Identifying WordPress Spam Comments

WordPress users will know that there’s a default spam plugin called Akismet included that is fairly effective for automatically identifying and dealing with spam. If you’ve got comments turned on for your blog posts or pages then you’ll occasionaly get email notification of new comments which you must either Approve, Mark as spam or Trash and links will be provided in the email for each option.

There’s a new breed of spam that escapes filters like Akismet and appears to be a bit more real than traditional spam, ie – no mention of viagra or no funny email or web addresses with foreign lettering. They look and read like a manually created comment by a real person and probably are actually created in this way. Typically they take the form of complimentary comments about your content. Here’s one I got today for example:

“I loved this post. Very informative.”

The commenter added this web address – http://articledominance.com/freereport.html which appears to be a get rich quick offer/site asking for your email address and name, possibly to spam you some more!

My basic, common sense advice when you get comment notifications from your blog is to have a quick look at the commenter’s url/website and see if it looks legit. Also see if the commenter’s text is generic or actually relates specifically to something you’ve said in your post. As another general rule of thumb, if the comment doesn’t contribute anything interesting, related or useful to the discussion on your article then I’d delete it.

Here’s a few things, specifically to do with the commenter’s website that I would delete or mark a comment as spam for:

  • Overselling something,
  • Get rich quick content,
  • Asking for signups/email addresses,
  • Advert heavy sites,
  • Sites with tons of Google adverts,
  • Completely unrelated site.

Leon.

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Posted in How to Guides, Wordpress Tips on July 5th, 2010
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About Reverb Studios Design

Reverb Studios is an affordable Web & Digital Design studio based in Leitrim, Ireland and specialising in Wordpress Website Design, Graphic Design and Photo Editing.

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  • http://www.mikeafford.com Mike Afford

    Hey that is very good post. I have bookmarked it and will read it later ;)

    Only kidding Leon – yes, most comments these days (or at least the ones that get past Akismet) are of the ‘that is very useful’ type. I have a few waiting for approval right now. I’m considering deleting their website links and then approving them anyway.

    Nah. Quicker to delete.

  • http://www.powerpointsforfrench.com Therese

    I wondered how that (Akismet) worked. I’m new at making a blog with WordPress and still do not understand how to add subscribers to my page. I do like your description for adding a separate page on downloading pdf files so I’m planning on adding one for downloading PowerPoint presentations. One thing of note on your site, I love what you did with the popular rotating keywords on the right. Is that also in WordPress widgets?

    • http://www.reverbstudios.ie Leon

      That’s a WordPress plugin called WP-Cumulus.

  • http://anti-dolt.blogspot.com Anti-Dolt

    Ha-ha! This is so true. I’ve actually wrote a blog post about this very issue, in the past: http://anti-dolt.blogspot.com/2010/02/imbeciles-trying-to-get-backlinks-in.html

    It is so obvious when you have spammers trying to get backlinks in the comment fields, especially when they tell you how great and informative your post was – even if the post they’re commenting on, is any but informative or nice. Oh, I’ve also had the same issue with WordPress, but it is not a big deal since I have comment moderation enabled at all times.
    Plus, I’ve also did like Mike (comment #1) has done, and just delete the links and leave the content/comment for me to make fun of. Oh, the possibilities…

  • Leon QuinnThanks for checking out my Blog! I'm a Multimedia/Web Designer based in Leitrim, Ireland. Leon.

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This blog is written and maintained solely by Reverb Studios Design. Contact Leon at Info@Reverbstudios.ie or 353 76 602 5555.