Reducing Spam on Your Blog

Aug
31
2007

Spam of a different kind out of a tin!

The curse of any blog is the endless stream of comment spam. In some cases this has lead a number of predominant popular bloggers to turn comments off all together. Which in away defeats the purpose of a blog altogether doesn’t it. Well this blog used to get its fair share of spam. Okay we aren’t up there in the two to three thousand pieces of comment spam a day. But for this small blog it was in the range of two to three hundred comments a day. Then in all changed. Now it’s 1 to 2 pieces of spam a day. So what did I do to reduce to the level of spam.

  • Use a spam filter, filter the comments as spam before they are lodged.
  • Moderate all instances of a comment with a URL in. Spammers can be cleve, as you know, they love even giving you somewhat interesting comments and then a nice link to some strange dark hole on the web.
  • Moderate any comment that is under defined number of words. This one has been a pain of late, spam that is only two or three words in length.
  • Limit the time frame that comments can be made. For example after six months close of the comments on your older articles. Its well know that spammers in general will target the older articles on your blog. Frankly these posts make good reference reading, but the social interaction that they once had is by now well and truely spent.

There are a number of plugin that can assist with reducing the amount of comment spam you will get. It’s not going to eliminate it but it will help:

  • Akismet

    This has to be the best first level of anti comment spam defence. Even if you have a commercial site the cost of this service is well worth it. It will, I have found, in most cased capture 99% of your spam. Okay it has every now and again trapped a few false positives, but in general it is all good.

  • Moderate Brief Comments

    This is an interesting plugin by Kaf Oseo, it allows you to send any comments that are under a nominated number of words for moderation. This is really handy if you are getting a lot of single word comment spam.

  • Comment Timeout

    This is the plugin by James McKay that I would rank just behind Akismet in comment spam blocking functionality. This plugin allows you to automate the closing of various aging articles to comments determined via a number of criteria.

  • reCAPTCHA

    I’m not a big fan of CAPTCHA’s mainly due to the large inaccessibility component and that they do stop the flow of commenting on a blog. However they can be very effective at stopping comment spam. This particular plugin is a little better as at least it offers an audio component.

  • Mod_Rewrite Trackback Spam Blocker

    Nice effective trackback spam comment blocker. Only really works with spam bots by modify the WordPress permalink generator. Its not much good with manual human spammers. But every little bit helps. Then again you can always turn trackbacks off.

So there you have it. These all seem to work well together as a combined procedure to reduce comment spam. At present it seems to be working well, may work for you, it may not. It’s not a full list but it is a practical list. For a complete list see the WordPress Anti-Spam Tools list. Do you have anymore to add to the list that you have tried and really work?

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7 comments

  1. Ever since I started using Akismet, it’s reduced the spam down to pretty much nil! Amazing stuff.

  2. When Defensio comes out of private beta it will be interesting.

    Defensio are the new kid on the block in spam detection services. It’s basically a new version of Akismet (some varying features of course).

    So far the guys over at ActiveReload have reported good things on it.

    Don’t get my wrong, I love Akismet and everything it does for my blog but as you said Gary “every little bit helps”

    Now to detail with email spam

  3. @Matt, thanks for the heads up on . I have heard of this. But no point detailing it if people can’t get to it yet, mind you can if you have a lot of spam sign up for the private beta.

  4. […] the most on the tasks during this challenge (if you remove the blogging participants) it would be Gary Barber (Man With No Blog). Gary has been fantastic, for willingly and without being asked, mentoring, […]

  5. I’ve found Spam Karma to be pretty good. Admittedly, my blog is pretty new and I’ve only had a handful of spam attempts, but I know others that are consistently hammered by spammers who swear by it.

    For me, the availability of a good free anti-spam tool was a real decider over which CMS platform to use. SK2 is the reason I’m using WordPress rather than some of the other CMS platforms I looked at (eg. drupal, pmwiki).

  6. 90 percent of my spam is trackback spam …
    am gonna chek out Mod_Rewrite Trackback Spam Blocker …
    lets see how this works out …
    hehe …

  7. I don’t exactly know about other solutions though I have experimented Akisment 2.0 and it had too many flaws in it. Since then I have started to believe that there is no ultimate solution to stop Spammers. Infect I think that Spam Blocker may reduce the number of spam for a short while but you cant say that it is an ultimate solution to Spamming. The reason is that the Spammers are aware of these filtering or blocking techniques and thus they always get able to find some way. There are many websites available that are providing the information on Anti-Spamming Solutions but most of this information is either irrelevant or not useful. I would like to suggest Anti-Spamming Solutions websites that i have recently visited which contains some very useful articles.

Comments are now closed, move along, nothing to see here.