WordPress Comment Spam

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It’s been the bane of the ‘blogger since almost the beginning of ‘blogging.

Lucky for us we’ve got Akismet to help us remove the worst offenders (over 7,500 to date on this site alone).

Unfortunately, that doesn’t get all of them, and recently I’ve been getting a rash of one word comments (“Interesting,” “Nice,” etc.) recently, with obviously “spammish” links (hoping to up their search engine rankings, no doubt). This comes shortly after some experimentation (sorry I can’t provide a citation off the top of my head) with Google and the “rel=’nofollow'” tags that most ‘blog engines have implemented (to “prevent” search engines from following them and subsequently spidering them… in theory) doesn’t work as one would imagine and still helps search rankings.

So I took it upon myself to do some experimentation of my own… here are the results.

I set WordPress to automatically moderate comments with two or more links in them, and that all posts from unknown users (non-members and/or persons who have not yet had a post approved). Unless I’ve approved a comment from a user that I shouldn’t have, doing this catches all the messages and allows me to moderate them and keep my comments pretty clean (if you see some that have slipped through, please let me know!).

Recently I’ve been getting between 12 and 35 comments per day that fall into the “missed by Akismet, one-word, one link) variety. While this isn’t a problem per se, it’s annoying.

I decided to turn off anonymous comments and force users to register with the site (sorry, it take a little longer, but a blogger’s got to do what a blogger’s got to do). I let this setting stick for about a month, then decided to turn it off and see how the cards fell. Ironically, I didn’t get any comment spam to speak of for about two months. W00t!

Then I slowly started getting comment spam again just last week… so I’ve turned on the “require registration” flag again, and again, no comment spam.

I’m going to keep toggling this off and on every month or so (at semi-random intervals) just to keep the spam-bots frustrated. If you’re getting slammed by comment spam, give these concepts a try on your ‘blog; let me know your results.

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