Managing Comment Spam

Using comments is a great way to start a conversation with your readers. However, it is also a way that spammers use to draw traffic to their sites by adding links to the comments they submit. We use Akismet to help block and manage Spam, but some still gets through. Unfortunately, the more popular your website is the more Spam traffic you’ll see. There are also spikes in comment Spam, just like there are spikes in email Spam. Below are some tips on what you can do to manage Spam on your blog or site.

Do you need comments?

If you don’t find value in using comments on your site, you can disable if for future posts and turn it off for existing posts. You can always change your mind later and turn it back on.

Managing Spam

If you do find value in comments, here are some tips for managing comment Spam using Akismet. Akismet is a service run by Automattic, the folks who created WordPress and WordPress.com. It is a hosted web service that automatically detects Spam. Each time a comments is added to your site, it is submitted to Akismet which runs tests and either marks the comment as Spam or lets it through. If you have your comments moderated, which we recommend, the comment will then wait for you to approve it. If a Spam comments slips through, you can then mark it as Spam. This information will be sent back to Akismet and help them update their tests to make them more accurate.

  1. Login to your website.
  2. If you have any comments waiting for moderation, you will see them in the admin menu at the top.
    Comment Waiting for Moderation
  3. You can click on the comment number or go to Comments from the admin tools on the left.
  4. You will see all of the comments submitted to your site. You can click on Pending to filter out the ones waiting for approval if you have a lot to go through. You can also see all of the comments that Akismet has marked as Spam. In this example, 2 are waiting moderation and 5,865 have been marked as Spam. Aksimet does a fairly good job.
    Comments and spam
  5. To mark and individual comment as Spam, hover over the title and click the Spam link.
  6. To mark the multiple comments as Spam, click the Pending link to select only the pending comments. Check the boxes next to the Spam messages and select Mark as Spam from Bulk Actions and click Apply. You can also check the box at the top of the list (next to Author) to select all the comments for easier bulk editing.
    Mark as spam
  7. The selected messages will now be marked as Spam on your site, but will also help Akismet add these comments and users to a list of known Spammers.

How do I know if a comment is Spam?

Generally, if the comment is generic flattery, then it is likely Spam. From Akismet

Email spammers write messages to get your attention. Comment spammers write messages to escape your attention. They want you to believe they are real bloggers, real people, writing real comments, so you’ll approve the comment and publish it on your site.

They use flattery, appeal to your good nature, and simply lie in order to convince you to give them the benefit of the doubt.

http://akismet.com/how/

You can also check the Email address it came from and the website link associated with it. Most spammers are trying to sell something and want to use your site to help generate traffic to theirs.

How can I delete Spam?

You can delete the comments marked as Spam from your site at any time. You may want to review the Spam comments for false positives. This is rare, but can happen.

  1. Go to Comments 
  2. Click the Empty Spam button.
    Empty Spam
  3. The Spam comments will be permanently deleted.