WordPress Comment Spam

How to Differentiate Spam Comments from Real Comments in WordPress

From websites and blogs to social media sites, commenting is one way to express opinions on businesses websites. Part of the goal of a blog is to get comments. It means that it is working. With any commenting blog or portal like WordPress, however, spam comments remains a major issue.

Spamming a blog or forum board, (usually called blog spam or comment spam) is done to promote a website by adding a link to the site. It is a form of black hat search engine optimization meant to artificially increases the site’s search engine ranking in the Google algorithm. It is also another way to promote a malicisous website.

Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target. It has been a problem that Google has recognized since 2005, https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html.

However, there are several ways to differentiate spam comments from real comments.

  1. First, never click on any links within their profiles or posts.
  2. Website owners should look at the profiles of individual posters. Spam posters usually have generic profiles, along with links to other sites and services. Comments that include a personal photo usually has been created using services like Gravatar, https://en.gravatar.com/.
  3. Spam comments also tend to have temporary e-mail addresses that are linked to promotional sites. Spammers usually register generic e-mail addresses from services like gmail or Yahoo. But the emails often use numbers and generic names like sally or john in the email.
  4. Check the IP address that the comment provides. If it comes from suspicious countries like China, South Korea, India or the Ukraine, be especially suspicious. The US is part of the top 5 so be aware of that too. https://www.sophos.com/en-us/threat-center.aspx
  5. These comments are usually generic reflections on how great your blog is, how they’ve never seen a blog like yours before, how they’ll return for such great information. But nothing that is related to the blog post topic.

What Methods Can Help?

Check out our method of removing comment spam

  1. Apply spam filters for your business or personal blog. As an industry leader in spam detection, Akismet caught over 24,000 spams in 2012 alone. Services like this can help board owners easily differentiate between spam and real comments. Typically, for commercial sites, the price starts at $5/month so it depends on your website popularlity and how often you’d like to monitor your comments.
  2. There are other WordPress plugins like Spam Free WordPress that help combat blocking IP addresses and use of certain words as welll as alogrithms to detect spam.
  3. Delete the wp-comments-post.php file that is the comment form.

More information on comment spam can be found on WordPress.org as well: https://codex.wordpress.org/Combating_Comment_Spam

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Christina Hawkins

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