Without the proper protection, comment spam is an absolute nightmare in WordPress.  Fortunately, the proper protections are very easy to come by.

As a primer, comment spam is any comment left on your blog that adds nothing to the conversation and was likely mass posted.  These comments sometimes look like:

Great post!  This makes me really think.

Or something like….

Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself!

You can spot spam comments because they are usually positive in vibe and could fit just about any blog post.  The spammers do this in the hopes that the link behind their name will help their website rank better.  So if you aren’t sure if the comment is spam, a good way to tell is to look at where their name links to.  If it looks fishy, then you’ve got a spam commenter on your hands.

How Bad is the Spam Industry?

I was amazed and what I found this evening when searching through “WordPress” related keywords.  Check this out:

Top Searched Keyword Terms for WordPress

Top Searched Keyword Terms for WordPress

If you look closely at the terms with the red arrows, you’ll see a disturbing pattern.  These are all terms that spammers would use to locate blogs that are powered by WordPress and accept comments.

What’s most disturbing is the fact that the relative volumes of the 5 spam terms add up to 72, while people legitamately searching for WordPress are only 88 in relative volume.  That means the spammers almost outnumber real people searching for WordPress!

But this article isn’t meant to employ scare tactics.  It’s not a scary situation once you get your blog setup correctly.  So let’s talk about setting your WP blog up to avoid comment spam.

How to Kill Comment Spam

  1. Have Akismet Set-Up
  2. The stats above would imply you should remove the ‘powered by wordpress’ and ‘leave a comment’ text from your site.  I’ve never tested it before, but it can’t hurt!
  3. Finally, if your spam is coming from a contact form and not from a comment form, read Protecting Contact Form 7 from Spam.  It’s a bit more involved to protect your contact form than your comments form, but it’s well worth the time.

Do you have any suggestions for cutting down on WordPress spam comments?  Let me know in the comments section below!