October 12th, 2010

Kill Your Blog Spammers Cat


In today’s guest post, Dean Cruddace talks about a bane of my life – Comment Spam, as well as solutions to fix it, enjoy!

Link Attrition = en masse links from as many sites as possible.

Well if you believe a link is a link then the attrition approach will be favoured over the quality link, yet we as SEOs already know that building a relationship or crafting a carefully thought out email to your link prospect will reap the goals we are targeting and that is only 2 of a multitude of ways to gain a valuable link.

Links by attrition are going to end in tears, I am not talking about naturally gained editorial links gained through great content, more links that are gained through forcing your content on others through your bots who seek out weaknesses in your WordPress install. Try turning Askimet off for 5 minutes to see what I mean.

Still the bane of any site we still have floods of spammy link attempts on our content. Why?

Lock it Down

You could very well remove the commenting system altogether within your WP install, a few bloggers do this already for varying reasons, but what if the food of your site is the comments and interaction of your visitors? Taking away the option to comment or respond to your articles does not become an option. So what are the alternatives?

A Different Commenting Platform?

A different commenting platform in the cloud such as Disqus or Intense Debate can be an option, but what if that services ceases to exist? What happens to all of the comments you have gathered?

WordPress Plugins to Tackle Spam

There are a number of plugins to take care of your persistent spam commenting bots (and users). Askimet comes as standard in every WP install but if you have just set up a commercial venture you may not be keen on paying the monthly while your blog is still a little fresh faced. In this instance I would recommend something like WP-Ban, robust and with enough options to tackle the most annoying spam bot. A recent attempt on my site yielded 144 comments before I stopped the rot through WP Ban, I let these trickle through because I have another evil plan for that spammer but that`s a story for another day, suffice it to say I have enough details about this aggressive spammer that I will use to turn the tables.

Why So Much Spam Commenting?

Spam commenting is still on the increase (Askimet Stats) yet we still offer up the ability for the easy link to the spammer through bad protection or even the unthinkable, un-moderated comments. Aside from the generated comments from a script that targets unprotected sites we have the commenter who thinks he can get an easy link from a site just by filling your comment form out with a probably copied and pasted sentence into every blog that does not use nofollow, Nichola Stott posted a great article on recognising comment spam back in February.

So How Do We Stop Spammers in Their Tracks?

  1. Get protected with a decent plugin for your site/blogging platform
  2. If their mother did not call them “Keyword in the URL field” then neither should you
  3. Kill their cat

Dean Cruddace, when not praising the glory that is Darren Bent, can be seen at SEO Begin Ltd – a Sunderland Based SEO firm. His twitter handle is @DeanCruddace.

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