Blogging can be difficult and at times even a daunting task. Rewarding yes, informative? Well your blog should be unless you are using it as some people do face book. Spam comments? Definitely, you will receive spam comments. This post is written to aid those who have a good blog, desire legitimate feedback (good or bad) and weed out those companies or individuals that would use scanning software, spinning software, or any automated sources to post comments on your blog just to get higher website rankings for their site, thereby damaging your blogs page authority and search engine rankings.
I want to start out by saying I do not have an issue with people leaving comments on or about my posts, as a matter of fact I welcome it, however I do not want my site exploited for their personal potential gains. To me it does not matter if the person who commented operates an art gallery or a port o’ john (temporary outdoor restroom) business as long as they leave a real and focused response. When a person or business leave a focused response that has anything what so ever to do with the actual content of the post I will give them a “do follow” link with their comments. If they leave some very generic comment or some comment so “off topic” no link what so ever can be drawn between their comment and the post I delete it.
My advice to bloggers is quite simply this, no matter what blogging platform you use allow “do follow” links from your blog but moderate and manually approve all comments. Only manually approve those comments which show a clear and evident path of reviewing the content of your blog.
I know what you’re saying, wow that’s a lot of work and yes, you are correct but there are things that will help you, they are plugins. As you will see at the end of this post and all my posts I use comment luv, but that is not the only software I use. In addition to comment luv, I use anti-spam plugins, comment character limiters, and a checkbox for live users. While I will not endorse any one set of software or plug-ins I will give you a few pointers of what to look for in an anti-spam plugin and how to use it effectively to lighten your load.
The first thing you want to look for in an anti-spam plugin is a banned word list. What this will do is automatically scan a response for a word or phrase and place the entire comment in your spam folder. Trust me the commenters using software to post comments reuse the same worn out phrases over and over again and spinners will post will misspell words but the content of the message will be nearly identical and say very little. As you watch your comments for a week manually approving them, you will be able to spot these types of comments coming from a host of different email addresses and pointing to a host of different websites, they are bot comments and to make it worse those who use bots often times are charging some poor webmaster to post comments on their behalf. This black hat technique destroys the value of your webpages and those of the site linked to. When you find those posts that have the same content program the anti-spam software for 1-3 key repetitive phrases in the comment and ban the phrases to spam and delete them saving room for live person with real content ideas or opinions to comment.
The next thing you want to do is set your anti-spam plugin to mark as spam comments that have over 4% symbols in the reply. This technique will not catch all the spammy content using symbols but it will catch most of them.
Finally set a character limit for the replies somewhere between 300-500 characters. All replies I have ever received over 500 characters have been bot or software driven, loaded with unrelated keywords, and usually unrelated to my topic. Further, no one reads a comment (or sales pitch as I like to call them) that long.
You might ask if there is a possibility of some legitimate comments getting caught in the spam folder because of these settings and plug-ins and the answer is, it is possible. You can scan your spam folder for legitimate comments and approve them, if you desire.
With that said the ideas above should help you keep and receive a larger amount of good and relevant comments on your blogs and weed out those that will do nothing but hurt your blog and website rankings.