It’s wonderful to log into the dashboard of your blog and see you have comments awaiting moderation. The engagement of our readers is any blogger’s goal, so we want to see comments. However, just as we have email spam, we also have comment spam.
There are plugins like Akismet, and if you’ve had a WordPress.com blog account for several years, you probably have the Askimet API number in your profile. In the past couple of years, Akismet has decided to charge a nominal $5/month fee for the plugin.
There are other WordPress comment spam filters. The one I’m currently using is Spam Free WordPress. It has a five star rating and works well for me.
You should also set your “Settings/Discussion” to moderate your comments. You want to be able to see them, approve them or spam them. These are my settings. (Tap the image to see it full size.)
Here are some examples of legitimate blog comments. (Tap the image to see it full size.)
Notice on the left is the author content. Your Discussion Settings should require them to use an email address. They also have the option of adding a website address.
In this first example the email address is there, but they didn’t include a website address. If they were submitting a spam comment, you would see a website address. After all spam comments are about trying to divert traffic from your website to their website or sales page. On the right side is the reference to the blog post. Notice the title of the blog post make perfect sense for the comment.
It’s pretty much the same for the next image. The author did leave a web address, but you can see it’s a pretty legitimate address, and if you want you can tap the link and check it out. The comment also makes sense for the post it’s related to on the blog.
Now, here are a couple of examples of spam comments. Right away you can see the links inside the comment content area. If you look at the author info you see links to their sites which are clearly business sites. Both these comments should be easily spotted as spam comments.
In this example you see that they might be legitimate comments, but this blog is a photo blog and the posts referenced in these two comments are of photos. These two blog posts don’t contain any text content.
Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how to spot legitimate comments and spam comments. The worst comments will be handled automatically through the Spam Free WordPress Plugin.