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I've Been Saved…from Comment Spam

Comment spam. Don’t you love it?

I’ve been officially blogging since January 8th and I’ve already collected and deleted more than 600 spam comments. In the same amount of time I’ve recorded more than 200 legitimate comments Akismet (thank you to all of you, by the way). If it wasn’t for , I can’t imagine how much more work blogging would be.

Akismet StatsSo far Akismet has caught every piece of comment spam while only catching three legitimate comments. So I want to send a shout out to Matt Mullenweg of WordPress for it’s development. As of 6:40am this morning, here’s the amount of spam Akismet has caught. I refreshed the page a few times and the numbers jump quite a bit in only seconds between refreshes. And look at this number – 94% of all comments Akismet catches is spam. WOW!

Steve Rubel reports that eBuilt Group tracked 8.8 million pings on weblogs.com between January 23rd and January 26th and found that 53% of all pings is spam, 64% of all pings from blogs in English is spam and 56% of all pinging blogs are spam. Amazing, huh?

And it’s not just post comments. The blogosphere is riddled with spammers. ProBlogger cites that MyBlogLog is having to create their own anti-spam policy. I guess where there’s success, there’s freeloading spammers waiting to pounce.
So that leads me to the question…does spam work? It has too, right? I mean if it didn’t work, why would it be so prevalent? So while I just delete it without as much as a glace, others must be allowing it on their blogs.

Well, we can all do something to combat it?

  1. First moderate all your comments.
  2. Second, get a comment spam filter in place for your blog. For WordPress Akismet or Spam Karma 2 work great. Movable Type and TypePad users, check out Six Apart’s Anti-Spam Plugin Page. If you use Blogger, you’re likely using captcha, which also works well.
  3. Third, don’t ever click on a spam link. Doing so is like responding – you’ll get flooded with spam after that.
  4. Fourth, when you’re moderating your comments, error on caution. I delete any comment that doesn’t look legitimate, even if the comment is a nice one. Look at the email and web addresses of the comment for origin. That often gives it away.

You really can combat comment spam. Most bloggers do it. If you don’t, begin with the steps above and you’ll find some immediate relief.

And, let’s ask our readers – what have you done to successfully combat comment spam?

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Comments

  1. I just yesterday posted on the spam problem with MyBlogLog myself. I HATE spam with a passion and it’s pretty much why I avoid sites like MySpace.com. I can’t imagine anyone actually responding to spam by purchasing a product.

  2. Yeah, me either. I still wonder how the folks spammers work for get paid. They must because the frequency of spam continues to grow. If it wasn’t profitable, it wouldn’t be happening.

  3. Yes, but in your zeal to destroy spam be sure to use a method that doesn’t make your readers jump through too many hoops either. Otherwise you also run the risk of turning off legitimate commenters (and readers).

    BTW, I would have left a comment earlier but I was afraid you might delete me. ;-)

    Cheers!

    …BB

  4. Blog Bloke

    It seems a fine balance between protecting oneself from those reched spammers while keeping your site easily accessible to the good guys.

    Thanks for your comment, Bloke. Sorry you felt like I might delete you. No way. I’m a fan.

  5. Akismat saves me so much time a day. It does a fairly good job on catching spam although it puts real comments into spam at least a few times a day but it guess its the price i have to pay not to get spammed. Great post Dawud.

  6. Single Grain,

    I only use Akismet at this point. I’ve considered adding Bad Behavior and/or Spam Karma2, but haven’t bothered yet. I’m pretty happy with my spam protection at this point.

  7. I also use Akismet, the plugin is awesome. I would seriously pay a lot for the kind of service they offer.

  8. Guide Study,
    It does work great. And, I’m seeing the benefit of using other spam plugins as well.

  9. I’d recommend the protectwebform captcha plugin. It’s really ingenious in that it only shows a capctha challenge to browsers with Javascript disabled, which is almost every spam bot. The vast majority of legitimate commentators will have Javascript enabled, so they can just sail through. I used to get 1000+ spam comments a day, Akismet caught most but not all. Since installing the plugin only one comment has made it into Akismet and none onto the site itself. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

  10. Simon,
    I used to use a captcha plugin. Then I had a nice conversation around spam protect with Lorelle, in which she suggested they’re too easy to circumvent. So now I use the trifecta of Akismet, Bad Behavior and Spam Karma2 and everything’s been great.

  11. Comments are really important. It gives you feedback of your work. But if spam is invading your blog its bad because you will not get anything from it. At the same time its just a junk

  12. I’m a newbie and have akismet installed on my site. It has already caught a lot of spam comments.

  13. well, without Akismet we wouldn’t be able to manage the huge amount of spammers in the comments…so thanks to the guys who created this amazing plug-in! ;)

  14. Akismet is definitely awesome. However, it’s amazing how much of the spam it catches follows exactly the same pattern (lots of drug names and adult links peppering a random assortment of words). I wonder how well the plugin would fare against smarter comment spammers.

  15. I use akismet it helps

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