Comment Spam – a Huge Problem for Word Press Blog Owners

The blogsphere is clogged with blogs about comment spam, but what exactly is comment spam? The first thing a blogger needs to establish is a clear definition. It is a form of spamindexing – in another sense, it is a form of splogging. This type of splogging hi-jacks blogs to advertise something instead of creating a fake website to promote it. The objective is to build links and increase their web page’s rank.

The genius behind comment spam is impressive. Instead of creating a splog, or fake blog, a person will leave comments that includes a link to their website in other people’s blogs all across the Internet. This will raise their website’s rank, and turns comment spam into another from of unsolicited junk mail.

Comment Spam is a ‘white hat’ SEO trick. It is not wrong, but it is not right. Google has taken the first step against comment spam by banning or penalizing both the websites and the host blog. WordPress blogs are hardest hit because most webmasters do not install the module that prevents people from entering a link into the comment. There are default tools, but few blog owners understand how to activate them.

These unwanted and malicious comments affect a blog’s rank in both the weblogs and search engines. The blog is damaged as well as the web site. Here’s how it works:

o Google bases a web page’s rank on the relevance of the content to the meta keywords and title.

o Google also uses keyword anchored links and the content on the following page to establish rank. To explain this, let’s say the blog is about flowers. The link in the reply uses the keywords ‘make money’ and leads to a website on finance. This means the blog page, and the following website will decrease in rank.

The most common perpetrators are comment spam robots. They hit every available post from a single blog. The sly spam robots pose a major problem because they leave their ad, but they also leave little comments, ‘great post – keep up the good work.’ This can be infuriating when attached to an editorial or something personal, like a story on spousal abuse.

There are ways of fighting back. Akismet, the spam catcher for and many of their bloggers caught almost 2 million spam attempts in one day.

The first method to try is to install anti-spam plug-ins in WordPress – and activate them. Both the Karma and Bad Word plug-ins need to be installed.

Another method involves skimming the blog, reading old posts and looking for the criminals who would violate your blogging attempts. One technique for foiling their attempts is to follow the link all the way to the affiliate site. Then, report them. Reputable companies WILL ban their affiliate link.

Little can be done for the kids who go through blogs and post comments about porn, or who simply like to swear and curse! WordPress is working hard to stay ahead of this type of spam, though, and it is possible to update the file of abusive words.

CNet, January 9 2006, reported that comment spam is now illegal in the USA. This might have some effect, but only time will tell. Until then, use the plug-ins and stay informed.

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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