Comment spam is a sad reality of the internet world. If you enable comments on your website, spam comments is one thing you will have to deal with. And disabling comments is not really an option as it will end the interactiveness of your website which is apparently not good for internet marketing. Some may find it a good option to inflate the comments section of their post to create a false impression of public engagement on their website but comments void of any meaningful discussion are pretty much useless and can instead be detrimental for your website. But don’t worry, we’ve got you! In this article you’ll find ways to prevent spam comments on your website. But first, let’s talk about…
What is a spam comment and why is it a problem?
A spam comment is posted either by a spambot or spammer which exploits public internet forums to post unsolicited advertisements. Spam comments are bad for your website because they don’t add any value to your post, clutter your comments section and come in the way of legitimate discussions. Spam comments generally have hyperlinks and if a user clicks on them, s/he will end up on some irrelevant or messy website which will not only disappoint them greatly but will also harm your website’s image in their minds. As a result, users will try to avoid visiting your website. Hence while doing Search Engine Optimization, it is crucial to prevent spam comments.
Ways to Prevent Spam Comments on WordPress-
1. Restrict the number of links per post.
The whole objective of spam comments is to trick people into clicking the links it contains. By restricting the number of links, you can slow down spam comments a big time. Although, it will also restrict legitimate users but such users seldom post any hyperlinks so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. For this, navigate to Settings -> Discussion -> Comment Moderation and decide the number of links permitted. Any comment exceeding that limit will be flagged for moderation.
2. Use Anti-Spam Plugins
Installing anti-spam plugins is a great option for easy sorting out of spam comments. Such plugins have a regularly updated database of spam which helps it recognize and mark out spam comments. From Akismet to Antispam Bee, there are plenty of excellent anti-spam plugins available for WordPress websites.
3. Create a Blacklist of Spam Keywords
Spam comments usually have some recognizable keywords. After figuring such keywords out, you can simply put them in the blacklist so as to make sure that texts containing those specific keywords are not published on your website. For this, all you have to do is navigate to Discussion in Settings and find the Comment Blacklist section there. Here, you can add spam keywords and you’ll be all set. However, it is important to be careful while selecting on such keywords or else you might end up deleting legitimate comments.
4. Restricting Comment Privileges
Another DIY solution to prevent spam comments is to restrict comment privileges to registered users only. The objective of spammers is to post spam comments on as many sites as possible so instead of registering for your website, they will simply move on to the next target. You can restrict comment privileges by going to Settings -> Discussion -> Other comment settings. There, click on the checkbox labelled “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”, save it and you’re done.
5. Approve Comments Manually
For this, you’ll have to go to Settings -> Discussion -> Before a comment appears. Here, you will find a checkbox labelled “Comment must be manually approved”, click on it and save the changes. This will put every new comment in the Pending list and it will be published only after it is approved by you.
Comments help instigate meaningful discussions and build a community for your website which further contributes to brand building. Spam comments can be a big repelling factor for your visitors and can put your website in their ‘no’ list. To ensure a healthy and welcoming cyberspace on your website, it is crucial to prevent spam comments and you can do so with the help of the tips given above.
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