SMART Blog

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Help Prevent Comment Spam

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_to_do_with_comment_spam_400.jpgWhile it might be nice to imagine making $500 a day by working from home, this is the type of thing only really seen in a website’s spam comments. If these annoyances are common, know that you’re not alone. Even the most innocent sites can be stricken with this issue. So, how can you minimize spam comments?

It’s important that you consider the repercussions of leaving these comments on your company’s website. They’re harmful to your social media and website presence, and can give your site visitors and fans the impression that you don’t take care of your website. Furthermore, they might feel discouraged about leaving legitimate comments, which might nip a potential customer relation success in the bud before it even has a chance to blossom.

To help fight spam on your website comments, you can take advantage of several options. However, it’s important to note that none of these are a sure-fire way of eliminating comment spam.

Disable All Comments
This option should only be used as a last resort. The reasoning is simple; even negative comments are valuable to your business for the purpose of understanding how you can improve your services or product. Comments show that people find your website and its content valuable. Even search engines pick up on comments and use them to give your website a higher search ranking. The positive thing about negative comments is that you have the chance to address these issues personally to improve your reputation. This shows that you care about the customer’s experience. Therefore, the only reason you should ever turn off comments on your site is if you plan on performing minimal maintenance to it.

Approve All Comments Before They Go Public
If a moderator is keeping an eye on comments that are submitted, it makes it much easier to spot spam before it’s posted to your comments. However, you should be on the lookout to ensure you don’t get fooled into approving a spam comment. Spammers are known for their remarkable ability to trick users, so don’t feel bad if one or two get through. You can always remove them yourself later. If you are fooled by a comment spammer by letting one slip by, then take solace in the wisdom of former President George W. Bush: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me... you can’t get fooled again.”

Use a Recaptcha
A recaptcha is a great tool that can help you ensure that all users who comment on your posts are real people, and not spam bots designed to blow up websites with worthless comments. This can be as easy as entering in the numbers or letters that appear on the screen in an image, and it’s usually enough to prevent most spam bots from making it through to the posting. However, this tool isn’t 100 percent effective because a dedicated human comment spammer will fill in the required Recaptcha numbers.

Block the Spammers’ IP Addresses
If you happen to come across a spammer, your website platform should allow you to block the user’s IP address from accessing your website. By looking at some spammer statistics from Imperva, you will see how blocking a comment spammer’s IP address will go a long way toward taking care of the problem:

80 percent of the comment spam originates from less than one-third of the spammers, and a mere 17 percent of comment spammers actually account for a majority of the comment spam traffic. Imperva also found that nearly 60 percent of comment spammers are active for long periods of time.

However you decide to take the fight to spammers, the best way to do so is to remain vigilant and consistent with the measures you take to keep spam at a minimum. As always, keeping your site’s maintenance up to date is the preferred option, and even a few comments can potentially make your organization look negligent. What are some of your favorite ways to keep comment spam to a minimum? Let us know in the comments… but not if you’re a robot.

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