Option 1: plug-in
But, there are ways around spam comments, if you choose to set your site up to do so. The most obvious way to get these spammers to stop, is to use a CAPTCHA plug-in. There are several good ones out there, and they are all easy to download and use. I recommend that you look at any feedback left for them, however. You don’t want to download a plug-in that will crash your site. This applies to any plug-ins that you may download. And trust me, I downloaded a plug-in that crashed one of my sites. I was not happy.
Spammers are smart, so there’s an option 2:
But, spammers are getting tricky. They are getting better at even getting around the CAPTCHA forms. So, in order to combat these stealthily smart fools, you have to set up your spam filters to work right. This may take a little work, because you actually have to input keywords that you want to block into your site. It takes a few minutes, but is very easy to do, and well worth the time. All you have to do is hover over “settings” to the left of your screen and click on discussion. Go down to the section that allows you to type in some words that you want blocked. If you’re getting a lot of spam from one specific individual, this is a must.
I made a list of the words when the comments were still in my inbox. Then, I typed them out, one on each line, until I had no more left. After that, click save, and wait for more. Hopefully, at this point, you won’t have anywhere near as much spam cluttering up your inbox. You may get the stray comment every so often, but it won’t be as much as it used to be. Each time one of these comments slips past your filters, add one of their keywords to your list of blocked words to help make sure that it won’t slip through the cracks the next time.
Ideally, unless you hate using plug-ins, you’ll want to use both options. Together, they can prove to be very powerful and effective.
You need to stay on your toes, and the last thing you want to think about is spam. After all, one of the most important aspects about your blog is awesome content. And that in and of itself is hard to come up with. But, if you do the work once, and set it on auto pilot, you’ll only have to update every so often allowing you to focus more of you time on your awesome content.
Which plug-ins do you like to use to block your spam?