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The Geek Speaks...

...another Geeky article by Cenay Nailor

5 Ways To Reduce Blog Spam

Has this happened to you?

You wake up, eager to spend some time on your blog and stumble bleary-eyed over to the computer to see what wonderous activities have happened on your blog during your well deserved but long over due slumber. Blinking the *sleepies* from your eyes you login to your email client and see 382 new messages from your blog announcing comments!

Excited to see the feedback to the amazing post you sweated over for 3 days, you quickly click into the comment moderation area of your blog, only to find all 382 are spam!

If this sounds like you, you are not alone. In fact, one reader sent this question in just yesterday. If one is asking then 10 are wondering, so let me take a couple of minutes and suggest a few things you can do.

Jim Feilen writes:

Anyway to reduce getting spam messages on my blog? I have it so I have to approve before it will post but I am getting more spam each day.

Jim

Welcome to 2008. We fight against spam in our inboxes, our blogs and our postal mail boxes (although less and less in the mailbox these days).

Spammer robots allow people with no conscience or understanding of karmic laws to automatically add comments to hundreds or even thousands of blogs every day. Getting yourself out of the line of fire is a topic worthy of several posts, but today I will just list the top 5 ways I have found to reduce or eliminate spam on your WordPress blog.

If you know of others, I invite your comments so my readers can benefit from your insight, wisdom and hard earned *blogger-guru* status.

Akismet WordPress Plugin

Akismet comes with WordPress and is one of the first things you should try to reduce the amount of spam hitting your blog.

You do have to sign up for a WordPress.com account in order to activate it (not sure why this is, it just is). I covered this in detail and provided screen shots and step by step instructions for this process over here: http://www.cenaynailor.com/faq/akismet-stopping-the-spam-madness/

Comment Moderation and Comment Blacklist

Updating the Settings | Discussion options on your WordPress blog to include some keywords in both the moderation and blacklist boxes for comments will also help.

Plan to add to this over time, but here are some that are in my list. Drug, pill, porn, anal, sex, gay, penis, viagra, insurance, lesbian, enlarge, brevibloc, celis, [url, xxx.

Notice I didn’t include all variations of the word for drugs. That’s because this feature will match the "inside words" as well. So, "drug" will match "drugs", "freedrug" and "sexdrug".

I should mention that I have nothing against old men who need or want viagra, gay’s or car insurance salesmen. I just don’t think my blog is the proper forum for that kind of message. I could be wrong.

Adding "nofollow" with a WordPress tweak

One of the reason your blog will be targeted (aside from the missing karmic consciencious of the spammer of course), is that any "ranking" you receive from Google, can be passed on to people that link from your site to theirs.

You can reduce the "attractiveness" of your blog in this respect, by having all your comments contain a "nofollow" tag. This effectively tells the search engine not to follow any links from your comment area, back to where they point to.

There is a WordPress plugin which I recommend that does this for you. In fact, it does a LOT for you. A a complete list is shown over on the post I did when reviewing this cool plugin , which you can read here. You can also go get a copy for yourself at the WordPress Expert blog here.

Addon Plugins like Spam Karma (2.3) or WordPress Comment Spam Stopper

Both of these WordPress plugins are specially designed to reduce the crap in your comments. (Can I say crap?) As you will see from my notes above, I have an affinity for the Unknown Genius.

He and I think a lot alike when it comes to the spammers of the world. And although he doesn’t say it straight out, I will. Spammers should be dipped in honey, hung by their toes and ants turned loose beneath them.

Spam Karma 2.3

Spam Karma 2 (SK2) is an anti-spam plugin for the WordPress blogging platform. It is meant to stop all forms of automated Blog spam effortlessly, while remaining as unobtrusive as possible to regular commenters. Spam Karma 2 is the proud successor to Spam Karma, with whom it shares most of the development ideas, but absolutely none of the code

WordPress Comment Spam Stopper Plugin

Spamming is a common problem, I was getting (at least) 1000 spam messages a week, and I was sick of it. I’m sure also having so many spam messages stored in the database (even if identified by askimet) must have a speed impact on your blog.

Therefore I have created a simple solution to stopping spam at the source: asking a simple question that bots are too stupid to know in the comment form. I know only get about 10 spams per week, rather than 1000!

So Jim, I hope this helps with your blogging spam problem. I appreciate the question.

If any of you know of others, I invite your comments so my readers can benefit from your insight, wisdom and hard earned *blogger-guru* status.

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