Spam In Blogs
I am sure, I don’t need to explain anything about Spam over here. Blog spam is nothing new and there have been already many articles written about it. However, I still get questions like “What is the best strategy to avoid spam comments?” Just to kick start things, I would like to mention the definition that has been given in everybody’s favorite website i.e. WikiPedia -
Spam in blogs (also called simply blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.
How to fight comment spam
There are various plugins although in my four years of experience as professional blogger, I’ve come across only handful of plugins that have done wonderful job for me. They have been shared by lots of experienced bloggers over and over again and here I am, who would like to share it with you one more time!
1. Akismet – This wonderful service from Automattic has been consistently helping thousands of bloggers in fighting blog spam. Not only it is available for WordPress, it has been extended for various other platforms like Movable Type, Drupal etc. There is no reason, why I would not suggest this plugin to any person who is using WordPress.
2. WP-Spam Free – Scott Allen has rightly described it as an Extremely Powerful Anti-Spam Plugin! Its so powerful that it literally makes your blog secure from all the comment spam. Although, this plugin is infamous for using extra resources from server. If you have a high traffic blog and get lots of spam comments, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using this plugin. Personally, its my favorite among all the plugins that I’m listing over here.
3. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam – Another wonderful plugin for fighting spam on blogs. It not only helps to fight blog comment spam. It also can be extended to fight automated registrations and automated contact form submissions. This plugin uses a familiar trick of fighting comment spam i.e. CAPTCHA verification. It has lots of configuration options and if you don’t want to rely on automatic anti-spam plugins like Akismet & WP-Spam Free then this plugin will easily serve the purpose for you. [Plugin Homepage]
[Photo Credit - ScoopDog]
4. Bad Behavior – This wonderful script has been developed to fight against spam bots. It’s not specific to WordPress and is available for other content management systems. Its pretty light on servers and has been made available on plethora of CMSes. It has done a wonderful job in keeping this blog spam free from long time and will continue to do so!
5. reCAPTCHA – reCAPTCHA is a service that is used by thousands of popular websites to fight spam bots. The service can be easily integrated in a WordPress blog with the help of this plugin. I like this service/plugin because it definitely has proven its effectiveness to fight the spam bots and also because it helps in digitizing various books. Here’s what they have to say about digitizing the books part -
While the world is in the process of digitizing books, sometimes certain words cannot be read. reCAPTCHA uses a combination of these words, further distorts them, and then constructs a CAPTCHA image. After a ceratin percentage of users solve the ‘uknown’ word the same way it is assumed that it is the correct spelling of the word. This helps digitize books, giving users a reason to solve reCAPTCHA forms.
I hope that you’ll find these plugins useful enough (just the way I have) to keep you blog spam free!