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How To Control Comments On Your WordPress Blog

By Rizwan Ahmad - 20 November 2013 No Comments
Even though with every new update in their algorithms Google are aiming at showing spammers that this is not the best way to do SEO and that if they don't stop it right away they will be penalized, some people just can't take the hint. Of course, you don't really care about their sites, now, do you? No, because you think that what they're doing doesn't concern you. Well, this is where you're wrong. The problem is that your site isn't a closed system and ranking doesn't depend only on your work and your efforts.

SEE ALSO: Effective Benefits Of Mobile Marketing For Bloggers
How To Control Comments On Your WordPress Blog
Image Credit: farm3
If you have too many comments spamming links, Google might think you're aiding the spammers and treat you as the perpetrator rather than the victim. It's not their fault – they're just trying to provide the best service possible and punish those who are trying to use some apparent weakness in the system but your blog might get caught in the crossfire. Lucky for you, there's plenty of options to protect yourself from comment spamming, and control and manage the comments on your blog more easily, either way.

Identifying Spam
The first step in solving a problem is identifying it. You need to know whether or not a given comment is a genuine comment or spam before you can act on it. Imagine how disappointed or even angry your readers will get if you start removing or disapproving of their comments. You see it as a way of protecting your blog. They see it as a personal attack. This is why you need to be certain. Identifying spam isn't all that difficult, though. Just like a doctor can spot the symptoms of a disease and know what to look for the moment you walk in the room, the same way you can learn to identify spam comments with ease.

The first and most significant symptom that a comment was written by a spammer, probably for SEO purposes, is the name. In most cases, SEO spammers don't use names, but instead resort to the use of keywords as names. If you see someone called “Car Rental” or “Computer Services”, this is a fair sign that this is not the person's real name and is, in fact, a keyword they use. Such comments usually come with links towards a site providing the services specified in the name. You can outright disapprove those.

Another sure sign is that a comment is basically universal. If it's something like, “That's a very nice post, there” and then links to a site for computer services, you know what that means. Sometimes a spammer might catch your attention if you notice that the same user has linked to different sites over several posts. This is unlikely, though.

How to Deal with the Proble
One of the best ways to deal with this in my experience is always moderating first time commenters. This allows you to moderate comments made from people for the first time and automatically approve them from that point onward. The system is not unfailing, especially when rude comments are used, but it allows you to deal with spammers. Every time they want to comment with a different name or site, they will be put in the first-timer category, awaiting your approval.

To do this, go to Dashboard, then Settings and Discussions. Here you must uncheck the box that says that all comments have to be approved by the admin, then check the box that says the author has to have a previously approved comment. This way you save yourself the time of moderating all comments and in the same time you deal with spammers.

Another good idea would be to turn off your comments for a post after a 30-day period. Since your older posts will have a higher rank, they will be the ones most likely targeted by spammers, but if you disable comments after 30 days, they will probably not even bother with you. Even if they do, they will be caught by the system I talked about above. This is more of a maneuver to be on the safe side than anything else. I think it works perfectly.
 Rose Finchley
About the Author:

Rose Finchley works as a web designer at http://www.shinylondon.co.uk/house-cleaners-tottenham-n15/ and is keen on topics about Internet and gadgets

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