Got Lots of Blog Comments? Here’s How to Know If They’re SPAM

John Sutton of:  http://www.firsttimegardening.com asked a great question…

 I have 230 blog comments on my blog, but I’m not sure what to do with them.

Regards,
John

If you’re a blogger, getting lots of comments can be beautiful thing, but not all blog comments are worthy of being approved.

So how do you know what’s a worthy comment and what’s SPAM? 

The best way to evaluate a comment is to ask yourself,

“Does this comment add value to the post?”

Take these comments for instance…

  • “Great explanation. I could not of done better myself!”
  •  “It looks like you worked hard to create this site. Good work.”
  • “I like what you have to say. I’m going to tell my friends.”
  • “Nice, good post. I’ve found your blog via Yahoo and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles. I’ve read some of your articles and subscribed to your blog by adding your”
  • “This is really good information. I’m going to mark it as a favorite.”
  • “You have great writing style. I will definitely be back.”
  • “Whats up very nice web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally…I’m satisfied to seek out numerous helpful info right here within the publish, we’d like work out more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .”
  • “You’re an awesome writer. Please keep it up!”
  • “Great article! I am sure this is going to help a lot of people”
  • “Great content you have here”

Not one of them offer value. The writer is only appealing your ego hoping you’ll post the comment giving then a free backlink. In fact, these are typical of comments that get automatically generated by comment bots.

What makes a blog comment worthy of accepting?

- A good comment will address the point of your post and add value.  It should not be a generality.

- Don’t accept gibberish.  Every comment should make sense and be written in good English.  Also comments that have odd letters or are written in a foreign language should be deleted.  These are typically spam.  If  your blog is written in English, accept only English.

- Don’t allow links in your comments.  Comments left on a blog that include links should be deleted.  Even if the comment is a legitimate one, the purpose is get a click on the link, so delete it.

- The commenter should address you or the writer by name.  This isn’t a must but it gets my attention when they do.

What about anonymous commenters?

I like to see commenters use a picture or a comments avatar.  That’s not to say that if a commenter doesn’t have an avatar it’s spam, but in many cases it is.  If you’re on the fence about a comment, use the avatar as a deciding factor.   A poor comment with no avatar, I generally won’t accept.

Here are a few examples of comments that I accepted because I could easily tell the commenter actually read the post, but they also gave personal or useful feedback.

How to Limit Spammy Comments 

1. Use the Akismet plugin.  Most WordPress blogs include it. It will automatically send spammy comments to your spam box.

2. As an extra bit of protection I like the G.A.S.P. (Growmap Anti-spamBot pligin)  This plugin  protects you against automated spambots by asking your commenter to click a check box confirming they are not a spammer.

3.  Comments aren’t all about discouraging bad comments, you want to encourage great commenters.  I like comment Luv for that.    This plugin includes a titled link to the commentator’s last blog post or tweet on the end of their comment.  A great incentive for comments.  By the way CommentLuv also has a paid version with extra features. You can read about them here.

If you’re still not sure whether a blog comment is spam, simply copy the comment and paste it into the Google search bar with double quotes around it.   If it’s spam you’ll see several entries listed with that comment in them.   That definitely means it’s spam.


Comments

  1. Hey Liz,

    I’d also add “gravatar” to your acceptance list; although we should not treat is as a must but a gravatar at the side of the makes me (as the owner of the site) feel so very comfortable – otherwise, even though the comment is genuine it looks spammy to me!

    Thanks for bringing this up Liz :)

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  2. Great post, Liz! I try to write great content for my blog, and yet most of the comments that I have gotten are spammy, just like the ones that you have posted above. Sometimes I dream of an automated spam fighting machine that will filter out the weeds, posting the comments that really add value to the article on autopilot.

    By the way, adding a captcha plugin to the blog is also an effective way to keep some of the spammers at bay. There is a cost (time or money) associated to filling in that extra form and most spammers will not pay that price.

    • Hey George, thanks for your great feedback. The spammers do absorb our time, and the captcha does help, but it’s not often obvious for someone starting out what is really spam and what is legit, especially when you’re desperate for comments :-)

  3. I know what you mean, Liz. I used to approve the comments that weren’t obviously spammy in the past, but now I’m moving more and more towards your approach. Thank you again for taking the time to post these great guidelines!

  4. Liz, I appreciate the points you made in this post. I find that some comments are “borderline,” so I’ll try your trick about testing the comment by inputting it in Google.

    On my blog, trackbacks and pingbacks also show up in the comment section because of my settings. I like seeing who is linking to my blog. After reviewing these I put them into trash. Do you have any recommendation for these?

    • Ms. Liz says:

      Hey Jc,

      Funny you should ask I do the same thing, they go in the trash. That’s because most of them are spammy.

      I actually just perfer to moderate mine manually. Not many of them are legit but Akismet does kick out a lot of them and the others I can usually detect.

      Thanks for your feedback JC :-)

  5. Magic Webs says:

    The greatest value that a reader can do for the writer is to actually read the article. Commenting also is a skill that can be polished. Every comment is appreciated yet nothing completes a day than to read a worthy comment from someone who learned something because of what a writer posted. That is the highlight of a writer’s life – getting the respect that he deserves through real comments by real readers.

    I can say that when the writer shared the intent of his heart to the reader, the reader should do likewise – to comment from the heart. This is when the relationship intended to be made will start to grow, and trust and respect will be earned.

    • If someone doesn’t actually learn something from a post or find what they just read of any value, to me it’s better they simply don’t comment.

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