The all annoying comment spam

What is comment spam? Comment spam is a fact of life for blogs and sites with an open door policy for comments and interaction.  We and most other bloggers out there allow comments on our site in the hope of generating more relative content and sparking discussions, but this good intention is heavily capitalised on by link hungry SEO hunters.  If only the whole world was honest and trustworthy, then this idea could work straight off the bat with no security measures.

How can one prevent comment spamming?


Disallowing multiple consecutive submissions

It is rare on a site that a user would reply to their own comment, yet spammers typically will do. Checking that the user’s IP address is not replying to a user of the same IP address will significantly reduce flooding. This, however, proves problematic when multiple users, behind the same proxy, wish to comment on the same entry.  Once a comment has been recognized as spam you could block that user’s IP using your CPanel even.

Blocking by keyword

Blocking specific words from posts is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce spam. Much spam can be blocked simply by banning names of popular pharmaceuticals and casino games.

This is a good long-term solution, because it’s not beneficial for spammers to change keywords to “vi@gra” or such, because keywords must be readable and indexed by search engine bots to be effective.

If you want to implement this on your WordPress Blog you can install the  WP Content Filter plugin.

nofollow

Google announced in early 2005 that hyperlinks with rel="nofollow" attributewould not be crawled or influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index.

Using rel="nofollow" is a much easier solution that makes the improvised techniques above irrelevant. But spammers being stubborn as they are will post the links anyway so surfers will be able to click them anyway.  But it’s a nice thought that you are not contributing to their rankings.

CAPTCHA

Many forms on websites take advantage of the CAPTCHA technique, displaying a combination of numbers and letters embedded in an image which must be entered literally into the reply form to pass the test. In order to keep out spam tools with built-in text recognition the characters in the images are customarily misaligned, distorted, and noisy.

If you want to implement this on your WordPress Blog you can install the SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam plugin.

Redirects

Instead of displaying a direct hyperlink submitted by a visitor, a web application could display a link to a script on its own website that redirects to the correct URL. This will not prevent all spam since spammers do not always check for link redirection, but effectively prevents against increasing their PageRank, just as rel=nofollow. An added benefit is that the redirection script can count how many people visit external URLs, although it will increase the load on the site.

All in one Solution

If you are looking for the all in one solution you can try the WP-SpamFree WordPress Spam Plugin.  It claims the following:

Most of the spam hitting your blog originates from bots. Few bots can process JavaScript. Few bots can process cookies. Fewer still, can handle both. In a nutshell, this plugin uses a combo of JavaScript and cookies (on steroids) to weed out the humans from spambots, preventing 99%+ of automated spam from ever getting to your site. Almost 100% of web site visitors will have these turned on by default, so this type of solution works silently in the background, with no inconveniences. There are extremely few users (less than 2%) that have JavaScript and/or cookies turned off by default, but they will be prompted to turn those back on to post their comment.

I haven’t tried this plugin myself, but I’m about to install it and play around with it.  If anyone out there has tried it let me know if it is all they say it is.

Anyways, I hope you found this information useful.

Regards

Johan Marneweck

Johan Marneweck
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