Posted April 17, 2013 by Jessa Marie Dano

Comments and feedback is healthy for your WordPress website. It keeps the post updated, making it an SEO magnet. On the other hand, comments which do not show add to the blog post or contains a link that redirects to unreliable websites will yield undesirable results to your website.

Search Engine Journal placed linking to and from unreliable websites such as sites with explicit content as #10 in their article 25 Ways to Get Penalized in 2012. With Google’s Panda update, back link quantity matters less than before. Understanding the effect of SEO as an online marketing strategy is your first step towards getting rid of spam.

In fact, Google publishes a user manual for search engine optimization which contains everything about it and how can an SEO expert can improve his strategy without the danger of the website getting penalized. You can read the full PDF file here.

Here are three ways to prevent spam comments on your WordPress site.

3 Ways to Prevent WordPress Comment Spam

Blogs and websites using WordPress make spam moderation easier for the administrator.

Are you a newbie in moderating your own websites? Here are some tips that can surely keep your WordPress website spam-free!

Tip #1: Use Anti-Spam Comment Plugins

Using WordPress plug-ins to eradicate spam can help you sort out real comments from spam. Website plug-ins like Akismet can help you manage comments without going through them one by one. The note “Awaiting Moderation” will not appear for comments detected as spam.

For WordPress-powered blogs and websites, installing Akismet plugin is very simple. Just follow these simple steps and you can drive spam comments away from your site.

1. To go WordPress Dashboard and click on plugins.

2. Search for Akismet and click activate. Akismet is already pre installed in WP, so all you have to do is to activate it.

akismet

3. After activating, a yellow bar at the top will appear that says “Enter your Akismet API Key.” Click on the link and it will redirect you to the Akismet website to purchase an API key. For personal blogs, it comes for free!

api key

 

4. As soon as you have the API key, you are now ready to configure Akismet to your website. Just follow the configuration procedures as you go with the process.

There are times when real comments fall under spam and vise-versa. If this happens, contact the customer service of the plug-in that you use.

Tip #2: Think Twice on Allowing HTML Tags

HTML tags provide an opportunity for spammers to link from your site to theirs. Some webmasters prefer not to have any kind of HTML tags, but some allow bold and italics tags. But if you feel the need to include <a href> tag, you can still do so by adding rel=”nofollow”.

To code a no follow attribute to an html code, simple type in rel=”nofollow” after the closing quotation mark of the URL. See sample below:

nofollow

Adding nofollow attribute is another way of commanding search engines not to follow the links on your page. In fact, it can even decrease the rank of target keywords used by spammers to connect to their site.

Google allows webmasters to add rel=”nofollow” if they are concerned of the following:

  • Untrusted Content

  • Paid Links

  • Crawl Prioritization

To learn more about rel=nofollow attribute, check this post from the Google Support page.

Tip #3: Do Not Activate Auto Approve

Another way to prevent spam is to put all new comments in moderation where you’ll have to approve every new comment. Although time-consuming it is a surefire way to make sure every comment that appears on your site is spam-free.

You can also use CAPTCHAs as well to moderate comments. However, this may not be a very effective technique these days. Some marketing companies that use black hat SEO strategies may hire online freelancers to unlock CAPTCHA codes and post comments.

Below is a sample of a form to send comments with CAPTCHA verification.

captcha sample

Conclusion

Website managers should always visit the comments page every once in awhile. While it is impossible to stop all spammers from sending spammy feedback, you can prevent them from hurting your business website. Thus, protecting the site from spammers means protecting the business itself.

 

 

About Jessa Marie Dano

Jessa Marie Dano is a freelance writer and blogger. She writes about marketing and online entrepreneurship. One day she hopes to go skydiving, kayaking, and zip lining.

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