A recent website development client received her first blog comment on her new website and asked me how to tell if it was spam or a real comment. I had the benefit of being able to see the comment and this one definitely was spam.
It’s usually fairly simple to tell, here’s the information I shared with her.
Look at the Author’s name.
This is usually pretty obvious. If it doesn’t look like a real name, that’s your first clue that this comment may be spam.
Look at the email address.
Does it match the name of the Author? If not, it’s likely spam. Is it a generic email, like gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.? If it is, then it’s likely spam, but not necessarily. I know people who use their gmail account for just about everything. You have to look at all of these factors together.
Is the email address from another country? In the case of my client, the domain ended with .de which is the top-level domain for German websites. Since she is a local Texas Career Consultant, it’s not likely that she would be getting a blog comment from Germany. If it’s anything other than a simple .com, .net or .org you should look a little closer.
Look at the URL of the commenter. If you approve a comment it creates a link to that URL.
In this case, the URL doesn’t match the Author Name or the name in the Email Address. Again, this is very likely spam.
Look at the comment itself.
Is it too generic? Likely spam. Does it contain a hyperlink of any kind? Likely spam. Does it mention any pharmaceuticals? Likely spam. Does it mention any online gambling? Likely spam. Does it mention porn? Likely spam. Is it in a foreign language? Likely spam.
I would strongly encourage you to install an Anti-spam plugin. The best one on the market today, in my opinion, is Akismet from Automattic. It was created by the folks who built WordPress and is very tightly integrated.
Are you having trouble with lots of blog comment spam? Reach out and I’ll be glad to help you solve this problem.