One of the perks of choosing WordPress as your blogging platform is the ability to engage directly with your visitors. WordPress has a built-in commenting feature which allows visitors to share their thoughts on posts/articles. While you can always disable this feature, it’s usually best to keep it turned on. Each time a visitor leaves a comment, it creates unique content for your blog — and search engines love fresh, unique content.
Unfortunately, though, WordPress also attracts comment spam. You may notice generic comments like “Great blog, I’ll grab your RSS” or “This was a wonderful blog post!.” Since these comments contain no information related to the actual post content, it’s safe to assume they are spam and they should be deleted. If you only have a handful of spam comments, manually deleting them shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have hundreds or even thousands, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a solution.
Comment spam is used by black-hat marketers in an attempt to boost their search rankings and/or generate sales or leads. This technique was once a powerful way to achieve a higher search ranking, but Google and other search engines have since modified their algorithms to discourage this practice. Even so, many marketers still rely on comment spam as part of their marketing strategy.
The first step in combating WordPress comment spam is to enable comment moderation. By default, all new comments left by visitors are automatically approved, which can prove disastrous for websites and blogs. If a spammer uses an automated program to blast your site with thousands of spam comments, they will show up almost instantly. To prevent this from happening, access Settings > Discussion > and check the box labeled “Comment must be manually approved.” Doing so will place all new visitor comments in queue for moderation, meaning you’ll have to approve or deny them.
Furthermore, you should install an anti-spam plugin on your WordPress site. The platform comes with Akismet, but you’ll need to register it before you can actually use it. And Akismet isn’t free for commercial blogs and websites. If your site earns revenue in any way, shape or form, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use it. Stop Spammers is a free-to-use alternative that’s become increasingly popular over the years. If you want full protection from comment spam, check it out!
What’s your preferred method for dealing with spam comments? Let us know in the comments section below!