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!

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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.

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2. WP-Spam FreeScott 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]

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[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!

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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!

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13 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Thanks for the post. Spam is awful but I have to admit it can be pretty entertaining sometimes, the things they come up with. Anyway, I first installed Bad Behavior and it worked for a while but then I noticed a sudden spike in spam comments. Since then, I’ve installed Akismet, and the combo has been working perfectly.

    • @angie – yeah. Even i’m running the combo and its working great for me too. I just have to manage like 5-7 spam comments that get cleared from akismet but are still spam. Thanks for your comment, I just didn’t notice that i’d myself approved a spam comment on this post. Removing it right away. :)

  2. I get a huge amount of spam comments from web marketers trying to make a buck abusing the system. I do laugh at some of the comments because they are so stupid. I think google should punish spammers rankings so us good hard working honest marketers can have a chance. I do think it is only fair! I am gonna install spam protection today.. I got 11,000 spam comments this year on my website… How about that!

    • I also get a bulk amount of spam comments on my page, really abusing the system of my site as well. I really hate it so much when spammers put a whole lot of links on my page. This is a trouble to the head but no more bothering. I clean the comments on my website now, as on a daily basis. So even if the spammer put a whole lot of links of my page, it of no use, and future purpose.

    • I totally agree with you, they should be punished and I think it’s not that hard to do that. Usually they leave a web address when the post the spam comment so it’s easy to track

  3. I have found turning off the comments to be the most effective way to stop comment spam. Most of our customers sites/blogs would not benefit from comments to deal with screening them even after going through Akismet. I will defintely be trying one of the options listed above with Akismet for the next customer who insists on receiving comments. Thanks for the info.

  4. very nice post. highly appreciated

  5. you miss one “FV Antispam” i use in my WP blog, that work great!, of course akismet is better :D

  6. the only bad thing about all those systems is…. that they dont work 100%
    I’ve seen captcha cracking services on the net, man! that’s just plain crazy

    regards!

  7. Daniel

    I know this is kind of an old post, but it’s still ranked well on Google, so I surfed in.

    You said that “Spam Free” is “infamous for using extra resources from server”. What do you mean by that? I’m using Bluehost, and I wouldn’t want to have them start shutting down my sites for using too many resources or anything like that.

  8. Akismet is fantastic, but still hasnt seemed to stop all the spam and rubbish we sometimes receive

  9. That’s a nice list Mayank. Now I’m using GASP to block automated spam comments. This plugin displays a client side generated check box for comment posters to mark before they submit. I guess it is better idea than using complex captcha and cookie method.

    Yet another is ‘Spam Free WordPress’ that generates an anonymous passwords for comment posters to fill in a box. I’ve recently activated it on my blog and studying its effectiveness. Logically the plugin looks great working.

    Thank you for the useful list of plugins to fight against spam comments.

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